Meeting on resolving disputes on the Issues and challenges between Businesses and Communities

Meeting on resolving disputes on the Issues and challenges between Businesses and Communities

The CAO (The Compliance Advisor Ombudsman – based in Washington DC), part of the World Bank Group, IFC, organized on September 20, 2018 a Round Table in Tirana on optimizing and addressing the problems that emerge in our communities, as well as the negotiation process for resolving disputes between communities and businesses operating in these areas. Present at this Round Table were the World Bank representatives, the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, the EITI National Secretariat, Companies operating in Extractive Industries, Heads of Municipalities and Local Government, Civil Society and Environmental organizations representatives, etc.

The CAO office representatives in Washington and in Tirana discussed on forms and advantages of dispute negotiation processes as one of the successful alternative forms, referring to the negotiation on the issues between the Bankers Petroleum Company and Zharrëz community area etc.

CAO representatives, Mrs. Gina Barbieri and Mr. Rasim Gjoka presented (introduced) the results of the negotiation process, achieved through the intermediation of CAO experts, on issues related to Bankers Petroleum activity in Zharrez, detailing the complex four-year long processes of joint meetings, negotiations and trainings organized by CAO, both with Bankers and community, aiming at the technical assessment of earth tremors in Zharrez area, environmental contamination and social investments, by highlighting the importance of dialogue in case of dispute between parties and the positive outcomes resulting from such a process.

The representatives of IFC and Civil society and representatives of Companies operating in Petroleum Industries-Bankers Petroleum, referred to the discussion panel.

Mr. Ardit Kamberi, the Head of EITI National Secretariat, in his speech stressed that Solving a conflict is not a matter of Victory or Loss of one party or another.

This complex process is the attainment of Understanding and Allowing that the Actions of parties involved to converge in a fair and optimal outcomes.

The EITI National Secretariat is precisely the state body that, in an integrated and harmonious institutional manner, connects the three sides of the Triangle: Government, Business and Civil Society by creating the necessary synergy between them to solve the challenges for a sustainable development.

Mr. Kamber stated that Transparency narrows the spaces for Corruption, while good Governance goes far beyond simply Transparency, in its Open format, including decision-making for all interest groups. While Transparency is the right to be informed, the Open Format is the Right to Participate.

Albania is the only country in the region that is a member of the Global EITI Initiative, evidencing a full political commitment of the Albanian Government to promote Transparency and Natural Resource Management in the country, using EITI international standards.

During 2018, in the framework of meetings with Local Government Units, the National EITI Secretariat held meetings with Local Government aiming to 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.

Numerous discussions were held at the meeting by representatives of Local government, state institutions, community and civil society representatives, in consolidating democratic forms of resolving disputes and problems generated in local communities by business activities, and finding solutions to unite stakeholders in an economic development process, with positive social and environmental impacts in the country.