Friday, September 29, 2023

Guyana holding firm on full transparency in oil and gas – Natural Resources Minister

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The Government of Guyana – South America’s newest oil and gas hotspot – has reiterated its commitment to transparency and accountability in the natural resources sector and its continued partnership and cooperation with institutions such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (GYEITI).

As part of this commitment, Vickram Bharrat, Guyana’s Minister of Natural Resources, recently held virtual meetings with the Guyana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (GYEITI) Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) and the USAID Project supporting EITI activities Guyana.

According to the Department of Public Information, during that meeting the minister pointed out that the oil and gas sector will be subjected to great scrutiny and is looking forward to enhanced collaboration with the project for stakeholders’ awareness and continued engagement.

The three Co-Chairs of the GYEITI MSG (one each from Government, Industry and Civil Society) updated the natural resources minister on the work of the organization and challenges which will require the support of the Ministry. As such, Minister Bharrat reassured that the Government and the Ministry of Natural Resources remain prudent on transparency and accountability and will remain engaged to overcome the challenges.      

Further, during Minister Bharrat’s engagement with the USAID EITI Project, several areas were discussed for capacity building, public awareness and other areas of collaboration, the bulletin said. It noted that he also highlighted the importance of oversight for the oil and gas sector which is fairly new to the Guyanese population.

The United States’ Agency for International Development (USAID) has made a sum of $1 million available as support for transparency and good governance in Guyana’s extractive sector through a project entitled The Guyana Extractives Sector Transparency (GEST) Project.

“The project provides assistance to Guyana’s Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) Multi Stakeholder Group (MSG) – a group of stakeholders responsible for governance and oversight of EITI implementation, the National Secretariat and other stakeholders,” the US Embassy had said in August 2020.

The Embassy noted that as Guyana prepares for validation of the country’s compliance with EITI standards and the 2nd EITI country report, “the project team is providing important technical assistance to the Secretariat, MSG and reporting organizations to streamline the validation process and collect data and other materials.”

USAID has an agreement with the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) to implement the project, the Embassy had said.

EITI Validation commences in October 2020 while Guyana’s 2nd EITI Country Report is due by December 31, 2020.

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