11 Sep Meetings held in the Municipalities of Puka and Fushë Arrëz, with regard to EITI activity and issues related to benefits from Extractive Industry in these areas
In the framework of meetings with Local Government Units, the National EITI Secretariat held meetings on September 07, 2018 in the Municipalities of Puka and Fushë Arrëz, aiming to promote the EITI Initiative and discuss issues related to contributions in these Municipalities from extractive industries and concessions in the electro-energy sector, the social and environmental impact of revenues from mining royalty, as well as issues related to ensuing that the disclosure process is in compliance with the EITI Standard.
While assessing the recently promoted tourism potentials in these municipalities, the measures taken for the protection and rehabilitation of the environment in extractive areas contribute to tourism enhancement and constitute one of the most important actions taken in Extractive sector.
Currently, there are 6 mining companies in the Municipality of Puka, operating mainly in the extraction of copper, chromium and kaolin, and 5 companies in the Municipality of Fushë Arrëz operating in the extraction of copper and chromium, as well as in copper enrichment. Also, there are small HPP concessions operating in the territories of these Municipalities.
The meeting focused on the importance of Transparency in the Good Governance of Natural Resources, as the best means and policy for the economic, social and environmental development of communities, as a prerequisite for creating a sustainable and attractive business climate.
Local authorities have identified cases when the activity of mining companies has resulted in the contamination of surface waters, while another disturbing phenomenon is that some companies have failed to fully rehabilitate the license area, which is a peremptory legal requirement of the mining industry.
The Municipal officials demanded that the companies pay their obligations in full based on local tax legislation, and that the concessionaires of HPPs adhere to the terms of contracts regarding the required amount of water for agriculture.
Local government representatives expressed their commitment to work with Extractive Industry companies in order to coordinate supporting investments for local communities, as part of their local impact in the promotion of tourism, particularly in the tourist area of Munella, or in the reconstruction of educational facilities, such as in Gjegjan, and so on.
The representatives of these municipalities reaffirmed their commitment and willingness to contribute to the EITI initiative and work with the Albanian EITI Secretariat with a view to increasing transparency and good governance of natural resources and the contribution of extractive and hydro-energy sectors in the social and economic development of these Municipalities.