Space for civil society is closing around the world. In resource-rich countries, activists work in an increasingly restrictive environment and are harassed for speaking out about natural resource governance. Although some individual cases have come to be known, particularly when leading to dramatic consequences a global overview accounting for the various patterns of abuses and restrictions composing this worrying trend is still lacking. In response, PWYP and CIVICUS have partnered to document more systematically the scope and variety of the shrinking civic space around the world and how it actively undermines efforts to achieve greater transparency and accountability in the management of natural resources. The results of this joint research will be presented at this workshop, which will offer an opportunity to discuss the main findings in light of real life experiences.
The workshop will start with a short presentation of the main findings from the PWYP-CIVICUS report. Hard evidence will be reinforced by 2 or 3 activists who will give their testimonies of the retaliation they suffered due to their work for transparency and accountability in the natural resource sector. Activists from different regions, including from local communities affected by extractive projects, will share their experiences in facing restrictive legislation (Azerbaijan), active persecution by the state authorities (Africa/Equatorial Guinea) and criminalisation (Latin America). Along with the analysis coming from the report, those personal stories should help the audience better understand how threats to civic space increasingly prevent civil society actors from playing an active role in promoting good governance in the natural resource sector. This will better equip the audience to actively participate in the second half of the workshop which will focus on exploring ways forward to preserve and enhance civic space. Building on the policy recommendations put forward in the PWYP-CIVICUS publication, panellists coming from various backgrounds will provide their own practical advice on how best to protect civil society and citizens from acute threats to their fundamental freedoms. We hope that this forward looking discussion will not only benefit from the panellists’ perspective but also from the broad range of experiences and insights present in the room.
Elisa joined Publish What You Pay as its Executive Director in February 2016. She brings 20 years of experience in international campaigning, grassroots movement building and high-level advocacy. She has worked and lived in central and north America, Europe and Russia. She witnessed the too often devastating impacts of large-scale resource exploitation on people and nature when living alongside indigenous communities in the arctic for five years... Read More →
Director for Community Engagement, Tactical Technology Collective
We can talk about: | - how technology influences life for activists, researchers, investigators. See https://www.exposingtheinvisible.org and https://tacticaltech.org/projects/visualising-advocacy | - how to stay safe online while using technology (basic digital security) See https://www.myshadow.org | - how technology can help women human rights defenders do their work better. See hhttps://tacticaltech.org/gender-and-tech-institute-latin-america... Read More →
Inés M. Pousadela is a Policy and Research Officer at CIVICUS, a researcher for OGP’s Independent Reporting Mechanism in Argentina, and an associate researcher at the Institute of Communication and Development (ICD) in Uruguay. She holds a PhD in Political Science (UB), a Master’s Degree in Economic Sociology (IDAES-UNSAM), a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science (UBA, Argentina), and two Photography degrees from... Read More →
As president of the "Comité de Regante" and member of the "Coordinadora Regional de Comunidades Afectadas por la Minería (CORECAMI - Apurímac), Carmen Rosa Shuan has been leading her community's protests against mining activities on their ancestral lands. As such, she has been fighting for proper consultation processes, in line with the ILO Convention 169, and for more transparency about the expected social and... Read More →
As EITI Coordinator, Asmara provides support to the civil society members on the International EITI board – helping them coordinate and amplify civil society perspectives in International Board decision-making, report back to their national and regional constituencies and facilitate their participation in the various board committees. She also assists PWYP’s coalitions with the development and management of EITI focused... Read More →