Meeting with the representatives of Local Government and Businesses in the mining sector in the city of Pogradec

Meeting with the representatives of Local Government and Businesses in the mining sector in the city of Pogradec

In the framework of Local Government Meetings, on June 5, 2018, the National EITI Secretariat organized meetings with representatives of Local Government and Mining Business in the city of Pogradec.

The National EITI Secretariat, through programming of these direct meetings in many cities and municipalities in the country with local and business frontbencher, intends to discuss key sensitive issues affecting the Extractive Industries such as: Royalties income from Local Government; The social and environmental impact of these royalties income, as well as the issues related to the mining businesses declaration process in conformity with the EITI Standard.

Director of the National EITI Secretariat, Mr. Ardit Kamberi, in the meeting he held with the Mayor, Mr. Eduart Kapri and the staff of the Municipality of Pogradec, emphasized the relationship with the local government, as one of the priorities in the Secretariat activity, with the aim of maximizing the impact of the royalties on the interests of the community in employment and the allocation of revenues to real environmental, infrastructural and social impacts.

Assessing the tourism potentials of this Municipality, considering the potential project for the inclusion of Ohrid Lake in UNESCO status, one of the most important vectors of the Extractive Industry sector, are considered concrete measures for preservation and recovery of the environment,those areas where these activities are conducted.

At the Municipality of Pogradec, 22 mining activities are currently underway, mainly in the mining of chromium and iron – nickel minerals. Also, in the territory of this municipality operate 15 entities with small HPP Concessions.

During the meeting, the Mayor, Mr. Kapri demanded increased cooperation between local and central bodies, with the intention for a better control and management of mining and concessionary companies operating in the city of Pogradec.

Local government structures have identified cases where businesses that engages in mining activities, damage road infrastructure in areas where they operate, as well as Lake areas with sterile waste. A disturbing phenomenon is the failure to fully rehabilitate the surfaces taken for use by some entities, which is a legal tax claim in the mining activity operations.

In the meeting it was discussed 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.

By National EITI Secretariat is seen with priority the approval of the improvement of the legal framework regarding Transparency in the Extractive Industry, to also specify penalties for entities that do not respect the reporting process in conformity with the approved standards.

The National EITI Secretariat also held a joint meeting with representatives of Businesses operating in mining activities in the Municipality of Pogradec.

At the meeting it was specify the importance of real Business inclusion in the EITI process, in cooperation with Central Institutions, Local Government and Civil Society, to promote Transparency in Natural Resources Management, as a prerequisite for creating a sustainable and attractive climate for business.

Reporting by EITI standard is a very serious and formal certification for the business through which companies promote transparency and potentials of their activity in relation to state and local institutions, as well as increase the possibility of cooperation with foreign partners.

Representatives of the Business by making a detailed presentation of their mining activity, expressed readiness to increase their constructive engagement in the Government-Business-Civil Society triangle and at the same time in relation to the local government and the local community for a more wide positive influential in the development of social and environmental impacts.