Home > Corruption, Human rights, LNG, mining, Papua New Guinea > Exxon-Mobil looks to buy off civil society in PNG

Exxon-Mobil looks to buy off civil society in PNG

Exxon-Mobil, developer of Papua New Guinea’s giant $18 billion Liquified Natural Gas project is looking to manage the project’s social and environmental image by sucking in PNG’s notoriously weak and gullible NGO sector with meaningless dialogue and the promise of future cash. Exxon’s strategy to nullify possible opposition and criticism through engagement with civil society organisations has previously been successfully used  in PNG by organisations like Chevron (working primarily with WWF) , by Placer Dome at its controversial Porgera mine (where they established a formal NGO committee) and by the World Bank.

From: steven.j.whisker@exxonmobil.com [mailto:steven.j.whisker@exxonmobil.com]
Sent: 29 September 2011 12:58
To: steven.j.whisker@exxonmobil.com
Cc: ruben.medrano@exxonmobil.com
Subject: EHL Biodiversity Strategy: Multi Stakeholder Meeting

Further to meetings held with you earlier in the year, EHL is progressing with the development of its Biodiversity Offset Delivery Plan.

In order to update you on the status of Biodiversity Offset Delivery Plan, discuss how EHL has addressed the many constructive ideas received from you to date, and receive further input from you to enable finalization of the Biodiversity Offset Delivery Plan, EHL will convene a Multi Stakeholder Meeting to be held in Port Moresby on Tuesday 25 October and Wednesday 26 October 2011.

Your participation in this Multi Stakeholder Meeting is most welcome (see below the list of invitees).

The venue will be confirmed in due course, as will the agenda and other details – in the meantime, please let me know if you plan to attend.



Megan Christensen / Ben Yaru

Oil Search Limited

Jane Mogina

  Mama Graun Conservation Trust Fund

Damien Ase


Ken Mondiai

  Partners with Melanesia        

Thomas Paka /Justin Ondopa

  Ecoforestry Forum

Francis Hurahura / Theresa Kas / Barbara Masike

  The Nature Conservancy

Neil Stronach / Eric Verheij / Ted Mamu


David Mitchell / Conrad Savy / Mahlette Betre

 Conservation International

Ross Sinclair

 Wildlife Conservation Society

Miriam Supuma / Banak Gamui


Annie Kajir

 Environmental Law Centre

Vojtech Novotny / Legi Sam

 New Guinea Binatang Research Centre

Sangion Tiu / Kelvin Waukave

 Research and Conservation Foundation of PNG

John Ericho

 PNG Conservation Forum

Arthur Georges

 Institute for Applied Ecology, University of Canberra

Lisa Dabek

 Woodlands Park Zoo

Rhodah Belden/James Laki

 Peace Foundation Melanesia        

Kay Kalim / John Michael / Rose Singadan


Prof. Frank Griffin / Prof. Chalapan Kaluwin



 University of Goroka


 University of Technology

Philip Siaguru

 Vudal University        

Dr. Nembou

 Divine Word University        

Steven Whisker
PNG LNG Project

Office: +61 7 3020 4513
Mobile: + 61 459 807 335

“One Project, One Team, Focused on the Fundamentals”
“Wanpela Projek, Wanpela Tim, Lukluk Long As Tingting Bilong Projek”

  1. October 4, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    I’d like to take the opportunity to respond to this blog post, on behalf of Esso Highlands, operator of the PNG LNG Project.

    External engagement is fundamental to how we conduct our business. Ongoing, meaningful dialogue with our stakeholders provides opportunities to listen to concerns, identify material issues, and ensure we are delivering on our commitments.

    PNG is a country of high biodiversity significance and conservation value – it’s what makes this country so amazing and unique. In recognition of this, as Esso Highlands Limited (a subsidiary of ExxonMobil) works to develop the PNG LNG Project we are implementing a Biodiversity Strategy which outlines how biodiversity has been and will continue to be managed as part of the Project. This strategy includes an Offset Delivery Plan.

    Consultation with stakeholders and interested parties is a key component in the development of this plan. To date we have met with local governmental and non-governmental organisations and experts as part of the consultation process. Strong and capable potential partners have been identified for implementation of the offset program, due to commence in the latter half of 2012.

    For further information about EHL’s Biodiversity Strategy please visit http://pnglng.com/commitment/biodiversity.html and for regular updates on the PNG LNG Project I encourage you to head to our website to read our Quarterly Environmental and Social Reports: http://pnglng.com/quarterly_reports/.

    Rebecca Arnold
    Media and Communications Adviser
    Esso Highlands Limited

  2. jwhnng226
    October 4, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Not to be a wet blanket. But how does this differ from other organizations proactively engaging with stakeholders.

  3. Jonathan.Oata
    October 26, 2011 at 10:18 am

    I would rather these sorts of Resource Developer-NGO dialogue and initiatives come through the already existing PNG Watch Council forum, or they shall be met with Legal suites for not complying to the PNG Watch Council & PNG Government Terms of Collaboration.

    Further to this the PNG Watch Council still believes that these initiatives are good but not regulated nor protected hence are prone to be abused by the Giant entities involved.

    The PNG Watch Council offers a table of dialouge and collaboration.

    Secretary General

  4. Peter Katapa
    May 9, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Good to see big giants in extractive industries trying to establish dialogue and work in collaboration with academic institutions and national and international NGO’s alike.

    Given the weak governance and lack of environmental policy implementation by legitimate government departments, these giants for sure they know that government departments have no teeth to bite, but NGO’s have the credentials to pursue environmental issues whenever and whoever does not comply with environmental legality of the operations of any kind. Theoretical plan can be a fabulous one but practicality of it matters.

    Peter Katapa

  5. August 13, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    Suspision is an healthy and effective force to ensure matters are dealt with diligently. Just because we have a fragmented legislative framework for environment perfomances by developers it does not give any a day off to do whatever they please.
    If you can to ‘force’ them then ‘shame’ them. Both produce the same result.

    Skeptisim is a healthy factor for corporate diligence…….!

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