Multi Stakeholder Initiative on Extractive Industries in Cambodia

Multi Stakeholder Initiative on Extractive Industries in Cambodia

Sand dreding activities of sand mining companies, Koh Sro Lav, Koh Kong Province.

Photo: Kimheng Cheng/Oxfam

Extractive Industries in Cambodia is now expanding from exploration to exploitation where exploitation licenses have been increased from 18 in 2015 to 23 in 2017. The figure itself explains Cambodia is on the fast track in the extractive industries sector.

In late January 2017, H.E. Suy Sem, Minister of the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) has publicly launched the Extractive Industries Governance Forum (EIGF) which he mentioned it's one of the components of MME's reform program under vision of Wealth for All.

He also appreciated the constructive engagement from CSOs, I/NGOs, private sectors and other stakeholders in the past years.

"I would like to express my thankfulness to members of EIGF who have committed time, resources and commitment. It is crucial to see each stakeholder play their roles in contributing to good governance in extractive industries in Cambodia,” he said.

In June 2016, MME initiated the first EIGF, a multi stakeholder platform, where 21 CSOs and 8 mining, oil and gas companies registered as member. The first EIGF resulted into the consensus over operating model, rules of engagement and principles. There were subsequent meetings organized under EIGF, which Oxfam and partners managed to retain their role as critical partners where issues related to extractive industries have been brought for discussion with companies and MME. There were critical events under EIGF such as 1) consultation on petroleum law; 2) illegal sand dredging and its revenue discrepancies; and 3) review mineral licensing process of Renaissance, an Australian mining company.

Multi Stakeholder visit to investigate illegal sand dregding and public consultation with affected communities, December 2016. Photo: Kimheng Cheng/Oxfam

Since 2014, Oxfam in collaboration with NGO partners including Development Partnership in Action-Extractive Industries Social and Environmental Impact network (DPA-EISEI), Cambodia for Resource Revenue Transparency (CRRT), Youth Resource Development Program (YRDP) and Highland Association (HA) have been engaging with MME under its reform program.

The engagement focuses on the incorporation of 1) multi stakeholder engagement principles in policy dialogue and development, and mineral licensing process, and 2) recognition of international standards and human right including cooperate social responsibility (CSR), Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) and Public What You Pay (PWYP).

Khim Sok, Natural Resource Governance Program Manager of Oxfam said "Trust building has been challenges and focus for Oxfam and partners to deal with MME leadership team."

Khim added that to minimize that, Oxfam and partners have proven its institutional credibility on technical expertise and role in social component. Oxfam has taken up roles of mobilizing and organizing NGOs readiness, and lobbying MME’s leadership to recognize role of CSOs in extractive industries governance.