Information on resources development will benefit landowners, says analyst

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Landowners can benefit from their resources if information about the development of their resources is made clear, says analyst.
Philippines Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) technical policy analyst Marco Zaplan told the High Level Open Government Partnership (OGP) Conference in Port Moresby yesterday that the partnership between the OPG and EITI in the Philippines has led to the availability of information to citizens, citizen partnership in the industry and public accountability.
“The main importance of the EITI is that citizens, the owners of the natural resources benefit from their natural resources,” Zaplan said.
“There has to be high transparency and accountability in the (extractive) sector for that to happen.” He highlighted that the EITI work in providing information simultaneously achieves the OGP’s goal of transparency and accountability.
“If communities do not know how much they should be receiving from the extraction of their resources and what the social and environmental impacts are then, how can they meaningfully engage in the management of their resources,” Zaplan said.
He said the partnership between the OGP and EITI in the Philippines has ensured greater citizen participation in the extractive industry.
PNG EITI head of National Secretariat Lucas Alkan said establishing the OGP in PNG requires more work.
“We can look at the implementation of the EITI in PNG as a model to see how we can best set up OGP,” Alkan said. “The information provided by PNG EITI has been useful as we saw EITI data used in reports by Jubilee Research Center in Australia and the opposition using EITI data to question the government”
Alkan said future EITI reports will provide information from subsidiaries of mother companies operating in PNG. Also he said the reports will include data from sub-national levels.
EITI is a global standard promoting transparency and accountability in the mining, oil and gas industry. It’s implemented in 51 countries including PNG and the Philippines. The OGP is a global initiative which PNG intended to be a member in 2015. Its objective is to improve government transparency and accountability and responsiveness to citizens.

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