The EITI Board has approved Ecuador’s application to join the EITI, making it the 55th implementing country and the 11th in Latin America.
“EITI implementation can underpin the modernisation of Ecuador’s regulatory framework in the extractive sector, and help ensure that the development potential of extractive revenues is realised,” said EITI Board Chair Helen Clark. “We welcome Ecuador as an implementing country and look forward to the EITI promoting transparency, accountability, and debate around the management of the country’s natural resource wealth.”
Transparency in a growing sector
Transparency is a fundamental element in the development of a robust extractive sector. Through a sustained approach to accountability, EITI implementation can help make information available to Ecuadorian citizens, and strengthen public understanding on how natural resources revenues are being managed.
Implementing the EITI will require that the Ecuadorian government publicly discloses information on contracts, beneficial owners, revenues and payments, information on state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and data related to gender and environmental payments. These disclosures will support ongoing efforts to publish better, more accessible and more timely data on Ecuador’s extractive sector.
Ecuador is one of Latin America’s most important oil exporters and has a growing mining sector. With an oil production of half a million barrels a day, Ecuador’s extractive industry can provide important revenues for infrastructure and development. Transparency and accountability are key to ensure the country’s resources are managed responsibly.
Yet the COVID-19 pandemic has imposed severe burdens on Ecuador’s public budget. Attracting investment will continue to be a priority for the government and will require it to demonstrate a high level of transparency.
A shared commitment
The government committed to join the EITI in September 2019, noting that EITI implementation would help Ecuador in its pursuit of “transparency and efficiency in managing the natural resources of the country.”
Civil society organisations have campaigned for Ecuador to join the EITI since 2012. Their continuous engagement, as well as commitment from some of Ecuador’s largest extractive companies, have been instrumental in presenting Ecuador’s candidature application.
Ecuador’s multi-stakeholder group (MSG) – composed of government, industry and civil society representatives – has developed an ambitious Work Plan for the next three years. The engagement of all the stakeholders will be important to ensure that EITI implementation aligns to national priorities and contributes to inclusive development.
Ecuador’s first disclosures according to the 2019 EITI Standard will need to be made within 18 months of being admitted as an EITI implementing country.