From 9 to 20 January 2017, 26 participants from ten countries - Indonesia, Timor Leste, Vietnam, Myanmar, the Philippines, India, Mexico, Mongolia, Australia, and Afghanistan – are taking part in the fourth annual Asia Pacific Knowledge Hub Training. They are coming from mid-level policy makers from central and local government, activist of NGOs, academia, research institute, experts and other representatives of multi-stakeholders in extractive industries. This year, the course has promoted “Advancing Accountable Resource Governance in Asia Pacific” as the main topic of the training program.
The training is taken at Universitas Gadjah Mada, in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. This program is under management of Research Center of Politics and Government (PolGov) at Department of Politics and Government, Universitas Gadjah Mada with supports from Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI). In the five-year period, PolGov has activated Asia Pacific Knowledge Hub as the center for knowledge exchange and advocacy in the respective Asia Pacific country members to enhance coalition for reform in extractive industry sector.
The Dean of the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Dr. Erwan Agus Purwanto gave an opening remark on Monday, (9/1). Through his speech, he introduced the forum into the dilemma between promoting economic growth and protecting environment as well as promoting human rights during the exploitation of natural resources.
Dr. Erwan highlighted points confirming activities of the extractive industries as well as abundant resources that will bring opportunity for the people. Taking into account the social-environmental impacts has been the main principle to keep the future generation gains the benefit from the mining operation. In terms of managing the abundant resources, making good contract and good governance is necessity to prevent the corruption. Indonesia, just like many other countries, is still struggling with corruption hitches. In addition, there are the issues of fairness and equity distribution among central, provincial, and local government as well as between the government and the society.
“Those are several concerning issues on the stakeholders. If we talk about the big resources and its problems, of course we will be dealing with corruption. It is very common practices in Indonesia. After the reformasi, we are still struggling with corruption. Therefore, we need to exchange knowledge in managing resources and maintaining the wealth to create opportunities for the people.”
In line with the good practices of extractive industry, Indonesia Country Manager of NRGI, Emanuel Bria remarked that economic decision is important, but it is not sufficient. Good rules and regulations, institutional management strengthening by active citizens are essential foundation for the resource governance.
“Through the course, we can share our knowledge and experiences. Different country has different ways to handle problems. The discussion will introduce unique models of resource governance in each country to overcome the discontent,” Emanuel talked to the forum.
There are still some important sessions in the training which include a key note speech by the CEO of PT Pertamina, managing revenue from extractive industries, and strategies and practices for reform. At the end of the first week, the participants will be going to Bojonegoro to get a glimpse on the oil and gas revenue management at the sub-national level. (ISW)
[Related link Batch 4 Training Has Ended]