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Community Engagement - Research Paper Example

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By depicting themselves as part of the communities, companies such as Dart Energy, IGas Energy and Cuadrilla Resource Company have taken initiatives to improve the lives of the…
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Community Engagement
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Running head: community engagement 19th June UK shale gas companies engage themselves strongly in the matters relating to the communities. By depicting themselves as part of the communities, companies such as Dart Energy, IGas Energy and Cuadrilla Resource Company have taken initiatives to improve the lives of the community within the location they are located. For instance, Cuadrilla Resource has adopted the culture of consulting the communities before engaging in exploration activities in areas such as Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood. This entails consulting over 9000 households as well as holding events whereby the communities are provided with information regarding the activities of the company. Additionally, during the exploration activities, the company ensures that they provide funds to assist in the establishment of projects or in compensation of the ones which are destroyed in the process. One of the notable way through which the companies protect the interest of the local communities is by ensuring that the environment is not negatively affected as well as reduction in the carbon emissions. Thus, the companies undertake Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) whose findings are vital during the consultation process (Community Benefit, 2014). On their part, the communities provide their representatives who engage in consultation with project team leaders and making recommendations. The companies’ philosophy is based on talking to local residents and representatives at all the stages of the exploration process. In its effort to inform the public, Cuadrilla and other companies ensure that they announce the proposed exploration sites. For instance, in January 2014, Cuadrilla announced new exploration location in Flyde and currently it is consulting with the local communities about their proposal. Thus, the communities have an opportunity to provide feedback on the company’s proposal.
Apart from holding meetings with local associations and interested parties as well as communities, the companies consult with local businesses on a one to one basis. In this way, the companies ensure that the interests of the business communities are taken into consideration while at the same time ensuring the responses are clear and avoid the confusion (Cristina, 2014). UK shale gas companies have also embarked on undertaking public exhibitions whereby large number of people provides ideas that are vital in the formation of the development proposals. Additionally, public exhibitions provide ample opportunity through which the questions from the members of the communities can be effectively answered by the team leaders (Community Consultation, 2014). As a way of indicating their appreciation and support of the communities, the companies have adopted the strategy of distributing hundred thousands pounds to the communities’ projects that are neighboring the exploration sites. The distribution of the funds is undertaken by an independent community funds. One of the major advantages of the engagement of the gas companies is that it is long term. This implies that communities will continue to benefit as long as the companies will continue with the exploration activities. As a result of their engagement with the communities, the companies are able to operate in a reliable and safe manner. It is vital that companies in other countries emulate the engagement of the UK shale gas companies in order to address the conflict that arises between the companies and the local communities.
References
Community Consultation. Available: http://www.dartenergyscotland.co.uk/community-matters/community-consultation.html. Last accessed 19 June 2014.
Community Benefit. Available: http://www.cuadrillaresources.com/benefits/community-benefit/. Last accessed 19 June 2014.
Cristina, 2014. Cuadrilla – Community Engagement Developments in the Fylde. Available: http://www.shale-world.com/2014/04/30/cuadrilla-community-engagement-developments-fylde/#sthash.u1SDMPJY.39wPrzki.dpbs Last accessed 19 June 2014. Read More
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