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Energy and Mining
ConocoPhillips and its Partners Eni Venezuela and OPIC

The Gulf of Paria in eastern Venezuela is part of the largest marine and estuary ecosystem of the Orinoco Delta. The interface of fresh and salt water ecosystems with extensive stands of mangroves, many in pristine condition, make the area rich in species diversity and a highly productive fishing region. Unsustainable fishing practices are placing pressure on the Gulf's ecosystems. The increased presence of oil and gas production facilities may further stress the ecological processes of the region.

ConocoPhillips and its partners' concession in the Gulf of Paria is located near indigenous and traditional communities that rely on fishing as their primary economic activity. These communities suffer from high levels of poverty, and their long-term economic well-being depends on sustainable resource management. ConocoPhillps, as operator of the concession, and CI are currently working with local stakeholders to assess the biodiversity values of the region and design and implement measures that promote improved resource management from local communities, with an emphasis on generating local capacity for better fishing practices.

Launch Biodiversity Action Plan: CI and ConocoPhillips launched a Biodiversity Action Plan in June 2004 to promote environmental protection and regional economic development as part of the company's oil production strategy in the Gulf of Paria. CI and ConocoPhillips will engage local communities, governments, NGOs, and the private sector, particularly petroleum companies and fisheries, to implement recommendations developed from the 2002 AquaRap and 2003 threats and opportunities workshops. Read Further

Biodiversity threats and opportunities workshop: CI , ConocoPhillips and other stakeholders convened the workshop in April 2003. Using the data from the RAP and other studies of the region, the workshop identified what the threats to and opportunities for conservation in the region. A follow up workshop was held in August to define next steps in implementing a biodiversity action plan for the region. Implementation of these activities was agreed to in a Memorandum of Agreement between CI and ConocoPhillips in December 2003.

Conducted marine assessment: In December 2002, CI completed a marine Rapid Assessment Program (RAP) biodiversity survey of habitats near ConocoPhillips' concession area and local communities. Data collected from the RAP formed part of ConocoPhillips' Environmental Impact Assessment.


© CI, Leanne Alonso
Local fisherman. Venezuela AquaRAP.



IBAP (pdf, 403kb)
ConocoPhillips AquaRAP Report (Excerpted) (PDF)
Gulf of Paria AquaRAP Maps (PDF)

• In Depth: Caribbean Islands Hotspot
• ConocoPhillips Gulf of Paria Interactive Website

 Photo credits for banner image: (Off-shore Platform) © BP