Geography

UN Agenda 21

Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) and Principle 6 of UN Agenda The Agenda 21 is a set of principles adopted by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development on June 1992, held at Rio de Janeiro. Principle 6 of the Declaration states that the special situation and needs of developing countries, particularly the least developed and those most environmentally vulnerable shall be given special priority. and international actions in the field of environment and development should also address the interests and needs of all countries (Agenda 21 Summary, 1992). The sustainable development initiative in the Arab region made significant accomplishments though there are obstacles ranging from poverty, illiteracy, population growth, debt, dry land, limited water resources and less agricultural land. The steps taken in the Arab nations were mainly aimed at ensuring peace and security, protecting environment and natural resources, developing institutional frame work for sustainable development, poverty alleviation, population health through sanitary services, clean water and food and education (The Sustainable Development Initiative in the Arab Region). In fact, the Petroleum Development Oman has adopted the path of sustainable development through all these years. The organisation considers the three pillars of sustainable development. people, profit and planet as the central themes of development. The PDO has developed six sustainable principles based on sustainable development ideology. They are. protect the environment, manage resources efficiently, respect and safeguard people, work with stakeholders, generate profitability, and benefit communities (PDO website). The first step in this regard is seen in the education and training initiatives of the company. As PDO claims, it helps students to complete their secondary education in government schools. In addition, it runs a vocational training Centre in Fahud for local people. Moreover, university students are allowed summer internships in PDO for better training. Furthermore, it has established a Centre for Bone-carving Craft and another one for Veterinary Care. Some others things worth mentioning are the Oil and Gas Exhibition Centre, the Planetarium, the Public Knowledge Library and the traffic Safety Institute. From these, the contribution from the part of PDO in improving the educational standards in Oman is clear. As an obligation towards the local community, PDO starts health clinics and delivers potable water to communities in the nearby area. In addition, the company provides job opportunities to the local people and engages in other corporate social investment projects like providing educational materials and information technology for the visually impaired. Moreover, as PDO claims, it provides around 500 grants and donations a year along with numerous other conferences and exhibitions. The most aggressive step initiated by PDO worth mentioning is the Greening the Desert Project. As a part of this project, the saline process water which is produced along with oil is filtered using reed beds and the filtered water is used to irrigate bio-saline trees and bushes. Thus, waster water is used for socio, economic and ecological benefits. As a measure to reduce its environmental impact, PDO started using a Geographic Information System (GIS) to identify and analyse the geography of any area before the project is initiated (Philanthropy). This shows PDO’s willingness to deal with the local environment and local people in the least harmful way. In addition, as a part of its health safety environment and sustainable development policy, the organization has produced specific guidelines restricting noise and vibration production at a level that harms human health and environment (Health Safety Environment and Sustainable Development, Petroleum Development Oman LLC). As a part of its effort to contribute positively to the society, PDO started its Local Community Contractors initiative. This provided the people in the concession area an opportunity to establish own companies for providing services to PDO, thus boosting the local economy. In addition, PDO provides employment to locals in large numbers. From the above, it becomes evident that PDO tries to comply with the principles 6 of the UN agenda by giving utmost importance to the educational, social, economical and environmental needs of Oman. Reference ‘Agenda 21 Summary’ 1992, United Nations: Department of Public Information, Jaygary.com, Viewed 5 March 2011 ‘Health Safety Environment and Sustainable Development’, 2009, Petroleum Development Oman LLC, Viewed 5 March 2011 ‘Philanthropy’, n. d, Petroleum Development Oman, Viewed 5 March 2011 ‘The Sustainable Development Initiative in the Arab Region’, n. d, pp. 1-3, Viewed 5 March 2011

Back To Top