Carlo Merla

Carlo Merla

Carlo Merla - PWYP Board chair

Dear All,

PWYP stands for a world where all citizens benefit from their natural resources, through policies and practices based on a rigorous disclosure of information that can empower people to hold their government and extractive companies to account. Transparency is the key tool needed to reach such goals. It is also the core value uniting PWYP members – a vast, diverse and committed group of organisations worldwide. After years of campaigning to shine light on the extractive sector, PWYP continues to challenge secrecy and unethical business practices. We aim to symbolise the fight for transparency, inspiring collective action and integrity. As we move through our first steps to independence, we are more committed than ever to upholding such values.

In 2017, PWYP continued to build a globally representative, locally relevant, legitimate governance structure to lead the campaign. We perceive governance as a dynamic process. As we expand our membership and confront new challenges, we learn, adapt and improve, to make sure we are best placed to achieve our goals. This year we began the first comprehensive review of our governance structure, improving our systems and ensuring we adhere to the highest standards. We are currently reviewing critical governance processes, including:

  • the election of representatives to the Global Council to ensure gender balance, diversity and thought leadership

  • our Board composition and the election of its members to guarantee the right mix of passion, expertise and representation

  • the national coalition model, introducing benchmarks to inspire best practice so our members can be a transformative force in their own contexts

As a registered charity, PWYP is regulated by the UK Charity Commission which, in 2017, issued a revised edition of its Charity Governance Code. The PWYP Board has reviewed this code and is formulating a plan of action based on its principles. We will provide an update on the actions we have taken in our 2018 Trustees’ Report.

With the operalisation of our new organisational structure we are decentralising our actions, to offer side-by-side support for our members’ advocacy efforts and have reinforced our collective capacity to leverage the knowledge of the coalition. A key focus is developing our strategic communication, to improve our recognition worldwide, reinforce our collective advocacy, strengthen knowledge sharing and data use, and build our capacity to produce change.

While we look forward in 2018 and 2019 to defining our strategic horizon for the coming years, PWYP is deeply saddened and angered by the hostility faced by civil society activists campaigning for good governance of natural resources across the world. One of our Board members is facing imprisonment for peacefully making his voice heard. Many activists and community members in countries including Niger, Angola, Congo, Liberia, Cambodia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Bolivia and Canada face ongoing harassment. We stand in solidarity with our members and all civil society representatives currently imprisoned or facing other forms of persecution because they dare to denounce the wrongdoings of governments or extractive companies embezzling resources that should be invested for the benefit of citizens, particularly the most disadvantaged.

Yours,

Carlo Merla

Chair of PWYP’s Board

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