OECD recommends inclusion of environmental information in EITI

Lima, September 12th, 2016. The Ministry of Energy and Mines (MINEM) presented the Systematization process for the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in Peru. This document was prepared in the framework of over 10 years of the initiative in the country, by the Peru National EITI Commission.

During the event, Ms. Pilar Camero, civil society representative in the EITI Peru Commission, pointed out that, after making fiscal information transparent in EITI reports, the same should be done regarding socio-environmental issues, thus renewing the commitment of continuing to work for transparency and towards key topics for the country with socio-environmental information.

“Recommendation number 66 for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) invites us to delve into environmental topics in the EITI”, she also added that having socio-environmental information enables further vigilance by the citizens located in direct or indirect influence areas of extractive projects.

For his part, Francisco Paris, representative of the International Secretary stated that, although Peru is consolidated in the initiative through its reports and sub-national processes (Piura and Moquegua), “the future of the EITI must deepen the inclusion of environmental information”.

Why is the civil society demanding environmental transparency?

 This year, the Amazon has suffered five oil spills caused by the Northern Peru Pipeline. This infrastructure, managed by Petroperu, is over 40 years old and is administered with an out-of-date environmental management tool which no longer exists under the National Specific Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA): a Program for Environmental Adaptation and Management (PAMA), instead of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

Two years before, in June of 2014, 2500 oil barrels were spilt in the Cuninico gorge. Had there been an environmental approach with an intercultural character within the policies for transparency and access of information in Petroperu, the affected populations would have been adequately informed about the impacts in the area and the actions for restoration, with a language commensurate to the public demanding for information.

For this reason, the Organism for Environmental Assessment and Inspection (OEFA) had to order these actions as part of its corrective measures in Resolution 844-2015-OEFA. In spite of this, Petroperu did not comply with OEFA’s imposition, receiving a fine of over 53 Peruvian Tax Units (UIT), that is, approximately 211,000 Soles (L.C.). Only through transparency can conflicts decrease and can trust be built between affected populations and extractive industries.

How can we know whether a company is complying with environmental commitments? This simple question can be answered if the EITI reports include environmental information. It is an opportunity to strengthen transparency channels and include environmental information in the next EITI report, thus gathering the recommendation from the civil society.

The sustainable use of our natural resources requires adequate transparency mechanisms, because, as was pointed out by Mr. Fernando Castillo, General Director for Social Management at the Ministry of Energy and Mines and Technical Secretary of the Peru EITI Commission: “in bringing together the citizen with the information, a better vigilance can take place”. If Peru’s goal towards it bicentennial is to become a modern country and a member of the OECD, it must set its agenda to improve its transparency policies through and environmental and intercultural approach.

WE WOULD APPRECIATE ITS DISSEMINATION

 

Note to the Editor:

EITI is an international initiative, of tripartite nature, with participation from governments, companies and civil society organizations. Through EITI reports, how much is delivered by companies from the extraction of energy resources (gas, oil and energy) can be known. This number can be contrasted with what the State presents as having received from the companies and enables knowledge about the destination of funds to the development of the country.

Peru is part of this initiative since 2005. After a first validation process in 2012, Peru obtained the category of “compliant country”. Two years later (2014), decentralized initiatives were implemented in the regions of Moquegua and Piura. Moreover, Peru was the host country in the seventh EITI Global Conference. To date, Peru has five studies on national conciliation and two regional reports (as EITI reports are known in Peru). Furthermore, it is currently undergoing a validation process conducted by the EITI International Secretariat, whose first phase of information gathering will be completed on September 11th.   

Further information regarding EITI Peru can be found here.

Spanish version here.