Land use, resettlement and livelihood restoration
We respect property rights in the countries and communities where we operate. We aim to minimize involuntary resettlement through a disciplined site selection process.
Management and application
Whenever land is necessary for projects, we adhere to applicable host country regulatory requirements governing land acquisition, in addition to our own internal standards. If projects are externally financed, we also adhere to lender stipulations regarding land use, access and resettlement requirements.
To the extent practicable, we seek to avoid involuntary resettlement and minimize the need for voluntary resettlement. To minimize the need for resettlement we assess multiple potential locations for our operations based on criteria such as availability, accessibility and safety, as well as environmental and social considerations.
If physical or economic displacement occurs, we develop and implement location-specific and culturally appropriate resettlement action plans (RAPs). We consult with landowners and other potentially impacted individuals or households. We survey and map housing structures, gardens, wildlife, sources for nature-based products, harvesting areas and other assets to support the development of RAPs and effective livelihood restoration programs.
As an example, in 2019 a pre-construction survey was conducted to identify households and gardens that may be impacted or require resettlement because of the construction of a new well pad in Papua New Guinea. After completion of field surveys, a Resettlement Action Plan was prepared and approved by the project Lender Group’s Independent Environmental and Social Consultant. The resettled households received livelihood restoration support, and an evaluation conducted six months after relocation concluded that they had an improved standard of living.
In addition, after the February 2018 earthquake in Papua New Guinea, several areas along the pipeline right of way needed maintenance and repairs that required additional land access. While no households were resettled in 2019, we continue to assess land requirements associated with these repairs.
Additional information on resettlement and livelihood restoration programs associated with our operations in Papua New Guinea can be found in the ExxonMobil PNG 2020 Environmental and Social Report.