Welcome to Know Your Resources, the news site of Equitable Origin which covers issues relating to energy, the environment, human rights and social innovation. We seek to share the diverse perspectives of our entire team as well as of leading experts across the sectors and disciplines with which we engage.

ISEAL Aliance Executive Director Karin Kreider's Perspective on World's First Certified-Responsible Oil Site

Sept. 16, 2014 | Written by Josh Garrett

Equitable Origin is the only standards and certification system for the oil and gas industry, but it has many counterparts in different industries around the world. Independent certification systems help identify and support more socially and environmentally responsible practices in agriculture, forestry, and water use, just to name a few.

Besides raising the bar for responsible practices in their respective industries, these systems also share membership in the ISEAL Alliance, the global membership association for sustainability standards.

We recently asked Karin Kreider, ISEAL's Executive Director, for her perspective on the first EO-certified responsible oil production site, and she kindly responded on camera. Watch the video below!

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Report on the World's First Certified-Responsible Oil Development Site

Sept. 12, 2014 | Written by Josh Garrett

Earlier this week, Equitable Origin issued the world's first certification for socially and environmentally responsible practices by an oil production operation. The certified site, located in Colombia and operated by Pacific Rubiales Energy, achieved certification by demonstrating adherence to the EO100TM Standard for best industry practices across several categories, like Fair Labor and Working Conditions and Climate Change, Biodiversity and Environment.

How did the site certification happen? What did EO's independent auditor Deloitte Colombia find there? Keeping with our dedication to complete transparency, we've published that information on our website, in the form of a Certified Site Profile. The site profile gives some basic information about the site itself, including photos, maps, and key facts like the amount of oil it produces each day. Appended to the profile is the summary audit report for the site ...

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Certified Responsible Oil Production: From Crazy Idea to Reality

Sept. 10, 2014 | Written by David Poritz

It only took a few visits to the oil-producing region of the Ecuadorian Amazon before I realized that I wanted to do something drastic to help improve the lives of the people there. I was only 15 at the time, but it was painfully obvious that what these communities needed in order to achieve a better way of life was a new approach to oil development--the root of so many of their social, environmental, and public health problems.

The problems I encountered in Ecuador related to oil development can be seen in many parts of the world, and are becoming increasingly common as development expands into new places. Here in the U.S., shale development enabled by hydrofracking has brought on a boom in oil and gas development that is expected to continue for decades. In some cases, these trends ...

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What is #ResponsibleOil?

Sept. 9, 2014 | Written by Josh Garrett

The Quifa and Rubiales fields in Colombia, the world's first independently-certified source of responsible oil.

As with wood products, diamonds, and coffee, there are responsible and irresponsible ways to explore for and produce oil and natural gas. Responsible oil is produced using practices that respect the rights and wishes of local communities, provide an equitable share of the economic benefits with those communities, and minimize environmental impacts. Some oil and gas companies already use responsible practices, but too many don’t. At Equitable Origin (EO), our mission is to make responsible oil the industry norm rather than the exception.

Our mission began five years ago, when we set out to define exactly what responsible oil and gas exploration and production meant. We consulted academics, community leaders, Indigenous Peoples groups, government regulators, and oil and gas companies, often bringing together ...

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EO Certifies first Site for Responsible Oil Production!

Sept. 9, 2014 | Written by Josh Garrett

We are extremely pleased to announce that EO certified the world's first oil production site under the EO100 Standard! The site, which consists of two oil fields in Colombia, is operated by the country's largest private operator, Pacific Rubiales Energy. The site is one of the largest in Colombia, producing 250,000 barrels of oil per day, about 25 percent of total national output.

This a huge milestone for Equitable Origin and a big step forward for improved social and environmental practices in the oil and gas industry.

For more information on the site, read our press release. We look forward to sharing more about our first certification and what it means in the coming days and weeks. > Read more

EO Founder and President David Poritz Interviewed on NPR's "Radio Boston"

Sept. 6, 2014 | Written by Josh Garrett

David at the WBUR studio in Boston for his interview. (photo: Sacha Pfieffer)

Co-founder and President of Equitable Origin David Poritz appeared on National Public Radio Station WBUR Boston on Friday to discuss the film "Oil and Water" and EO's work and mission. David and "Oil and Water" co-director Laurel Spellman Smith were interviewed by reporter Sacha Pfieffer for the "Radio Boston" program.

In the interview, David recounts his early experiences with oil development in the Ecuadorian Amazon that led him to create and grow EO. He also affirms his belief that collaborative, market-friendly systems like the EO100 Standard and certification system are effective ways to improve social and environmental practices in the oil and gas industry.

Listen to the full interview below or read the written summary on the "Radio Boston" website. > Read more

EO travels to Belize to meet with Maya leaders

Sept. 4, 2014 | Written by Sofia Castello

The EO team travels to Toledo, Belize to discuss oil & gas exploration with Maya communities

On the 22 and 23 of August, Equitable Origin President David Poritz and VP of Standards and Stakeholder Engagement Soledad Mills traveled to Belize with James Anaya, former UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, to meet with the Maya Leaders Alliance and the Toledo Alcaldes Association. Meetings took place in the town of Punta Gorda, near the Sarstoon-Temash National Park in southern Belize, where approximately 35 indigenous communities in the area have been fighting for land rights for almost three decades.

The purpose of the trip was to discuss the use of the EO100 Standard in negotiations over oil and gas exploration in the Sarstoon-Temash national park, where exploration activities began in the mid-2000s without consultation or consent from indigenous peoples.

These exploratory activities negatively impact Maya land and communities . In February 2012, explosives from seismic testing ...

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Jhon Wajai: The EO100 Standard as a Tool for Empowering Indigenous Communities

Aug. 21, 2014 | Written by Jhon Wajai

Jhon Wajai

Jhon Wajai is a member of the Shuar Indigenous People of Ecuador and Peru. He provides technical and political support to Indigenous Peoples’ organizations in the Amazon region, including CONFENIAE, Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon, and COICA, Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon River Basin. After participating in the Indigenous Community Workshop in San Pablo, Ecuador on July 31, he wrote the following refection on Indigenous Peoples' rights and the EO100TM Standard.

For indigenous peoples, the past remains like a footprint in history, providing context and allowing for deep reflection as we face new realities and challenges. As our leaders prepare for transitions and begin new discussions, they attempt to meet the needs of new generations with dignity, and call into action the rights that have been granted through local, national and international legislation.

Communities ...

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Indigenous Community Workshop: San Pablo, Ecuador

Aug. 12, 2014 | Written by Pablo Yepez & Sofia Castello

On July 31 and August 1, 2014, Equitable Origin was invited to participate in a workshop with COICA and CONFENIAE, indigenous organizations of the Ecuadorian Amazon, to discuss best practices in the oil & gas industry and potential uses of the EO100 Standard. The workshop took place in the Siekopai community called San Pablo de Kantesiayá, in the province of Sucumbíos in Ecuador. Participation in the workshop was part of EO's ongoing engagement with communities affected by oil & gas development to raise awareness of the EO100 Standard and to collect experiences and concerns that can help improve the Standard.

About 30 people attended the workshop, including representatives of the Siekopai, Siona, Cofán, Wuaorani, Kichwa, Shuar and Achuar indigenous nationalities. The aim of these meetings was to gather communities interested in and affected by the social and environmental impacts of oil & gas development, and introduce them to the potential uses of the EO100 Standard in forming a basis for negotiating better practices.

On the first day of the meeting, Equitable Origin's Senior Advisor Dr. René Ortiz, an expert on the oil & gas industry and former OPEC Secretary General, presented on technological advances that can can reduce negative impacts on the environment. He advocated for understanding and recognizing human rights, land rights and resource rights, and spoke of the EO100 Standard as a pioneering initiative that can help indigenous organizations participate in and benefit from resource development taking place in their territories.

On the second day of the workshop, technical representatives of Equitable Origin, CONFENIAE and COICA explained the structure of the EO100 Standard and the collaborative process and stakeholder engagement that went into creating it. Organizations and communities have adopted the EO100 ...

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Oil & Water screens at Rhode Island International Film Festival

Aug. 8, 2014 | Written by

Rhode Island International Film Festival

An enthusiastic audience collected in Providence, RI at 2:30pm on August 7, 2014 to watch the screening of Oil & Water at the Rhode Island International Film Festival.

EO’s President and Co-Founder David Poritz participated in a Q&A session after the film with director Laurel Spellman Smith, answering questions that ranged from updates on the progress of Equitable Origin and the Cofan Survival Fund, to the best ways of changing oil companies’ practices. Poritz discussed the benefits of the EO100 Standard in incentivizing oil companies and providing a choice for consumers that allows them to support best practices.

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