TTEITI attends First Regional Forum on the Extractive Sector in USA
On April 23-24, the Trinidad and Tobago Extractive Industries Initiative (TTEITI) representatives participated in a forum to “Strengthen Transparency and Good Governance in the Extractive Sector in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)”, in Washington DC. This first Regional Forum was a joint collaboration of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Natural Resource Governance Institute and the EITI International Secretariat. Representing Trinidad and Tobago was Victor Hart (Chair, TTEITI Steering Committee) and Nazera Abdul-Haqq (Policy Coordinator, TTEITI Secretariat). National Coordinators of the various EITI implementing countries in LAC, Government Ministers, representatives of the IDB and EITI International, policymakers, extractive companies and civil society also attended the event.
The main goal of the forum was to analyze the lessons learned from other countries in governance of their extractive sectors and define an agenda for the future. The discussion topics focused on common challenges, strategies and good practices to improve the sector’s contribution to citizens. Delegates discussed four broad thematic areas namely:
- A New Regional Panorama For Extractive Industries In Latin America And The Caribbean
- Transparency As A Tool For Public Policy In The Extractive Sector
- State-Owned Enterprises, Sovereign Wealth Funds and Beneficial Owners
- The Extractive Sector’s Future Challenges in the Region
Arising out of these high-level conversations and debates were opportunities to increase the level of transparency of the T&T oil, gas and mining sectors. These opportunities include the reform of the T&T Heritage and Stabilization Fund and the use of technology to increase citizen access to contextual data on the extractive sector.
EITI implementing countries also presented their plans to improve governance in the sector and highlighted needs for technical and financial support. Based on these presentations, the group elaborated a menu of different collaboration opportunities including peer exchanges.
At the event, T&T was applauded as leaders on beneficial ownership (with the creation of the country’s first beneficial ownership register) and for its peer learning exchanges with Suriname and Guyana. Reference was also made to changes in the EITI Standard 2016 to cater for gender, social and environmental impacts, better oversight of extractive activities and mainstreaming EITI requirements into Government systems. These changes will be further detailed for adoption at the EITI Global Conference in Paris in June 2019, at which Trinidad and Tobago will be represented by the TTEITI team.