What is the EITI
The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is an initiative launched by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair to increase transparency in financial transactions within the petroleum and mining industries. Since 2003, Norway has actively encouraged this initiative with political and financial support. EITIs international secretariat was established in Oslo in 2007.
It is a paradox that countries with an abundance of natural resources are often very poor and characterized by war and conflict (the resource curse). The aim of the EITI is that a larger share of revenues from natural resources will contribute to economic development and better living conditions for the population (“Making resources work for people”). Through the transparency in payment flows, the authorities will be held accountable for how the revenues are used. This requires better governance and less corruption. Such development will also help to improve the investment climate in certain countries, and in turn contribute to economic progress.
The EITI has established a set of principles for transparency and good governance, which also requires active participation from civil society. A number of countries, companies and organizations have endorsed these principles. Furthermore, there is a set of criteria to be met by the countries that choose to implement the EITI.
EITI has an international board consisting of 20 members. Board members are elected at a members’ meeting held every other year. New board members were appointed at the meeting in Paris on 1 March 2011, in connection with the EITI Global Conference. The board includes representatives from the countries supporting the EITI, countries implementing EITI, companies and investors as well as civil society. In Norway, the Foreign Ministry follows up the EITI internationally and participates in the EITI Board’s work.