May 29, 2013
Kabul - In recognition of growing importance of the natural resources, in particular the extractive sector, in future economy of Afghanistan, the Civil Society Natural Resources Monitoring Network (CSNRMN) calls upon the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for more meaningful and constructive engagement between the government and the civil society and local communities.
The network was formed in January 2013 after a series of deliberations and discussions between Afghan and international civil society organizations. The network consists of more than 20 Afghan civil society organizations and pursues the goal of promoting effective, transparent, balanced, sustainable, peaceful utilization of natural resources for economic and social development of Afghanistan.
As a follow-up of the 9 December 2012 letter of Afghan and international civil society organizations to his Excellency Mr. Shahrani, the Minister of Mines, once again we draw attention to the following priorities in the sector.
The network appreciates and welcomes the recognition by the Ministry of Mines of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan of the importance of civil society and the role it can play in peaceful, sustainable and equitable utilization of Afghan’s extractive resources. In this respect, the network calls for constructive dialogue with the relevant officials on the following key issues:
(1) Consultation on the draft mining legislation: The network members have been following the process of preparation of a new mining legislation but as of now have not able to access its draft. The network calls upon the Government of Afghanistan to make the draft available for wider consultation with the Afghan civil society. The network also expresses its interest in facilitating a broad and transparent consultation over the draft legislation;
(2) More specifically, the network urges the draft legislation to ensure that a percentage of the revenues of mines are allocated for the socio-economic development of the local communities;
(3) The network also highlights the need for assessment of implications of natural resources extraction on peace and stability in the country. This is concern is based on studies by network members and others that natural resources have the potential to cause new or reinforce existing conflicts at different levels;
(4) The network also calls upon the Ministry of Mines to consider revising its National Mining Policy in consultation with civil society organizations;
(5) The network appreciates the publication of most of the country’s mining contracts but urges the Ministry of Mines to publish the Aynak copper contract, Afghanistan’s biggest investment agreement;
(6) The network also calls upon the Ministry of Mines to publicly release details of companies and individuals that awarded contracts in the extractive sector;
(7) The network calls upon the Ministry of Mines and other relevant authorities to take effective measures to stop illegal extraction of natural resources and expand its control over the mining sites across the country.
(8) Finally the network highlights the importance of sustainable use of natural resources in a manner that the next generations have sustainable revenue streams when the reserves are depleted.
Civil Society Natural Resources Monitoring Network (CSNRMN) Members:
- Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA)
- Afghanistan Watch (AW)
- The Liaison Office (TLO)
- Afghanistan Civil Society Forum organization (ACSFO)
- Afghanistan Development Association (ADA)
- Afghanistan Research and Social Change Organization (ARSCO)
- Human Rights Eradication of Violence Organization (HREVO)
- Hajigak Local Community Council
- 8 Subh Daily
- Logar Civil Society Association
- Afghan Youth and Women Capacity Building Organization – Logar (AYWCBO)
- Social Services Committee - Logar
- Women Business Association of Logar
- Green Wave
- Equal Access
- Sun Organization
- Heinrich Böll Stiftung (hbs)
- Aqha Khan Foundation (AKF)
- Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN)
- Mohammad Afzal Habib Safi
- Hasebullah Alokozai
- Hashim Mayar – Civil Society Activist