In 2019 ERIAS was engaged by Oil Search to undertake environmental and social baseline studies to support an internal impact assessment of early works activities associated with their Associated Gas in Expansion (AGX) Project in the Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea. The studies were designed to align with International Finance Corporation (IFC) performance standards International Petroleum Industry Environmental and Conservation Association (IPIECA) guidelines.
The environmental baseline survey involved an aerial land use reconnaissance survey, catchment mapping, water and sediment sampling and terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity surveys (vegetation mapping, habitat classification and flora and fauna species lists). The results were presented in a comprehensive report.
The social baseline survey involved household and community-level socio-economic surveys, health and education surveys, cultural heritage assessments, land and natural resource use assessments and village mapping across 14 villages in Southern Highlands province. During the social baseline survey, ERIAS used a drone to map the villages within the study area, supporting the village mapping and the development of a comprehensive community atlas.
ERIAS also prepared the environmental and social impact assessment and a construction environmental and social management plan (CESMP).