Call for greater transparency in Papua New Guinea
7 January 2016
The Papua New Guinea Resource Governance Coalition (PNGRGC) is calling for greater transparency from the government and the extractive industries through the disclosure of information related to the value chain of PNG’s natural resource extraction.
“Informing communities about the importance of knowing their rights to resource projects and benefit sharing is especially important for all citizens, including women, children and the marginalised, but that is only possible if state agencies and the industry provide quality data and contextual information through the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)” said Martyn Namorong, Coordinator, PNGRGC.
Mr Namorong said that the people of Papua New Guinea had the right to know about the exploitation of their resources and called for greater transparency regarding information on contracts, licences, production values, environmental and social impact data and data regarding payments made by government and industry to various parties.
The EITI is a voluntary, global effort designed to increase transparency, strengthen the accountability of natural resource revenue reporting, and build public trust for the governance of these vital activities. It forms part of the government’s efforts to achieve progress towards the National Government’s vision put forward in 2015.
PNGRC is leading the charge representing the Civil Society and helping to secure concrete commitments from governments, resource owners, companies and the civil society in PNG to improve natural resource governance so that Papua New Guineans see their natural resource wealth being translated into sustainable human development.
The Secretariat hosted and attended a series of activities locally and abroad since September 2015 with the hope of forging partnerships with the civil society organisations, community members, government and the private sector organisations to ensure communities receive long-term benefits from resource projects.
In December last year, Mr Namorong and other members of the Coalition attended two capacity building meetings on resource governance in the Asia Pacific in Fiji on December 1-2 and Philippines December 4-10.
This was a follow up to the local roadshows held in Madang from November 9-13 and in Kokopo on November 25-27.
Mr Namorong said 2016 was an exciting year with EITI Roadshows planned for the Highlands and Southern regions.
PNG’s first EITI report is anticipated to be published early this year. Namorong commended the EITI National Secretariat and members of the EITI Multi-Stakeholder Group for their tireless efforts in overseeing the preparation of the report.
The PNG Government, through the Department of Treasury, has provided funding to setup PNGRGC and allow for its national awareness and advocacy on EITI, as part of the National Government’s commitment of PGK2.5 million for the implementation of EITI in PNG.