Engaging with communities
Respectful engagement with local communities is critical to the success of projects and long-term operations. We need to understand the priorities and address the concerns or grievances people may have.
It is important to us that people in communities are able to contact Shell, give feedback and receive a response or action from us. We have implemented community feedback mechanisms at major operations and projects to receive, track and respond to questions and complaints from community members before they can escalate.
In South Korea, for example, the local community was concerned about noise levels from the construction of the Prelude floating LNG plant. We responded by installing industrial silencers to reduce disturbance from the shipyard. Read more about this story.
In Colombia we engaged with local communities located along the Caribbean coast to understand their concerns around safety whilst fishing at sea. Following these engagements a programme sponsored by Shell, fishermen and women from Colombia’s coastal communities have adopted new safety practices designed to reduce risk. Read more about this story.
We have also worked with IPIECA (the global oil and gas industry body for environmental and social issues) to include our experience in managing community feedback in publicly-available guidance documents and toolkits. This helps our industry to improve its management of community concerns.
Our operations in parts of the world affect indigenous peoples who hold specific rights for the protection of their cultures, traditional ways of life and special connections to lands and waters. In countries indigenous peoples also hold specific rights recognised by law that protect their cultures and ways of life.
In line with the Shell General Business Principles, and in support of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Shell continues to seek the support and agreement of indigenous peoples potentially affected by our projects.
We do this through mutually agreed, transparent and culturally appropriate consultation and impact management processes. It requires open dialogue, good faith negotiations, and, where appropriate, the development of agreements that address the needs of indigenous peoples.
We recognise the principle of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC), as interpreted by the International Finance Corporation Performance Standards, as a safeguard for indigenous peoples’ rights. We believe our approach is consistent with the application of this principle, while respecting the laws of the jurisdictions where we operate.
From language and traditions to treasured artefacts, cultural heritage is valuable for generations of people. Our specialists work to preserve cultural heritage in and around our operations.
In 2019, a new approach by Shell to a seismic survey in Albania identified numerous sites of cultural significance ahead of the survey starting which gave experts time to devise ways of protecting them.
This helped to build trust with stakeholders, reduce project delays and minimise any potential safety-related incidents.
Shell’s innovative approach received backing from regulators and a subsequent seismic survey was carried out using this method in 2021.
Our operations sometimes require temporary or permanent access to areas where people are living or working.
We first try to avoid resettling people, but where unavoidable, we work with local communities to help them relocate, maintain their standard of living and if necessary, find new livelihoods.
This is done through the development and implementation of Resettlement Action Plans, or Livelihood Restoration Plans.
As a partner in the Karachaganak Petroleum Operating BV consortium (KPO), Shell has closely supported the cooperation with the regional government in northwest Kazakhstan to enable the safe relocation of people from the villages of Berezovka and Bestau. Read more about this story.
In Cagayan de Oro, a city in the Philippines, Shell worked with the local government to resettle people affected by our operations. Read more about this story.
As part of our commitment to work with communities affected by our operations, Shell restores land following the decommissioning of a project. For example, in Sichuan province in southwest China, we safely restored an area used for drilling wells. Read more about this story.