A monthly round-up of the latest natural resource governance news, also covering related issues such as beneficial ownership transparency. You can read the blog on my website, where you will be able to find previous news round-ups.
On the summer reading-list…
- Guyana, one of Latin America's poorest countries, is about to experience the world's next oil boom. Will this discovery help transform the lives of Guyana's citizens, or will the country fall prey to the resource curse? Two articles explore this question - one in Foreign Policy, the other in the New York Times.
- Publish What You Pay have released the second, third and final chapter of their guide on how civil society can better use EITI for reform.
- The biggest single contribution from mining isn't taxes, or royalties, but the impact of local procurement on the economy. So how is this critical factor being measured? To help address gaps in the current reporting framework, Mining Shared Value has developed a local procurement reporting mechanism (LPRM). The mechanism also seeks to standardise how resource-rich countries and companies discuss local procurement. The LPRM has recently become available in French.
- Global Witness and DataKind UK analysed the 10 million filings on the UK’s beneficial ownership register and identified “loopholes, information gaps and suspicious activities.” What they were able to do with the data, and what they gleaned from it, is fascinating – so don’t miss out on their report “The Companies We Keep.”
- Speaking of beneficial ownership (and yes, this is a cheeky plug), I wrote a case study for the Open Government Partnership on the UK’s beneficial ownership register. The report covers the impact of the register, from the use of its data to how it helped trigger a wave of beneficial ownership reform.
- Open Heroines published a great blog on how to make participation in the 2018 OGP Global Summit more feminist. Even though the summit has been and gone, this piece contains insight that can apply to any open governance gathering.
- Why are Canada’s mining giants paying so much less tax at home than abroad? Using data divulged through the Extractives Transparency Measures Act, journalist James Wilt explored how much tax Canadian mining companies were paying in Canada compared to other countries.
Nigerien activists freed…
On July 24th the Nigerien government released 15 civil society activists, after their arrest four months ago for protesting against the country's finance law. Nine additional activists, arrested at the same time, remain in jail. Upon his release Ali Idrissa, PWYP board member and President of Niger ROTAB, reaffirmed his commitment to campaigning for justice. He said, “This is not a victory for us as individuals, but a victory for the Nigerien people. And we will continue.”
…But campaigning for natural resource justice as dangerous as ever
Sadly, as Global Witness’ annual report on environmental and land defenders reminded us, being an activist remains perilous. This year, Global Witness recorded 207 murders of defenders, with the majority of cases coming from Latin America. Read the report, "At What Cost?" on the Global Witness website.