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In Brief

Image by fordesbasement from Flickr. Used under the Creative Commons License.

  • The Global Witness website has a new look – check it out! www.globalwitness.org
  • Congratulations to PWYP Niger members Mme Naomi Binta Stansly and Mme Solli Ramatou, who were elected as women of the year 2013 by Afrique Médias Communications.
  • In case you missed it, please check out this op-ed from Marinke van Riet and CEO of Engineers Without Borders George Roter on the recent transparency legislation in Canada.
  • Ilgar Mammadov, a member of RWI’s advisory board, was this week sentenced to seven years imprisonment by the Azeri government. You can view Revenue Watch’s statement here.
  • The Revenue Watch Institute - Natural Resource Charter has launched an interactive guide to the EITI Standard. Amongst other things, the guide allows you to 'explore the opportunities in the EITI Standard in seven policy areas.' Why not check out the guide here? For more information about the guide, you can also read this fact-sheet.

Meet our activists – Christian Mounzeo from Congo-Brazzaville

Photo reproduced by permission of Andry Ralamboson Andriamanga.

Congo-Brazzaville is one of Africa’s key oil producers, yet 70% of its citizens live in poverty. For a decade, PWYP activists in the country have been calling for a more open extractive sector. Their key success isn’t only the implementation of EITI or the fact that oil contracts are public – it is the fact that, in a country where even talking about natural resources was taboo and dangerous, transparency has now become a norm.

Christian Mounzeo is national coordinator of PWYP Congo-Brazzaville and has campaigned for openness around his country’s natural resources for more than a decade, even being imprisoned by the authorities for his work. Here, he tells us in his own words why he campaigns on transparency.

"I became involved in the issue of transparency after having witnessed the conflicts, in ’93, ’97 or ’98, that my country lived through. In 2002 we conducted an analysis of the conflicts in Congo and it revealed to us how the conflicts had been closely linked to natural resources, in particular the issue of how natural resources were managed. It became clear that if we increased responsibility in the management of natural resources, there would be less opportunity for corruption, less opportunity to seize revenues and therefore a more responsible and equitable redistribution, to the benefit of all citizens. Transparency can bring peace to Congo. With transparency, we have accountability and responsibility. Citizens are informed; they see how their oil and minerals are managed. As such, their rights are taken into account."

If you’d like to meet more of our activists, why not explore our map?

Which countries have published their extractive contracts ?

Ever wondered which countries publish their oil or mining contracts?

We’ve updated our contract transparency map, which shows you just that and also links to the contracts themselves. Why not explore the map here?

If you feel there are any omissions on the map, or have any questions, please email apowell@publishwhatyoupay.org

Quick update from the EITI Board meeting

The EITI International board met in Oslo this week, here are some quick highlights:

  • The United States, Ethiopia and Papua New Guinea were accepted as candidate countries.
  • Yemen was suspended for failing to meet the deadline for its latest report.

Gender and the extractives, a quick look back at the past year

Image by Caro's Lines from Flickr. Used under the Creative Commons License.

Around this time last year, Publish What You Pay started looking more closely at the issue of gender, transparency and the extractives. In partnership with UN Women, we kicked off with a joint workshop in Tanzania to develop a common way forward between practitioners working on gender and those working on extractives. As part of this workshop, we created a gender-responsive version of our value chain. We wanted to highlight how the question of gender intersects the goal for transparency and accountability at every step of the value chain. If we want all citizens to benefit from their natural resources, we must ensure that women are being taken into account too.

Shortly after the workshop, we widened the discussion to others in a live-chat edit of this value chain. We are currently working on developing a more shareable and engaging format for the chain, so watch this space!

So, what else has happened over the past year in the field of gender and the extractives? This round-up is very far from exhaustive…

… visit our blog to read the rest of the article

Publish What You Pay welcomes a new coalition in Latin America !

We are very pleased to announce that RLIE (La Red Latinoamericana sobre las Industrias Extractivas) has joined the PWYP family as our coalition in Latin America!

RLIE, a network of civil society organisations across South America, was launched in 2009 by organisations concerned about the impact of extractive projects across the continent. RLIE aims to create a space for civil society to exchange, develop policies and coordinate on questions relating to the extractive industry and transparency, protection of nature and the environment and the respect of human rights.

Aroa de la Fuente, Latin America’s representative on the PWYP Global Steering Committee, had this to say about RLIE’s adhesion to PWYP:

"The commitment and work of PWYP and RLIE towards promoting measures for better transparency, access to information and governance of the extractive industries make this integration a unique opportunity to advance further on these questions in Latin America. Furthermore, it creates for RLIE an important space to place its regional agenda on the global level, given PWYP’s presence in various regions across the world. Meanwhile, this partnership represents an opportunity for Publish What You Pay to join the campaign in Latin America, through a network of organisations with extensive experience of the issue in different countries. Therefore RLIE celebrates this announcement that does nothing but give a new impetus to our work in improving the management of the extractives industries."

RLIE and its members have done some fantastic work over the years. We have a lot to learn from them and hope that they too will benefit from being part of our global coalition – there are some exciting times ahead!

PWYP USA urges SEC to match global transparency standard

Image by Wally Gobetz from Flickr. Used under the Creative Commons License.

The below is a press release from the PWYP USA coalition

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Publish What You Pay (PWYP), the global network campaigning for greater openness in the extractive sector, urges the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to issue a rule on payment disclosures for oil, gas and mining companies. In a statement submitted to the SEC and a meeting with SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White yesterday, members of the PWYP coalition presented their case for a strong rule for Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Section 1504) that aligns with the emerging global transparency standard. 

“The 2012 rule has ignited a global movement for transparency in the extractives sector,” said Jana Morgan, National Coordinator of Publish What You Pay – United States. “In issuing a strong rule in 2012, the SEC inspired the emergence of a global standard. It now needs to retake its leadership on transparency and re-issue a strong rule that aligns with the standard it helped to create.”

Less than two years after the release of the 2012 rule, more than 30 countries with large numbers of oil, gas and mining companies incorporated within their borders or listed on their stock exchanges have adopted, or have begun the process of adopting, mandatory disclosure laws. The reach of these transparency provisions has been enormous: of the world’s 100 largest oil and gas companies by market capitalization, 84 are subject to existing or future mandatory disclosure requirements in the EU, US, Norway or Canada. Of the top 100 mining companies, 58 are subject to these rules...

Read the rest of the press release online...