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Taking steps to safeguard local communities and human rights

An interview with Arturo Garrido Mora, director of the Department of Biological Sciences at Mexico’s UJAT University.

by Eni Staff
06 November 2020
3 min read
by Eni Staff
06 November 2020
3 min read

In all of the communities in which it works, Eni is committed to preventing any violation of human rights as a result of its projects. That’s why, in 2018, we adopted a risk-based model for classifying our Upstream business projects based on the potential risk they pose in this regard.

For any project that poses a “higher risk”, an in-depth analysis is first carried out before a Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA) is prepared. This involves, among other things, a preliminary analysis of existing human rights issues locally and then engagement with the main “rights holders”. A final report gathers recommendations for measures to manage any existing impact and prevent further exacerbation.

From your perspective, which are the highlights of the relationship between the new players in the Oil & Gas industry and local communities?

Taking into account that the oil activity in the Gulf of Mexico area was the object of an energy reform, where a series of recommendations were made on how to carry out the extraction of oil and gas, which also indicated a series of considerations tending to avoid deterioration of the environment as well as to promote the protection of resources, the stimulation of economic activities and the addressing of social vulnerability in the area; I consider appropriate the set of activities that Eni develops in the state of Tabasco, which include a series of projects and plans – such as the Action Plan on Human Rights – in order to respond to the various aspects mentioned above.

Arturo Garrido Mora.jpg

Eni México has shown a particular concern for the fishing communities, as well as for the productive activities, education, health and urban infrastructure of the community of Villa and Puerto Coronel Andres Sanchez Magallanes and of the other communities belonging to Area 1 Block, in the Municipality of Cárdenas, Tabasco.

Director of the Academic Division of Biological Sciences (DacBiol) of UJAT - Universidad Juarez Autonoma de Tabasco, in Mexico

According to the Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA) performed by the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR), a great challenge for the local fishing communities is related to the possible cumulative impacts from the activities of all the Oil & Gas companies in the area. From your point of view, which would be the most appropriate way to manage these impacts?

The use of environmentally friendly technologies that reduce impacts; to identify and design strategies for dealing with impacts on land and impacts on the marine zone and wetlands.

Eni Mexico is introducing a Human Rights Action Plan for its activities in Contract Area 1, based on the recommendations provided in the assessment performed by the DIHR. Which is your impression of the activities concerning the relation with local fishing communities? Do you consider other important initiatives or steps that could help Eni México to guarantee respect for the human rights of communities in this specific context?

Eni México has shown a particular concern for the fishing communities, as well as for the productive activities, education, health and urban infrastructure of the community of Villa and Puerto Coronel Andres Sanchez Magallanes and of the other communities belonging to Area 1 Block, in the Municipality of Cárdenas, Tabasco. For this, it has set a series of initiatives aimed at improving the quality of life of the region, in the different aspects mentioned. Regarding initiatives:

  1. Diversification of productive activities and innovative projects are an important option in the region
  2. Addressing problems related to the deterioration of the coastal environment and social vulnerability are an important aspect to address in the area
  3. The inclusion of gender and opportunities for young people is an important task that must be promoted in the impact area of the Eni project.