Presentation of the Final Study of the project: “Consultancy Services on the Social Impact of Extractive Industries in the Local Context and Employment”.

Presentation of the Final Study of the project: “Consultancy Services on the Social Impact of Extractive Industries in the Local Context and Employment”.

On December 24, 2020, EITI presented the Final Study of project no. ALBEITI/CS/CQ/E.3 “Consultancy Services on Extractive Industries’ Social Impact in the Local Context and Employment”, financed by the World Bank and conducted by Haxhiaj & Hajdari as the Consultant, in subcontracting agreement with Albanian Local Capacity Development Foundation and expert Oliana Ifti.

The presentation sessions were attended by members of the MSG, Head of EITI Albania, Mr. Genci Tërpo, and by representatives of the National EITI Secretariat.

The scope of the study is the Social Impact of Extractive Industries on local communities and the relations with the local government.

The online presentation provided a detailed description of the main issues addressed in the Final Social Impact Study, specifically issues related to: Revenues and benefits for the Municipalities and Communes from the extractive companies operating in their area; Legislation in force, including proposals for a revision of the legal and regulatory framework regarding the Social Impact of extractive industries; Revenues and distribution of benefits from Royalties.

Benefits in Employment of the local community; Assessment of the socio-economic components of Contracts, Agreements and Licenses of the extractive industry; Prohibition of illegal employment of minors in these sectors; Local capacity building through Vocational Training; Addressing gender issues in these sectors; Analysis of Civil Society’s key role in this process; Impacts and problems on local infrastructure caused by extractive industries; Analysis on awareness and benefits of the Public from the official EITI Platform; Assessment of terms of Corporate Responsibility Standards, related to Social Impact, etc.

The representatives of Haxhiaj & Hajdari (the Consultant) and its subcontractors, Albanian Local Capacity Development Foundation and the expert Oliana Ifti, presented the conclusions of the interviews conducted through questionnaires in 3 Pilot Zones: Bulqiza; Librazhd and Kuçovë, regarding the impact of the extractive industry on the Economy and Income of the communities where it operates.

Interviews conducted in the 3 Pilot Zones part of the Project, intended to draw conclusions and recommendations regarding issues of Extractive Industry sector related to: Optimization of coordination between local and central government to properly address local issues in the context of extractive industry operation and sustainable development; Occupational safety and working conditions in the extractive sectors; The impact of corruption on local communities; The Special Status of Miners/Oilmen; Unfair treatment at work; Unequal distribution of wages and income; Conflicts between formal and informal (criminal) business; Relationships between companies and local authorities; Relations with Trade Unions and  activist groups; Use of land and issues related to territorial infrastructure, land ownership and use of agricultural land for extractive purposes; Management of Protected Areas, Environment, health safety and drinking water supply in communities related to the extractive industry; reduction of water consumption in these communities, pollution of drinking water; other environmental pollution; degradation of environment, flora and fauna, which create serious problems to the development and perspective of tourism in these areas, etc.

During  the  Final Presentation, members of the EITI MSG, mostly representatives of Civil Society, made comments and suggestions regarding the harmonization and optimization of the Legal and Regulatory framework included the Study, with the results and recommendations of the interviews in the 3 Pilot Zones, which are taken into consideration and reflected in the final version of the Extractive Industry Social Impact Study in Albania.