Presentation on theme: "Liberian Local communities Caught between the Scissors- ensuring environmental and social sustainability of natural resources contracts and concessions-the."— Presentation transcript:
Liberian Local communities Caught between the Scissors- ensuring environmental and social sustainability of natural resources contracts and concessions-the Case of Firestone, Arcelor Mittal and Geblo logging co PIELC 2011, Eugene, Oregon March 4, 2011
About Us Green Advocates is a non-governmental organization based in Monrovia, Liberia; Green Advocates was founded in 2000 for the purpose of protecting the environment, advancing human rights protection and advocacy through sound environmental practices, and giving a voice to local communities Green Advocates is Liberia’s first public interest environmental institution At Green Advocates I serve as the coordinator for the Rights and Business Initiative (RBI)
Rights and Business Initiative The Rights and Business Initiative (RBI) is centered around monitoring, researching documenting and reporting on the impact of business on a cocktail of rights issues - human rights, environmental rights, access rights, labor rights, housing, tenure rights, etc… businesses tend to approach rights issues through their corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes selectively based on what the company voluntarily chose to address
Rights & Business Initiative Cont.. A rights based approach requires businesses to respect all rights; they must not have the option of picking and choosing to deal with only those issues with which they feel comfortable. RBI covers three thematic programs-contract and concession monitoring, Danger zone/Safe Zone and Multistakeholder dialogues
Rights and Business Initiative My task today is to talk about ensuring environmental and social sustainability of natural resources contracts and concessions the Case of Firestone, Arcelor Mittal and Geblo logging co
Background Large amounts of Liberia's resources (natural and financial) have been lost through procurement, concession, contract and licensing practices that have not met internationally accepted standards. For decades, Liberia’s natural resources have been managed through a grant of large scale industrial contractual rights to multinational companies with very little benefit trickling down to the people.
Background Cont… The sector has also been characterized by a lack of participation of civil society and local communities in decision making process leading to the award of these large scale contracts equity in the sharing of revenues generated from these grants. Information regarding the terms of contracts made with agents of the extractive industries remains difficult to access.
Early Efforts In 2003, through a vigorous lobbying by Green Advocates in partnership with several civil society organizations, the United Nation Security council imposed an embargo on the export of timber and mandated the Government of Liberia to reform the timber industry. Green Advocates campaigned vigorously for the implementation of the United Nation mandate. In furtherance of that mandate, in 2004, the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL) appointed Green Advocates as a member of the Forest Concession Review committee to review all timber concessions.
Early Effort Cont… Committee found no concession holder demonstrated legal compliance. The Committee recommended detailed reform of the forest sector Recommended that each and every existing forest concession is cancelled.
Early Effort cont….. Drawing upon the lesson learned from the forest Concession Review process the newly elected Government established a Contract Review Commission to review all Procurements, contracts and concessions agreements. Through the set up of the Commission, the government agree to improve controls over the granting of concessions and contracts, implementing a basic procurement system through the establishment of the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission.
Early Effort Cont….. investment incentive agreements. mineral sector agreements the oil sector the agricultural sector “Rubber & Palm oil” the scrap & iron purchase agreements,
MINERAL SECTOR AGREEMENT Under the MINERAL SECTOR AGREEMENTS the commission reviewed (43 agreements, accepted 37, recommended 2 for renegotiation and rejected 4. summary findings: Mining Law should include transparency provisions regulating the licensing process; the diminished legislative oversight in ratification process
Mineral Sector Cont…… publication and ensuring public access to concession documents, ensuring executive implementation and enforcement of concessions and contract terms, ensuring legislative oversight of the contract and concession implementation process following up on cross sector coordination of concession implementation and enforcement.
Mineral Sector Accompanying the serious implementation challenges has been an award of an avalanche of natural resources contracts and concession ranging from the forest, mining, agriculture, service and oil sector amounting to billions of dollars in new investment packages in all shapes, forms and sizes potential implications for human rights and the environment. Explaining the trickle-down effect or how those investments benefit the average Liberian has proven to be a daunting task
Sustainability of mining and Forest Sectors The sustainability of the forest and mining sectors is based on the term of the contract, social agreements and the position of the Environment