Papua New Guinea’s natural resources include gold, copper ore, crude oil, natural gas, timber and oil palm. From 2000 – 2005 gold revenues on average made up 18% of annual fiscal revenues and gold exports made up 77% of total exports. Natural Gas reserves have been estimated at 227 billion cubic metres. A project is currently underway building a liquefied natural gas production facility that could begin exporting by 2014.
Sources: CIA World Factbook, US State Department
On Friday 5th November 2010, Papua New Guinean civil society groups proudly announced the launch of Publish What You Pay Papua New Guinea. More than 50 civil society participants came together for the event, which was hosted by the Centre for Environmental Research and Development (CERD), and was addressed by Queen Elizabeth’s vice-regal representative in Papua New Guinea, Governor General, Sir Paulias Matane. The coalition launch marks an important step forward for those who are concerned with achieving transparency in the oil, gas and mining industries in this resource-rich poor country.
The principal aim of the new coalition is to advocate for the adoption of EITI in Papua New Guinea. Spearheaded by CERD, the new coalition is open to all civil society groups and has already generated a good deal of interest from organisations representing a wide range of socioeconomic and cultural interests. In opening the event, CERD Director Ms. Matilda Koma reiterated “we want to work with all other civil society partners who are interested in joining this coalition. We also see this as an opportunity to begin a dialogue with other stakeholders, including government, industry and international dialogue partners, because achieving transparency in this sector can only be achieved if it is a joint effort.”
In Papua New Guinea, the Centre for Environmental Research and Development (CERD) has taken a lead amongst CSOs in campaigning for transparency in the extractive industries – particularly in the mining sector. CERD is advocating for EITI implementation in Papua New Guinea (PNG), and thanks to a grant offered by RWI last October, the organisation has been developing a programme of awareness-raising, to mobilize public interest in these issues. CERD is currently planning to conduct major awareness campaigns in three townships (Lae, Madang and Goroka) of PNG to incentivise membership. CERD hopes to establish a national PWYP coalition in the near future.
The visit of Mr. Jonas Moberg, Head of the EITI Secretariat to PNG in October 2009 helped to stimulate interest within the PNG government for future EITI implementation. There have been various meetings and discussions between all stakeholders, in particular, between the government and civil society organizations (Transparency International PNG and CERD), and the World Bank. In March 2010, the World Bank, represented by Dr. Graeme Hancock, met with representatives from the Department of Treasury, the Mineral Resources Authority, Transparency International PNG and CERD. As a result of that meeting (and the recommendations emerging), the PNG Government has since established a ‘State Working Group on Implementing EITI’, comprised of the three main government agencies dealing with mining, oil and gas. The Department of Treasury is the lead agency for this. The SWG had its first meeting in May, and
there was consensus to work together to start the process for implementing EITI.
In support of this, the World Bank plans to hire a long-term consultant to provide support and advice on EITI implementation processes, for both PNG (and the Solomon Islands). The consultant will be based in Port Moresby.