Close to 3.5 billion people live in resource-rich countries, but many of them do not benefit from the extraction of these resources, according to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). Total has supported the EITI — a coalition of producing countries, companies and NGOs working together to change this situation — since it was created in 2003.
On October 14 and 15, the organization’s Board met in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, a highly symbolic venue in a country long criticized for its lack of transparency and poor governance, but which has in recent years embarked on reforms welcomed by the international community.
It was a symbolic choice for Total, too, because EITI's Board took this opportunity to visit our Yadana gas field facilities on land and see our socio-economic program in action. The program provides access to healthcare, education, employment and infrastructure to communities living near the pipeline that carries gas from the production platform to Thailand.
The Board members — representatives of governments, civil society and businesses — were able to gauge the extent of the work done by Total on behalf of the people of Myanmar. We have always been confident that responsible economic development could help to support the transition to democracy begun in the country.
The Health Education Program created by Total in Myanmar
Training seminars on oil techniques and contracts
“Oil contracts and the sometimes large amounts of money involved have always encouraged imaginations to run wild, and operating companies are easy targets.” To bring certain truths to light and provide a more balanced picture, Jean-François Lassalle, Total’s Vice President, Public Affairs — France and NGOs, organized training seminars on oil techniques and contracts. Some 40 representatives of Asian civil society attended this two-day event, held on the sidelines of the Board meeting. “The idea is to let them walk in our shoes and have them arrange a project with us, so that they can see the constraints we have to deal with and how our safety, environmental and local development policies actually work in practice. That lets them understand how oil revenues are shared and at what level.”