Working Group

Openness in Natural Resources

  • About


The Openness in Natural Resources Working Group (ONR WG) recognizes that good governance in the natural resource sector is fundamental to effectively manage the sector and ensure social and economic benefits, and sustainable development. The working group helps facilitate the creation and implementation of natural resource related commitments that are concrete, impactful, ambitious and targeted to the specific context. The working group shares information on innovative approaches and good practice, as well as the use of technological and diagnostic tools to inform the development and monitoring of commitments.  Additionally, it seeks to build capacity and encourage peer learning across OGP. Through the participation and collaboration efforts of key stakeholders such as environmental oversight agencies, networks, extractive industry private sector partners, civil society groups and international organizations, the working group initiates and sustains a valuable and much needed dialogue regarding natural resources and extractives.

The Government of Mexico, Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) and World Resources Institute (WRI) currently chair the working group. 

The working group takes a focused approach, and zeroes in on a number of critical natural-resource related issues: (a) disclosure of contracts, beneficial ownership and environmental data / information, (b) adherence to data standards, and (c) implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). This concerted approach creates a tipping point effect around key challenges, promoting both the quality and the quantity of commitments. 

The Working Group welcomes the participation of civil society and government that are interested in supporting these priority issues. Click here to get in touch with us. 

New Case Studies

New Issue Briefs

Making climate commitments in OGP

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is an international platform for domestic reformers committed to making their governments more open, accountable, and responsive to citizens. Th​e Paris Agreement adopted in December 2015 provides a framework for multilateral cooperation on climate change. The OGP offers an opportunity for governments to build on momentum around the implementation of the Paris Agreement and incorporate transformational open government climate commitments into national level programs. City, municipal and regional governments can adopt a similar approach at the local level under the OGP Subnational Governments Pilot Program

Disclosing environmental information (English / Español / Français)

Local communities can suffer from negative social and environmental impacts associated with the establishment and operation of oil, gas, and mining projects. These impacts include land use conflicts, lack of water availability, water and soil contamination, air pollution, erosion, involuntary displacement, and social problems. Nevertheless, governments often do not provide communities with timely and useful information on the industry in terms of siting, mitigation, permitting, monitoring, and reclamation. Opportunities for public consultation during the regulatory process and the ongoing provision of information over time is also often lacking.

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) offers an opportunity for governments to mitigate these negative impacts by making commitments on the proactive disclosure of social and environmental information related to the extractive industry. This issue brief aims to provide an overview of current standards and practices, and outline concrete examples of environmental disclosure commitments for consideration by governments and civil society organizations.


Disclosing beneficial ownership information (English / Español / Français)

With 51 countries developing new national action plans (NAP) by June 2016, there is a unique opportunity to commit to good governance of the oil, gas and mining sectors, which are at a particularly high risk of corruption in resource-rich countries. This briefing aims to encourage and orient Open Government Partnership (OGP) countries to commit to beneficial ownership disclosure, which impact the natural resource sector. It explores the rationale behind this commitment, provides country examples, and offers ideas around good practice. It draws heavily from the Natural Resource Governance Institute’s (NRGI) briefing "Owning Up: Options for Disclosing the Identities of Beneficial Owners of Extractive Companies".


Disclosing contracts (English / Español / Français)

Contract disclosure helps address the severe trust deficit in the natural resource sector, and cultivates an atmosphere of cooperation among those deeply invested in the success of, and are greatly impacted by, extractives operations: governments, companies, and communities. Disclosure helps to set realistic expectations for all the stakeholders, which ultimately minimizes the occasion for conflict. It also reduces opportunities for corruption and leakage.

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is an opportunity for governments to improve their commitment to contract transparency by making commitments around the proactive disclosure of oil, gas, and mining contracts. This brief aims to provide an overview of current standards and practices, and outline concrete examples of contract disclosure in action.