On July 20, CEDIA participated in the Public Event “Approaching the Initiative for Transparency in Extractive Industries (EITI)”, organized by Law, Environment and Natural Resources (DAR) and the Propuesta Ciudadana Group. In addition, a working lunch was held on July 21 with the presence of the Head of the EITI International Secretariat, Jonas Moberg.
EITI consists of an international alliance made up of 51 countries that brings together governments, extractive companies (mining, oil and gas) and civil society to make transparent the payments that companies make to governments, in order to verify adequate accountability and that the resources obtained by the extractive activity promote the development of the member countries. DAR and the Grupo Propuesta Ciudadana are regular and alternate members of the EITI Peru National Commission.
Peru has participated in this initiative since 2005 and this year has received the certification of "compliant country" for the second time, with the requirements of the new standard; Furthermore, progress is being made in the decentralized implementation of the EITI in three regions (Piura, Moquegua and Arequipa).
At the first meeting, the Head of the EITI International Secretariat was a speaker, who pointed out that each country annually makes reports on the taxes paid by each of the companies, the same that is crossed with the information managed by the governments. He said that governance has improved in mining, compared to 5 to 10 years ago.
Also participating were Fernando Castillo (EITI Peru Technical Secretary) and representative of the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MINEM), Eduardo Rubio (Member of the EITI Peru National Commission and the International Council of EITI, Angloamerican), Epifanio Baca (Member of the National Commission EITI Peru Grupo Propuesta Ciudadana), César Gamboa (Member of the EITI DAR International Council), Patrick Wieland (Institutional Head of SENACE), Tessy Torres (President of the OEFA Board of Directors) and Vanesa Cueto (President of DAR).
The work carried out by the EITI is described in three moments:
1. A group of different actors at the national level (government, industry, and civil society) in each country decides how their EITI process should work.
2. Key information on the management of the sector is disseminated annually together with recommendations to strengthen governance; which is established through a value chain (licenses and contracts, production, tax collection, income allocation, economic and social contribution).
3. This information is widely disseminated to inform public debate and ensure follow-up of recommendations.
Contribution to public debate:
Publicly available information enhances the debate on the management and use of a country's natural resources. In this way, leaders can be held accountable for their decisions.
EITI data has been used to:
• Provide information for carrying out tax and legal reforms.
• Strengthen tax collection.
• Generate financial models to manage the rise and fall of raw material prices.
• Monitor compliance with contracts.
• Clarify the investment environment for companies.
The importance of this instance to make transparent the accountability of companies, as well as governments to publicize the use of economic resources from extractive industries for the benefit of the populations. It is important that countries publish timely and accurate information on key aspects of the management of their natural resources, including the way in which licenses are granted, the social and fiscal contributions that companies pay. There is a latent concern about information reporting, improved information automation, accessibility, and the use of information in a timely manner. So that the authorities incorporate the pertinent recommendations to improve governance and avoid future social conflicts.
It is also recognized that several member countries have been implementing the new EITI standard, with different degrees of progress. The local, regional and global demand of civil society and populations living in areas where extractive activities are carried out cannot be made invisible. Greater transparency and access to socio-environmental information is required in all processes related to this industry.
Considering that our countries are going through a new political and economic context, marked by the fall in the international prices of raw materials and the decrease in investments. They have responded by making socio-environmental standards more flexible, decreasing levels of transparency and accountability, reducing the citizen's right to free access to information and granting tax privileges.
In addition, we are experiencing great social conflict in the extractive sector and serious acts of corruption that involve private companies, senior officials and former presidents in Latin America and the Caribbean.
At CEDIA we believe that extractives companies currently generate large revenues for the State, which is why they should be supervised by civil society.