In November, seminars on “Implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) at local level: available instruments and expected benefits” were held in four regional centers of Ukraine: Lutsk, Uzhhorod, Dnipro and Zhytomyr.
During these seminars, experts, public activists and representatives of local self-government had the opportunity to learn about the principles and values of the EITI Standard, the advantages from implementation of the EITI in Ukraine for extractive regions and the nation on the whole, and the experience in using revenues from extraction operations for sustainable development of communities.
In particular, it was stressed that the EITI is an instrument of overcoming corruption, which makes the flow of funds to the state and local budgets visible. The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative highlights the aspects where corruption risks are the highest: licensing and contracts, company beneficiaries, financial flows and revenue collection. At the same time, data from EITI reports helps the government understand the situation in the sector and the conditions for doing business there. During discussions, the attendees could also work out the ways for local communities to establish constructive cooperation with businesses, with extractive companies. When working in group sessions, the participants formulated the chain of EITI values at local level and trained in developing an EITI ecosystem for their own regions.
The seminars were conducted by members of the National Multi-Stakeholder Group for the EITI Implementation: Vitalii Filenko (Kharkiv, New Energy CSO), Hanna Kiyashchenko (Poltava, Poltava branch of the Civic Service of Ukraine). Project Head: Serhii Balan (Kyiv, General Manager for Energy Sector Development at DiXi Group).
“The organization of a series of seminars has revealed two major trends. Firstly, public awareness in regions of the EITI Standard and the advantages from implementation of the EITI at national and local levels is growing,” DiXi Group expert Serhii Balan commented on the training outcomes. “And together with the awareness, there is also a growing demand for managerial decisions requiring from public authorities and extractive companies the maximum disclosure of information regarding the volumes and types of extraction operations, amount of taxes paid to budgets of various levels, company owners, availability of social partnership agreements. Secondly, and in contrast with the first-mentioned trend, civil society institutes in regions have not been sufficiently formed yet, and they lack independent experts responsible for implementing the EITI on location who could influence decision making at regional level. That’s why DiXi Group has enthusiastically set about the implementation of this project, in order to be able to convey to stakeholders the EITI implementation impulse from central to regional level, and along with that, the knowledge, skills and contacts gained in recent years in the EITI implementation context.”
The seminars were held as part of the MAP – Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) project implemented by DiXi Group with the support from Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland.