Earth Finds

Earth Finds

Incorporate Raised Gender Sensitivity Issues In EACOP ESIA Report

By Paul Kato

Gender issues during the previous processes to capture data to guide compensation of Project Affected People (PAPs) displaced by the oil refinery and Tilenga projects were not well captured by the relevant authorities including National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) resulting into families bitterly separating and divorcing.

The said gender issues were not only missed during data collection but even information provided during the consulting meetings were not clearly indicated in the Environmental Social Impact Assessments (ESIA) report by NEMA.

This is likely to happen again during the compensation of East African Crude Oil pipeline (EACOP) PAPs.

It is noted that during the oil refinery and Tilenga compensation, many gaps on gender issues, especially for women, girls and unmarried youth, were left out. This contributed to Total’s calling for more comments from CSOs last month.

The two ESIA reports did not incorporate gender issues well; for instance, the ESIA reports did not mention how women and girls would benefit from the oil projects especially sharing opportunities offered by the project like employment and business deals.

The ESIA reports are also silent on how women will benefit from the business opportunities that will come up once the project is up and running. Equal pay for the same work, safe working conditions, access to quality education and health services are not mentioned.

Girls that had already dropped out of schools seeking for employment and businesses in the oil fields and the unmarried youth who are above 18 years were excluded from the compensation forms. This means that the report recognized only the wife and husband.

Despite the fact that both the wife and husband names appear on the compensation forms, the ESIA reports did not indicate the percentage share for women. The reports did not indicate the compensation for crops which belong to women in the family. Sometimes, women have their own gardens.

The EACOP report should show the gender-sensitive issues clearly because, in the oil refinery and Tilenga cases, many oil affected families separated because of compensations which were not addressed properly.

Therefore, gender sensitivity issues should be considered well to avoid unfairness in the coming EACOP compensations. I call upon NEMA to ensure that gender sensitivity is well incorporated in the EACOP ESIA report before compensations.

Paul Kato is a Research Associate at Africa Institute for Energy Governance

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Save Forests & Wetlands To Avoid Human-Animal Conflicts

By Paul Kato

For over three years, the media has been reporting about the massive destruction of forests and wetlands in several parts of the country. Bunyoro sub-region has greatly been affected by this environmentally dangerous practice.

Because of the massive destruction of wild animal habitat areas by residents, there has been an increased rate of human-animal conflicts in the districts that make up Bunyoro sub-region - Kikuube, Hoima, Kagadi, Kakumiro and Kibale.

Unfortunately, residents, investors and government agencies and officials prefer to use animal habitant areas for economic activities like agriculture, charcoal burning, lumbering, sugar cane growing by Hoima Sugar company and oil and gas activities.

The massive destruction of forests and wetlands have led to the migration of wild animals like chimpanzees from their natural habitats. This has created a big competition for land space and food.

Also, many people, especially the vulnerable children between one year to four, have been attacked and injured by these animals; many have lost their lives.

It should be noted that the continuous massive destroying of the forests and wetlands is going to contribute to a big number of people and children being injured and killed by the wild animals.

Worthy to note is that this massive destruction of our natural forests and wetlands is going to result in a prolonged drought, floods, reduction of foreign exchange and climatic change among others.

Therefore, the forests and wetlands need to be protected and conserved by all stakeholders to avoid human-animal conflicts, climatic change and negative impacts on the people’s livelihoods.

Research shows that in Bunyoro region, 20 children have already been attacked and injured by wild animals, at list five have died because of ongoing human-animal conflicts.

Therefore, I call upon all the local leaders right from the grass root levels to the national level to carry out massive sensitization among the local communities, National Environment Management Authority, National Forestry Authority and Environmental Police to put in place new laws that are going to protect forests. People lack information about the importance of forests.

Paul Kato is a research associate at African Institute for Energy Governance  

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Chevron's E. Guinea, Cameroon Entry Could Be Turning Point for Central Africa's Gas Industry

The recently-announced acquisition of Noble Energy by Chevron for $13bn gives the American major entry into Equatorial Guinea's oil & gas sector, where Noble Energy has interests in the Alba Field (33% non-operated WI and 32% revenue interest), Block O (Alen Field 51% operated WI and 45% revenue interest) and Block I (Aseng Field, 40% operated WI and 38% revenue interest).

These assets in Equatorial Guinea represent 94 million barrels of oil equivalent of proved developed reserves and 38 million barrels of oil equivalent of proved undeveloped reserves. In addition, Noble Energy was also the operator Block YoYo in Cameroon and of the deepwater Block Doujou Dak (60% WI) in Gabon, where it was in the process of evaluating recently acquired 3D seismic data.

The acquisition has raised several concerns and questions, mostly because these assets are currently subject the CEMAC region's most ambitious gas development project. While the Alba Field has been feeding gas into Equatorial Guinea's Punta Europa complex for decades, including the EG LNG Plant, the AMPCO methanol plant and the Alba LPG plant, its declining reserves have led to the development of the Alen and Aseng fields as alternative sources of gas. In 2019, Noble Energy was at the heart of a groundbreaking agreement to launch the Alen Monetization Project, expected to ensure continued and stable gas supply to Equatorial Guinea's LNG and downstream revenue-generating infrastructure.

The project is still on track for delivery in 2021 and is the first step of the development of a much broader offshore gas mega-hub in the Gulf of Guinea. This regional gas hub would ultimately include the development of the Yolanda and YoYo discoveries located in Equatorial Guinea's Block I and Cameroon's YoYo Block, both operated by Noble.

The scheme is one of the most ambitious cross-border gas venture in Africa, and Noble's acquisition by Chevron has the industry worried about the future of the project under new operatorship. However, the African Energy Chamber believes that the entry of Chevron as operator for the offshore gas mega-hub could be transformational for the future of gas in Central Africa, especially at a time when Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Gabon and Congo are all multiplying efforts to monetize their domestic gas reserves.

Chevron is indeed a true gas player in the African market. In Nigeria, it has been leading natural gas commercialization efforts for decades through its Escravos projects targeting the monetization of 18Tcf of gas. These have resulted in the Escravos Gas-to-Liquids facility and the Escravos Gas Plant, both cornerstones of Nigeria's gas development strategy.

In Angola's Block 0 and Block 14, Chevron has demonstrated a remarkable ability to invest in cutting flaring and monetizing gas. In block 0, it still operates what is the world's largest LPG FPSO vessel, turning previously flared gas into cleaner fuels for Africans and the for the world.

"What we need now is a pragmatic commonsense approach that welcomes credible investors and see gas taking the lead in economic development and industrialization, therefore the entry of Chevron is extremely welcomed and should be accepted by all stakeholders," said NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber.

"Transaction and projects approvals should not be unnecessarily delayed, ensuring a quick and efficient takeover in the region so ongoing gas projects are not affected. This acquisition gives the region a very experienced and credible gas player with tried, true and tested solutions to support our gas ambitions. The Chamber believes that fast tracking approvals and driving commonsense measures around this deal will make the industry work," added Ayuk.

"From its Nigerian and Angolan presence, Chevron understands the issues and opportunities of developing African content. We expect its entry to be beneficial from a local content and capacity building perspective," said Leoncio Amada NZE, President for the CEMAC region at the African Energy Chamber.

"We hope that the authorities in Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea can do an efficient and fast track due diligence process, and ensure that Noble meets all its obligations to exit and create a seamless transition for Chevron. This is an opportunity for our public authorities to demonstrate their commitment to empowering investment and move away from an era of uncertainty to give confidence to future investors and stay competitive," concluded Amada NZE.

Climate Financing By Leading Multilateral Development Banks Tops $61.6bn

Climate financing by seven of the world’s largest multilateral development banks (MDBs) totalled $61.6 billion in 2019, of which $41.5 billion (67%) was in low- and middle-income economies, according to the 2019 Joint Report on Multilateral Development Banks’ Climate Finance.

The study expands the scope of reporting for the first time to all countries with multilateral development bank operations. It now provides data on MDB climate finance commitments beyond those directed solely at developing and emerging economies, but with the focus remaining on low- and middle-income countries.

This year the report combines data from the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Inter-American Development Bank Group (IDB Group), the World Bank Group (WBG) and – for the first time – the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), which joined the working group in October 2017. In 2019, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) also joined MDB working groups, and its data is presented separately within the current report.

The 2019 report shows that $46.6 billion, or 76% of total financing for the year, was devoted to climate change mitigation investments that aim to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions and slow down global warming. Of this, 59% went to low- and middle-income economies.

The remaining $15 billion, or 24%, was invested in adaptation efforts to help countries build resilience to the mounting impacts of climate change, including worsening droughts, extreme flooding and rising sea levels. Ninety-three percent of this finance was directed at low- and middle-income economies.

Additional climate funds channelled through MDBs, such as the Climate Investment Funds (CIF), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Trust Fund, the Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund (GEEREF), the European Union’s funds for Climate Action, and the Green Climate Fund (GCF), play an important role in boosting MDB climate financing.

In 2019, the MDBs report a further $102.7 billion in net climate co-finance – investments from the public and private sector – taking the total of climate activity financed in the year to $164.3 billion.

The MDBs have reported on climate finance since 2011, based on a jointly developed methodology for climate finance tracking.

The 2019 edition of the Joint Report on MDBs’ Climate Finance is published in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused significant social and economic disruption, temporarily reducing global carbon emissions to 2006 levels.

Dr. Anthony Nyong, Director of Climate Change and Green Growth at the African Development Bank, noted: “Our investments that contribute to the goals of the Paris Agreement continue to grow. The climate finance provided by the Bank increased from $3.2 in 2018 to $3.5 billion in 2019 – representing 35% of total project approvals worth $10.2 billion.” The largest climate finance investments were made in the energy, agriculture and transport sectors.

Importantly, the Bank exceeded its target of achieving parity between adaptation and mitigation finance by allocating 55% of its climate finance resources to adaptation and 45% to mitigation, whereas globally more than 70% of climate finance is allocated to mitigation. More global efforts are needed to build climate change resilience and adaptation in Africa.

“As African economies face the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, slacking action or redirecting financial resources from climate change will further compound these impacts in a diverse and complex manner,” Dr. Nyong cautioned.

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