PDO Signs MoU With Environment Society of Oman to Boost Sustainable Development
Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) has signed a co-operation agreement with the Environment Society of Oman (ESO) as part of its commitment to create sustainable employment and business opportunities for women.
Under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the Company will partner with ESO to upgrade the skills of women on Masirah Island who were previously trained by ESO on the production of recycled paper products as part of its community outreach efforts.
The women will receive further training under PDO’s Banat Oman social enterprise which offers vocational training and business opportunities to local women with the aim of promoting self-employment and sustainable development.
The MoU also serves ESO’s quest to raise awareness about the loggerhead sea turtle, which the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) assessed as being critically endangered. An estimated 13,000 loggerhead females nest on Masirah annually, well below the 30,000-40,000 number estimated around 20 years ago.
The women will be trained on sewing and rubber waste upcycling skills to produce turtle souvenirs and toys, with a percentage of the profits going towards research.
The MoU was signed by PDO Managing Director Raoul Restucci and Her Highness Sayyida Tania bint Shabib Al Said, President of ESO.
Mr Restucci said: “PDO is committed to supporting women in forging their own careers and businesses and providing more training opportunities for them through PDO’s Banat Oman programme which is an example of this strong commitment.
“We are also a keen advocate of environmental protection and support any effort inside and outside our concession area designed to promote and enhance an environmentally friendly culture.”
HH Sayyida Tania Al Said said: “Our partnership with Banat Oman is mutually beneficial and supports both ESO’s and PDO’s goals to economically empower women in the Masirah community.
“The project aims to produce environmentally friendly products targeted at raising awareness of the importance of turtle conservation for Masirah’s marine and coastal ecosystem. The funds raised will primarily provide a source of supplementary income as well as provide a platform for up to 50 women over the two-year period of the MoU to take leadership on raising awareness amongst their community on behavioural changes to conserve their coastal ecosystem for their immediate livelihood and generations to come.
“Masirah is home to the second largest nesting loggerhead population worldwide and its recently announced threatened status is of local and international concern and responsibility.”
Funds will also be used to feed back into ESO’s research and conservation programme which employs three young Omanis as field assistants and the Community Outreach Manager.