Montreal—Representatives from hundreds of organizations in the resources sector have convened in Montreal this week for the Publish What You Pay (PWYP) event.
The three-day conference is being held to promote transparency and accountability in the oil, gas and mining industries.
Delegates represent companies working in resource-rich nations around the globe. The theme is ensuring citizens benefit from their countries’ natural resources.
The first day focuses on Canada’s extractive industries, with government, the private sector and civil society sharing experiences in promoting transparency.
Canada was chosen for the event because it’s home to some of the world’s largest mining companies. In 2008, more than 75 percent of the world’s exploration and mining companies were headquartered in Canada. The firms operate in over 100 countries around the world.
The conference also provides opportunity for civil society organizations to examine the Canadian government’s strategy for corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the extractive industries.
World’s poorest people
Oil, gas and mining are important revenue sources in more than 60 developing and transition countries, according to PWYP. Even so, these countries are home to two-thirds of the world’s poorest people.
Despite receiving billions of dollars per year from extractive companies, the countries rank among the world’s highest in poverty, low economic growth, authoritarian governance, conflict and political instability.
Participants at the event are highlighting the need for transparency in all aspects of the extractive industries, from how companies access the resources, licenses and contracts, to how revenues translate into benefits for citizens.
PWYP is a global civil society coalition with more than 300 member groups.