GYEITI takes awareness outreach to Linden
DPI, GUYANA, Saturday, July 15, 2017
The Guyana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (GYEITI) Secretariat continued its awareness outreach efforts, by hosting a workshop in Linden, Region Ten. The series of workshops, which began earlier this month, aims to educate the general public on what GYEITI is and the benefits membership to the international standard can bring to Guyana.
The Multi Stakeholder Group (MSG) of the GYEITI- a tripartite of government, civil society and industry- shared their perspective on how adherence to the standards can result in better transparency and accountability.
Linden residents, who were gathered in the Town Council’s Conference Room, welcomed the efforts of government to sign up to the standard but called for more sensitization of what the GYEITI is, particularly among young people.
Member of Parliament and Linden resident, Audwin Rutherford suggested “finding multiple ways to engage youths” on the topic through talks and interactive sessions like quiz competitions.
It was pointed out by the National Coordinator of the GYEITI Secretariat, Dr. Rudy Jadoopat, that adherence to these standards is voluntary. This was a cause for concern for resident Orin Gordon. “My concern basically is the voluntary versus the mandatory conditions or issues that may arise that will allow for the level of transparency to be enhanced and the level of governance that is required,” Gordon stated.
Region Ten Councillor, Devin Sears, questioned the enforcement of corporate social responsibility. Civil Society representative on the MSG, Najuma Pollard explained that industries will be asked to declare requirements, they have to meet. Nelson further added that these include occupational health and safety standards, environmental emissions, even employee hiring and payment standards. “Those are some of the requirements of corporate social responsibility,” she said.
Carter Centre Country Representative, Jason Calder, explained that EITI “rests on…reputational risks” for
governments. “The idea that if three or four years from now Guyana is suspended from improper reporting or this or that; that the prospect of that is enough to keep a government honest,” Calder further explained.
Guyana is finalising its application for Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) membership. The Carter Centre has assisted the GYEITI to complete of its application, to join the initiative. Last year, the United States Embassy and US State Department provided a grant to the Carter Centre to support Guyana in its candidacy bid.
This first round of outreaches organised by the GYEITI’s MSG, targeted communities that are traditionally engaged in the extractive industries and those deemed regionally important. Outreaches were conducted in Bartica, Region Seven and Corriverton, Berbice, Region Six. The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is a global standard that promotes transparency and accountability in the management of a country’s extractive resources, by addressing key governance issues.
By: Tiffny Rhodius