sharing in governance of extractive industries
EITI-Colombia has published verified revenue information, shone a light on revenue distribution to regions and started to tackle challenges in environmental regulations.
Colombia was assessed today as the first country in the Americas to meet all the requirements of the EITI Standard. The EITI Board reached that decision in its meeting in Berlin today. The Board found that Colombia had demonstrated satisfactory progress in all requirements of the EITI Standard.
Fredrik Reinfeldt, Chair of the EITI, said:
“Colombia has made rapid strides in making its extractive sector more transparent. I congratulate all stakeholders on making the EITI a tool to build trust in a post-conflict Colombia. We particularly applaud the launch of the user-friendly online platform to collect and share information on the extractives sector.”
Carlos Cante, Vice-Minister of Mines, EITI Champion and member of the Board, commented:
“We are leading a worldwide recognized commitment to transparency, good governance and good practices. This creates a good investment climate for foreign investment in a key sector for the national economy. This government has secured funding together with international partners for USD 2.5 million for the next four years for the EITI”
Colombia began implementing the EITI in October 2014 shortly after reaching the milestone of producing 1 million barrels of oil a day. This raised the question of whether the new revenue might help end the decades of violent conflict.
EITI-Colombia has published three EITI Reports covering revenues from 2013 to 2016. These provide extensive information on the hydrocarbon and mining sector including mining licensing systems, revenue distribution, subnational revenue, and environmental regulations. Ecopetrol has participated in the EITI process and has committed to deepen its transparency practices.
It has identified a number of areas to ensure growth in the sector translates to sustainable development and peace building.
Colombia is committed to put in place a national framework for disclosing beneficial ownership information. While proposed legislation is stalled, EITI-Colombia has been working to make sure that this information for the extractive sector is available by 2020.
Stakeholders agree that the EITI should play a coordinating role in reaching out to extractive communities. With the imminent elections, new authorities will find an established EITI process with plenty of opportunities to furthering good governance of its minerals wealth.
Following the conclusion of Colombia’s Validation, the EITI Board decides that Colombia has made satisfactory progress overall in implementing the EITI Standard.
The Board congratulates the Government of Colombia and Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) on the progress made in improving transparency and accountability in the extractive industries by providing a trusted source of data to inform public debate. The Board welcomes the EITI’s impact in establishing a mechanism for discussing revenue transparency, the sector’s contribution to the economy and the challenges in revenue distribution, social contributions, environmental regulation and illegal mining. The EITI has produced and compiled information in a regularly-updated online platform bringing together previously-scattered data and investigating poorly-understood issues. In its three years of EITI implementation, Colombia has expanded the scope of EITI reporting to include a wide range of areas from mineral transportation to environmental regulation. The EITI has shed light on current government agencies’ regulatory practices, gaps in government systems, and on complex issues such as the distribution and allocation of royalties. This work has informed reforms in government agencies including the mining and hydrocarbon regulators. EITI Colombia is well-placed to continue contributing to improved governance of the extractive sector. Opportunities and challenges include monitoring reforms such as strengthening licensing management, including through beneficial ownership disclosures, improving engagement at the regional and community levels, coordinating efforts in expanding transparency across government agencies, contributing to curbing illegal mining, and improving compliance with environmental regulations. In addressing these challenges and seizing these opportunities, sustained engagement from all constituencies, including in the use of EITI data, and adequate resources for EITI implementation will be key.
The Board’s decision followed a Validation that commenced on 1 January 2018. In accordance with the 2016 EITI Standard, an iniial assessment was undertaken by the International Secretariat. The findings were reviewed by an Independent Validator, who submitted a draft Validation report to the MSG for comment. The MSG’s comments on the report were taken into consideration by the independent Validator in finalising the Validation report and the independent Validator responded to the MSG’s comments. The final decision was taken by the EITI Board.
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