Transparency in the natural resource industry is critical to fighting poverty. Too often the wealth generated by the natural resources doesn’t go towards improving the lives of the very owners of the resources – the citizens themselves.
For too long, governments and corrupt officials have misused and abused their power at the expense of the people they are intended to serve.
This country is an example of the problem that exists. It had the 12th highest gross domestic product in the world in 2008, with more than $30,000 per capita.
However, it also ranked 121st out of 177 countries on the United Nations human development index.
The returns from the ownership of natural resources in Africa are over $400bn/year.
Aid is less than $50bn/year.
So this money represents a huge opportunity for ordinary citizens to secure their own future. That opportunity will be missed if they don't have the ability to hold their leaders to account for how that money is spent. And that's where we can take action.
Join us in supporting this legislation.
Take 2 minutes to email your MEP
In Oct 2011 the European Commission made proposals for updating the EU legislation to require greater transparency by oil, gas and mineral companies, but getting this legislation passed is a tough job. The European Parliament alone consists of 736 MEPs from the 27 member countries. There are lobby groups from the extractive industries pushing hard for the legislation to be watered down.
And then there's us.
We, the people they represent, need to use our voices in support of the legislation and to let the MEPs know that we support this legislation
The first step is to determine exactly what view these MEPs currently hold of the transparency legislation.
That is why we are asking you to contact your MEP, asking them whether they support the introduction of legislation on Extractive Industries Transparency