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Philippines applies to become EITI candidate

On 5 April, the Philippines government submitted its candidature application to the International EITI Secretariat. The EITI International Board is expected to make a decision on the Philippines’ candidacy at its meeting on 22 May 2013. 

President Aquino of the Philippines had originally committed to implementing the initiative in July 2012. Since then the government – in collaboration and with the support of the PWYP affiliated coalition Bantay Kita – has been working on the completion of its application.

Before being accepted as an EITI candidate country, applicant governments must meet five sign-up requirements.

These include having issued a public statement of intention to implement the initiative; committing to working with civil society and companies throughout the process; appointing a senior individual to lead on the implementation; establishing a multi-stakeholder group to oversee the implementation of EITI and the publication of a fully costed work plan by the multi-stakeholder group.

Following the government’s public statements of intent, a multi-stakeholder group was formed and officially inaugurated on 18-19 January 2012.

For more information on the Philippine’s application, read the joint statement  from the government, the chamber of mines and PWYP affiliated Bantay Kita.

You can find out more about the campaign in the Philippine’s by visiting PWYP’s Philippine’s page  or PWYP affiliated Bantay Kita

New civil society representatives join the OGP Steering Committee

On April 22nd- 24th the Open Government Partnership (OGP) held its Steering Committee Meeting in London.

The OGP is a global initiative promoting transparency and good governance through securing concrete commitments and action plans from national governments. These can touch upon a range of issues – from enhancing budgetary transparency to encouraging civic engagement or using technology for innovation.The partnership was launched by eight countries in September 2011. Since then 47 countries have added their names to the list. 

Joining the OGP Steering committee for the first time are three new civil society representatives: Alejandro González of GESOC (Mexico), Maryati Abdullah of Publish What You Pay Indonesia (Indonesia) and Veronica Cretu of the CMB training center (Moldova).

Maryati Adbullah, PWYP Indonesia’s national coordinator, said of the partnership:

"The OGP represents a good opportunity for publish what you pay and natural resource governance movements, with more than 35% of OGP's countries having included natural resource and extractive sectors in their commitments and action plans ".

The Philippines – keeping the elections clean

As the Philippines gears up to its national elections in May, civil society has been campaigning to keep the elections clean.

In the Philippines, political candidates are not allowed to receive contributions from extractive companies (or individuals involved in extractive companies).

Bantay Kita, the PWYP affiliated coalition in the Philippines, has created this infographic to raise awareness of this law. It explains to citizens exactly what this law means and what to do if they suspect campaign finance violations.

In Brief

Transparency International in Papua New Guinea is hosting a two day workshop to raise awareness on EITI. The government had recently expressed interest in joining the initiative

Voting for the best photos in the Goxi photo competition has now closed. The top ten photos will be announced on the 25th…

… however, voting for the best video on natural resources for the EITI competition is still open for another week! You can watch the videos (and vote for the PWYP Niger film) here.

Women('s) Rock(s)

With thanks to Marinke van Riet, PWYP’s International Director, for writing this blog

The first steps towards a gender response extractive industry: an engendered  value chain

Gender equality and women’s empowerment are these days widely recognised as integral and inseparable parts of any sustainable pro-poor development strategy.  Studies have shown that countries which have taken positive steps to promote gender equality have substantially higher levels of economic growth.    

Considering that the extractive industry is increasingly linked to sustainable development theory and practice, as demonstrated by the Africa Mining Vision and the Australian government-funded Mining for Development it is surprising to note that the issue of women in the extractive industry is often overlooked. Surprising indeed, as Faith Nwadishi from PWYP Nigeria feels that the negative impact of the oil business in her country has a woman’s face.  To help shed more light on this Publish What You Pay has partnered with UN Women to work towards a gender responsive industry.  The first activity in the exciting new partnership took place in Tanzania on 4-5 April where representatives from government, the United Nations and PWYP came together to explore this issue and map the way forward.   

As part of the dialogue UN Women and PWYP representatives from Sierra Leone, Sudan, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, UK and DRC organised an internal meeting to analyse the PWYP extractive industry value chain, the Chain for Change, through a gender lens.  While such analyses have been carried out on other value chains, for example in the agriculture sector, it is the first time, to our knowledge, that this has been done for an extractive industry value chain.  The full gender analysis is still a work in progress but here are some interesting excerpts worth exploring further… read the rest of the blog online

Democratic Republic of Congo suspended from EITI

The International EITI Board has suspended the Democratic Republic of Congo for a year from the initiative.

Since becoming a candidate country in 2007, the DRC has published four reports and undergone two validations. However, the board expressed concerns at the quality of these reports – notably in terms of the reliability of the figures and the requirement for full disclosure.

Yet the initiative has contributed to a greater debate within the country on natural resources and the reports highlighted some interesting – if worrying – facts.

- On 16 April 2013, EITI DRC announced that $88 million in mining revenues were missing.  The funds, which should have been paid by tax bodies to the central bank, date from 2010. The tax authorities have been as yet unable to prove that they paid the money out.

- Despite DRC’s abundant natural resources, EITI reports showed that extraction only contributes 5% to the GDP.

The International Board identified a series of corrective actions the DRC can undertake over the next year to be reintegrated into EITI. If these actions have not been taken by April 2014, the Board will consider delisting DRC.

PWYP DRC wrote a position paper (in French) detailing civil society’s reaction to the Board’s decision. They were pleased to note that the EITI Board had recognised the progress and achievements that DRC had made towards the implementation of EITI.

According to the paper, this suspension should be taken as an opportunity: to improve DRC’s implementation of the initiative as well as the bodies charged with the implementation.

CSOs also outlined a series of recommendations for the EITI committee in DRC to ensure that they put implementation of the initiative back on track.

For more information, visit DRC’s page on the EITI website.

PWYP & UN Women - A Communiqué

Earlier in April, UN Women and Publish What You Pay organised a workshop – the first milestone in their new partnership – to focus on the impact the extractive industries has on women.

This communiqué below (the full communiqué is on our website) summarises some of the key outputs of the meeting.

Please email us if you would like to be involved in this work area.

On 4-5 April, 2013, 40 representatives from government, civil society and the United Nations (Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda) gathered in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania to launch a dialogue on gender and the extractives. The meeting marks the first milestone in the partnership between UN Women and Publish What You Pay (PWYP) to work towards a gender responsive extractive industry in Africa.

The dialogue had two broad objectives: to develop a better understanding of the gender dimensions of the extractive industry and to map a way forward in shaping a more gender responsive extractive industry.

Natural resources represent a major source of wealth for economies around the world, and are central to Africa’s economic growth and development. The full benefit of these resources will only be enjoyed if they are managed in a transparent and responsible manner and directed towards creating sustainable and equitable economies and societies.

A better understanding of the gender dimensions of the extractive industry is vital to improving development outcomes both at the micro and macro levels and in affected communities.

Gender and women’s empowerment should not be an afterthought in natural resource management, but an integral and explicit component which is addressed along the extractive value chain. It is in this light that UN Women and PWYP initiated a gender analysis of the Chain for Change, the Extractive Industry value chain PWYP has developed for and from a citizen’s perspective.

Below are the issues raised during the dialogue…visit our site to read the rest of our communiqué.