Recent Articles

Natural Resource Governance Institute team members are set to take part in a full slate of activities at the EITI Global Conference in Lima, Peru, 23-25 February.

Guinea’s President Alpha Conde has reiterated his commitment to good governance and accountability following his reelection in November 2015, and appointed a reform-minded minister of mines; there is now more than ever a space for Guinean citizens to contribute to the agenda of mining sector governance reforms.

Myanmar’s natural resources, including deposits of oil, natural gas, gemstones and other minerals, have attracted growing interest from foreign and domestic investors at a time of regulatory and institutional change. A newly-elected government led by the National League for Democracy (NLD) appears poised to expand on major political and economic reforms that began in 2010.

After the 2011 Tunisian revolution, the country’s population was bombarded with news about corruption in the natural resource sector. (Tunisia produces oil, gas and mainly phosphates as minerals.) However, coverage remained shallow and sometimes politicized.

China has been included in the Top 10 list of foreign investors in Indonesia since 2014. As in many other countries, China’s interest in Indonesia is in its energy and mining sectors; more than half of its total investment has been directed toward extractive industries.

In November 2015, PWYP members from across Eurasia met in Ulaanbaatar for an NRGI-led training session to discuss common extractives governance challenges their countries face. Shrinking civil society space was a dominant concern.

The prolonged oil slump that began in mid-2014 has made things complicated for Azerbaijan. The rapid decrease of oil revenues—the country’s main economic driver for the past 10 years—poses real threats to macroeconomic and financial stability in Azerbaijan.

While natural resources have the potential to bring development to the poorest countries in the world, realizing that potential is often a challenge. Opaque allocation of rights to extract oil, gas or minerals; secrecy around who really owns the companies doing the extraction; and non-disclosure of contracts often conspire to prevent average citizens from benefiting from their country’s resources.

In this era of low commodity prices, oil- and mineral-rich governments in Eurasia are under acute financial pressure.

The release of the first U.S. Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (USEITI) report is both a laudable achievement and an indication that EITI cannot succeed without full accountability for all multi-stakeholder group (MSG) participants.

Ukraine released its first Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative report in December 2015, an important step forward in resource governance for the country. Its publication coincided with the EITI International Secretariat meeting in the country and related events in Odessa and the capital, Kiev.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission voted today on a proposed rule to implement Section 1504 of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. The law requires US-listed oil, gas and mining companies to disclose the billions of dollars in payments that they make to governments around the world in exchange for the right to extract precious natural resources.

This year, NRGI and EITI Philippines (PH-EITI) partnered to develop, a country site that uses the platform for publishing contracts in an open data format. The collaboration was initiated in May, when PH-EITI participated in the Extractives Open Data Leaders program at the International Open Data Conference in Ottawa.

Improving the impact of Mongolia’s extractive projects is not just about better contracts and proposed legal reforms. It is also very much about effectively monitoring and enforcing existing obligations.

Daniel Kaufmann, president and CEO of NRGI, delivered a video keynote address at the Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference in Brisbane.

Today, Switzerland-based trading house Trafigura disclosed how much it paid to several governments in exchange for commodities in its first annual responsibility report. For decades, physical commodity traders have embraced secrecy as a basic part of their business model, even when dealing with public institutions. The disclosures by Trafigura represent a much-needed step away from this unfortunate tradition. There remains, however, ample room for improvement.

The Open Government Partnership, which launched in 2011, quickly morphed into a popular initiative. OGP membership has grown from just eight countries to 66 participating nations. Many governments and international organizations have given it direct support.

A review recently prepared by a coalition of Azerbaijan non-governmental organizations is unique—it is one of the first deep analyses of that country’s EITI report, and the first based on the new EITI standard.

The oil, gas and mining sectors are critical for a majority of Open Government Partnership (OGP) countries. Yet, only about 10 percent of OGP commitments relate to natural resources...

"It is my great hope that we will reach a day when the Open Government Partnership will not be needed. I wish for that day to come soon. Not because I have given up on the power of our work as governments and civil society together. To the contrary. Because I believe that open government should become a matter of course – the everyday means of empowering people."

This photo essay is the fourth installment in NRGI's 2015 extractive industries photo documentary project, which aims to capture the complex political, environmental and social realities at resource extraction sites throughout Myanmar.

NRGI strongly condemns the severe beating of NRGI advisory council board member Ilgar Mammadov in an Azerbaijan prison on 16 October 2015. It is believed that high-ranking prison staff battered Mr. Mammadov, who has been unjustly imprisoned and remains incarcerated despite international outcry.

In the third of a series of photo essays by six different photographers in Myanmar, Andre Malerba documents the health and economic impacts of both locally owned and corporate gold mining.

Indonesia's President recently outlined new economic policies which aim to produce greater certainty and efficiency in business through deregulation, de-bureaucratization, and improved law enforcement. His overall objective is to revive foreign investment in Indonesia in the context of global economic slowdown.

Switzerland, the world’s leading commodity trading hub, must pave the way for more transparency in natural resource payments. The Swiss government should alter its course and include commodity trading in a pending transparency law.