Habitat, Conservation and Education
Emerging economies often struggle to balance economic growth with the protection of vulnerable ecosystems. Just as we work to protect the environment in our own operations, we also share our expertise with others. In Equatorial Guinea, we have partnered with the National Institute of Forestry Development and Protected Areas (INDEFOR-AP) and the international Wildlife Conservation Society to improve farming and fishing practices in protected areas of the coast in a way that both allows residents to increase production and productivity, and ensures that renewable resources are managed sustainably. The goal of the five-year program, initiated in 2014, is to both improve residents’ quality of life and strengthen the management of the coastal protected areas. One resulting success has been the establishment of effective forums for communities to engage with the government and others on agriculture and fishing.
In Texas, we support environmental education through our first-of-its-kind partnership with the Texas Wildlife Association Foundation and its Learning Across New Dimensions in Science (L.A.N.D.S.) program. The L.A.N.D.S. program provides classroom curricula, special presentations, field trips, learning modules, webinars, and interactive video conferencing programs designed to increase natural resource literacy among students in grades kindergarten through 12.
We fund an educator to present L.A.N.D.S. programs to classrooms and provide related educational resources such as distance learning to 80 classes (reaching approximately 2,000 students annually). In the first four months, the educator exceeded the original presentation goal, delivering 146 presentations to 4,214 children in ten counties of west Texas.
Also in Texas, we’ve partnered with five other operators and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to form the Pecos Watershed Conservation Initiative. Our joint commitment of $3.5 million over three years will fund on-the-ground conservation projects to enhance and restore the natural resources and wildlife habitat in the region.
“The Pecos Watershed Conservation Initiative is a new way for those who care about wildlife and those seeking to tap the vast Permian Basin oil reserves to work together. All of the partners believe that we will be able to achieve long-term conservation benefits for species and for local communities.”
--Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
In Houston, Bayou Greenways 2020 is transforming 3,000 underutilized acres of land along the bayous into linear parks and connecting 150 miles of hike-and-bike trails to parks and communities like never before. We are one of the original sponsors of this ambitious project. Started in 2014, the project has made great strides in creating a continuous parks system along Houston’s major waterways. Once completed at the end of 2020, six out of ten Houstonians will live within a mile and a half of a Bayou Greenway. The added and enhanced greenspace is expected to provide $90 million in physical, mental environmental and economic health benefits to the “Bayou City.”