Afghan Civil Society Coordinates Oil, Gas and Mining Advocacy

Country: Afghanistan
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On 14 November, RWI, Integrity Watch Afghanistan, Afghanistan Watch, Global Witness and Heinrich Boll Stiftung cohosted a one-day workshop in Kabul for participants from 30 civil society organizations to discuss and coordinate advocacy on the role of natural resources in the nation's economic development. This event follows our successful joint efforts in getting effective and transparent management of oil, gas and mining on the agenda in the lead-up to the Tokyo Conference.

In addition to the global advocacy targeting the Tokyo Conference, CSO networks have also emerged domestically around mining and transparency issues. For the past year, the Informal CSO Coalition on EITI has been working to ensure that the government’s transparency commitments bring public understanding and demand for good governance. Recently, a network of local CSOs led by Afghanistan Watch has also emerged to monitor the role that natural resources play in conflict in the country. The workshop brought these networks together for the first time, as well as groups new to the field, to forge a platform for exchanging views and coordinate CSO work on the oil, gas and mining industries.

A morning session focused on presentations of existing work and research by lead organizations including RWI, Integrity Watch Afghanistan, Afghanistan Watch and Global Witness. Working later in the day in the groups, participants produced an action plan that identified three priorities:

  • Coordinating CSO positions on oil, gas and mining issues and providing opportunities for CSO capacity-building
  • Raising public awareness about the effective and transparent management of oil, gas and mining
  • Identifying priority advocacy issues, including: transparency, social and environmental issues, preservation of cultural and historical heritage, anti-corruption, conflict prevention, benefit-sharing with communities, corporate social responsibility and strengthened donor coordination.

The new CSO platform plans to engage government, company and donor stakeholders in a roundtable on transparency in early 2013, after release of the RWI Index assessment of Afghanistan.

Katarina Kuai is RWI Training and Capacity Development Program Officer.

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