WHO WE ARE
The Natural Resource Charter is a global initiative designed to help governments and societies effectively harness the opportunities created by natural resources. Some of the poorest countries in the world have large amounts of natural resources. These can provide a pathway out of poverty. In the past, however, these opportunities have often been missed and resource abundant countries have consequently remained poor. Natural resources have the potential to be transformative if they are properly harnessed for development. However, the government decision chain – from the discovery of natural assets through to their conversion into a productive economy – is long and complex. This is why the process has so often been unsuccessful. The Natural Resource Charter provides twelve Precepts to inform and improve natural resource management. It will help to ensure that the opportunities provided by new discoveries and commodity booms will never again be missed.The Charter has no political heritage or sponsorship.The drafters of the Charter are an independent group of the world’s foremost experts in economically sustainable resource extraction. The Charter was developed by a Technical Advisory Group chaired by Nobel Laureate in Economics, Michael Spence. The Charter was then adapted and domesticated by the Expert Advisory Panel for the Nigerian context in 2012. The Expert Advisory Panel is chaired by Mr. Odein Ajumogobia; former Minsiter of Petroleum Resources in Nigeria. The NNRC assesses petroleum sector governance in Nigeria using the Charter and then designs interventions targeted at addressing the lapses in petroleum sector governance identified. 12 economic principles enshrined in the Natural Resource Charter are used to assess Nigeria’s petroleum sector governance using a ‘traffic light system’ which depicts poor performance ‘red light’, good performance ‘green light’ and average to moderate performance ‘amber light’. The results of these assessments are published in Benchmarking Exercise Reports (#BERs) of which there are 3; namely 2012, 2014 and 2017. The BERs are intended to be bi-annual but a review of the Charter in 2016 resulted in the assessment being conducted in 2017 instead. What makes the Natural Resource Charter unique? It is a common framework for addressing the challenges of natural resource management. It is also a tool for citizens. It has the potential to be an international convention in the making, but one that will be built by a participatory process guided by academic research.