Social License to Operate
We have all been hearing a lot about Concession Agreements, Special Regimes, Petroleum Laws and Exploration Rights. But in the midst of this mountain of legal documents, a key contract is left forgotten. Perhaps because it is not signed in ink or does not carry the weight of law, its importance is perceived as being somewhat inferior. I am referring to the social license to operate (SLO). This is the ongoing approval granted by all affected stakeholders of a given project. This concept goes beyond the mere acceptance of a project by the community. It is a situation whereby the community is engaged with and perceives the project as having a positive impact on their lives, and where there is a relationship of trust between the various stakeholders.