Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
WesternZagros’ Responsibility and Commitment
WesternZagros believes our reputation is a critical component in the creation of long-term value for our shareholders. We also recognize that ultimate success is measured by our behaviour beyond the bottom line. Protecting and enhancing our reputation and license to operate is a significant element of sustained success and requires us to commit to corporate social responsibility across our organization.
WesternZagros is committed to conducting our business ethically, legally, and in a manner that is fiscally, environmentally and socially responsible. As WesternZagros continues to evolve as an organization beyond an exploration company, we will continue to implement changes to reflect leading corporate responsibility practices.
United Nations Global Compact in Iraq
On October 15, 2011, the United National Development Programme and the Iraqi Council of Ministers Secretariat launched the UN Global Compact in Iraq. WesternZagros Ltd. is pleased to be one of 31 Iraqi companies, civil society organization and multinational enterprises operating in Iraq who have formally joined and support this historic, important initiative promoting corporate social responsibility, economic and social development.
Millennium Development Goals in Iraq
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight goals identified by the UN Global Compact to be achieved by 2015 that respond to the world’s primary development challenges. The MDGs are crucial in achieving a better future for Iraq and its people. The MDG’s are drawn from the actions and targets agreed upon in the Millennium Declaration adopted by 189 nations and signed by 147 heads of state and governments at the United Nations.
What are these Eight Goals?
- Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
- Achieve universal primary education
- Promote gender equality and empower women
- Reduce child mortality
- Improve maternal health
- Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
- Ensure environmental sustainability
- Global partnership for development
What is the Time Frame to Achieve the MDGs and How will They be Achieved in Iraq?
The global deadline to achieve the MDGs is 2015. Over the course of the coming five years, the UN Global Compact in Iraq will work with the Government at all levels and with civil society organizations, academia, and the private sector to promote the MDGs, raise awareness of their importance and support their achievement. The UN Global Compact in Iraq will reach out to the most vulnerable groups; those living on or below the poverty line, refugees, returnees, the elderly, physically challenged, and, especially, rights of women, youth and children.
WHAT IS THE UN GLOBAL COMPACT?
The United Nations Global Compact is a world-wide strategic policy initiative for private sector businesses that are committed to promoting and aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.
THE TEN PRINCIPLES
The UN Global Compact's ten principles in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption enjoy universal consensus and are derived from:
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- The International Labour Organization's Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work
- The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development
- The United Nations Convention Against Corruption
The UN Global Compact asks companies to embrace, support and enact, within their sphere of influence, a set of core values in the areas of human rights, labour standards, the environment and anti-corruption:
Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights; and
Principle 2:make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.
Principle 3: Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
Principle 4: the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour;
Principle 5: the effective abolition of child labour; and
Principle 6: the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;
Principle 8: undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and
Principle 9: encourage thedevelopment and diffusion of environmentally friendlytechnologies.
Principle 10: Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.
Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)
WesternZagros Ltd. expresses it support to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). With our focus being in international operations, WesternZagros Ltd. believes in business transparency throughout is organization and operations. WesternZagros Ltd. commits to the principles in keeping open disclosure about our business, accessibility of records and maintaining fiscal responsibility. Revenue transparency is a key element in the relationship of our company and their countries where we operate. We believe that good governance is the basis for long-term sustainable development in the countries where we operate. WesternZagros Ltd. is pleased to show its support for this initiative to increase worldwide transparency in the oil and gas sector.
In October 2002, Tony Blair announced the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) at the World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. The EITI is a coalition of various stakeholders, including governments, companies, civil society groups, investors and international organizations that aim to strengthen governance by improving transparency and accountability in the extractives sector. The EITI International Secretariat is based in Oslo, Norway.
WesternZagros' leaders are responsible for integrating corporate responsibility considerations into all decision-making, in a timely and consistent manner. WesternZagros' workforce is expected to execute on these leadership decisions.
WesternZagros' management will lead and establish appropriate measures to effectively identify, monitor and manage corporate responsibility issues and performance relevant to our business.
Operating in Kurdistan, Iraq
Kurdistan is a rapidly growing semi-autonomous region of federal Iraq that has made significant progress for its people and WesternZagros is excited to participate in its civil and social development. Given the particularly disadvantaged nature of our operating area in the Garmian region of southern Kurdistan, the basis of our corporate social responsibility initiatives are to assist in meeting the basic needs of its people for access to clean water, health care and education.
The terrain, climate and historical events of the Garmian region have combined to create severe hardships for the residents of this area. Much of the Garmian receives less than 300 mm (12 inches) on average of rainfall per year. Unfortunately, over the years, water tables have fallen, and many of the wells and surface water sources have run dry.
Temperatures often exceed 50 degrees Celcius (122° F) during the peak summer months, adding further pressure on diminished water resources through evaporation and increased demand.
Rugged terrain, with steep jagged outcroppings of rock and deep stream valleys, characterize the northern half our operating block. Although residents use any arable land available for growing crops and grazing animals, much of the land area is unproductive.
During the Anfal genocide of the Saddam Hussein regime, many of the villages in the Garmian Region suffered atrocities. Villages were destroyed, citizens killed and survivors forced to flee or relocate to purpose built collection towns. The Anfal generated significant social and economic consequences for the villages, the effects of which are still evident. In addition, the Saddam Hussein regime invested little in infrastructure in the Garmian region on such issues as irrigation and water containment systems and neglected other important issues such as education and health care.
Throughout our block, most of the residents live in small villages of less than 100 people and rely almost exclusively on subsistence livestock and grain farming. Worsening drought conditions have recently resulted in poor crop yields and the culling of livestock herds. As a result, even with assistance from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), many villagers live in poverty. Sadly, as a result of these harsh living conditions and limited economic potentials, there continues to be a migration away from the rural villages to larger cities.
With the implementation of its CSR program, WesternZagros and its co-venturers are seeking to assist in the redevelopment and growth of this area. Our programs are designed to aid the efforts of the people in the Garmian region to overcome the obstacles they face. Ultimately, we strive to contribute to providing a sustainable environment that can fulfill the basic needs of the Garmian people. WesternZagros takes pride in its commitment to make a difference in the communities in which we operate.