From Kyrgyzstan with love – a documentary on communities and mining

“I love my country, Kyrgyzstan. I love the scenery, I love the people of Kyrgyzstan and I want to see my country flourish so that the people find satisfaction in their lives, so that they benefit from our natural resources and so that our country remains as beautiful as ever.”

So says Kalia Moldogazieva as she sets off on a journey to two different mining areas in her country – one where she has been able to work closely with local authorities, mining companies and the community and one where she has not been in six years.

Kalia’s goal, and that of her NGO Tree of Life, a PWYP member, is to help local communities living in extractive regions access information and be empowered to take part in decisions made over how projects are carried out and where the mining profits of their districts should be directed.

PWYP members have said in the past that communities who are not listened to are more likely to engage in direct action or indeed violence in a bid to be heard. Unlike the rhetoric spouted by some, communities do not seek to impede modernity or progress, but to have their concerns and grievances heard and addressed. In Kyrgyzstan, this is a crucial issue as conflicts in mining areas break out regularly and rarely obtain positive results.

Watch this film to see Kalia’s journey unfold and find out what happens where dialogue is promoted, or where voices are ignored.

What members said of the film at its screening in Kiev:

Anila Hajnaj (Albania):

When I watched it the first thought was to stand up and hit the road! We can’t remain sitting still. It’s a big signal for civil society and those who sit in the MSG should make a serious difference. Very dramatic film!

Larysa Mykytko (Ukraine)

I liked so much the beautiful nature and those words of Kalia that she loved her country touched me a lot and echoed in my heart. I looked at those terrible conditions of roads that reminded me a bit of Ukraine and I wondered how the government can remain indifferent? The life of local population seemed so undeserving.. How can we use EITI to claim more accountability from the government?

Zhanibek Khassan (Kazakhstan)

I really liked the video, especially the close up filming. Seeing the sick people in the hospital really touched me. This film not only informs of crucial issues but emboldens fellow campaigners in PWYP coalition to take an action.

Communiqué of PWYP Eurasia meeting

On 27-29 April 2015 representatives of civil society from Albania, Azerbaijan, Germany, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan and Ukraine gathered in Kyev, Ukraine for the workshop on Ukrainian and Eurasian civil society in the EITI: Common challenges – joint approaches.
Civil society in the region faces similar difficulties in the implementation of EITI, whether that is ensuring that civil society is an effective participant of the multistakeholder group, having to operate in a restrictive environment or a lack of funding opportunities. The need for civil society to have a deeper knowledge of EITI and be better coordinated was expressed, and so this workshop also aimed to strengthen the network of PWYP Eurasia members with a view to promote sharing resources and information.

In order to face these challenges, participants met to not only share their experiences and best practices – in order for national coalitions to improve their own strategies based on shared knowledge – but also to strategise on how they could work together as a region to better implement and use EITI.

To this end, participants identified a series of best practices for benchmarking MSGs, which include the recommendations of holding the meetings in an extractive region outside the capital and the need for consultations with local communities in order to inform citizens about EITI. Participants also pooled their knowledge to map important extractive companies operating in their country, so as to find targets for joint advocacy and areas of common ground. Participants also agreed on a 2015 – 2017 joint action plan to promote and defend EITI implementation in the region.

Civil society organisations in the region are committed to EITI implementation in their respectful countries and share a number of recommendations.

That governments in the region ensure free, full, independent, active and effective participation of civil society in the EITI implementation process. Publish What You Pay members will monitor the situation in various countries and support members that face a deteriorating environment.
That governments embed EITI Standards in their national legal frameworks.
We call on global donor organisations to recognise that Eurasia is a region with much potential that faces many challenges, and to support projects in the region, particularly those related to transparency and accountability in the extractive sector.


We call on all extractive companies to adhere to and respect their EITI obligations in the respective countries of Eurasia. Too many companies are in breach of environmental regulation or fail to disclose their payments.


To call upon other countries in the region such as Georgia, Armenia, Russia, Romania to commit to the principals of transparency and accountability and implement EITI.

All decisions and recommendations are based on the principle that natural resources belong to the citizens and need to be managed responsibly and equitable so that women, men and youth in resource rich countries benefit.

Kyrgyzstan

Founded in November 2004, the NGOs Consortium on EITI in Kyrgyzstan has long worked with PWYP, finally becoming an affiliated coalition in 2013. As well as supporting EITI implementation, the consortium works extensively at subnational level, using its strong local networks to build a comprehensive dialogue between communities, mining companies and local authorities. In coming years, it aims to increase its reach to remote regions, to help decrease conflicts over resources within the population. The coalition also intends to develop youth leaders who can carry Kyrgyzstan’s extractive transparency movement into the future.

Testing the PWYP coalition model

The Overseas Development Institute carried out a study testing PWYP’s coalition model. Below is the introduction, click here to read the full report.

Introduction

Since its inception in June 2002, the PWYP campaign coalition has grown from a few UK-based organisations to become a global network of more than 700 organisations in almost 60 countries organised into a fairly loose alliance of affiliated national coalitions. Some of these coalitions share the same PWYP brand and logo, while others have distinct and independent identities. All, however, share the same status of affiliation, without differentiation.

With the growth and evolution of the global campaign has come two particular challenges. Firstly increasing demands on the international secretariat for coordination and support to national coalitions far outstrip its current capacities. Secondly, despite the important achievements of the campaign at the international level, national coalitions continue to face numerous operational challenges, which undermine their effectiveness to advance the advocacy agenda at national level. These problems are to be found at different levels and to differing degrees, though they are present in almost all coalitions in the resource-rich countries.

With this in mind, this study has two primary objectives:

1.     To test the organisational theory of change (“the coordinated, collective actions of a diverse coalition of organisations will be most effective in driving policy change for greater extractive industry transparency”) and assess the extent (and where, why and how) to which this theory has been proven at national level (or not).

2.     To assess the operational difficulties of coalitions and to recommend good practices for how coalitions can best be managed and supported.

The study began with a review of 10 country coalitions, selected in consultation with the International Secretariat: Ghana, Niger, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Chad, Indonesia, Australia, US and UK. Of the ten countries, field trips were conducted in first four while the remaining six were studied remotely through telephone interviews. 

After preliminary analysis of the country reviews, a number of common themes were identified.  These were tested across a wider sample of opinion through a Delphic consultation conducted through two mechanisms at the PWYP conference in Amsterdam in 2012 – an instant vote system of up to 100 delegates within a session at the conference, and distribution of a paper questionnaire to all participants who were then able to answer on paper or online. The survey received 54 responses.

Read the rest of the report.