|Resource Extraction Monitoring
Supporting governments in tackling illegal activities in the logging and fishing industries
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Resource Extraction Monitoring is an organisation specialised in the independent monitoring of law enforcement and natural resources extraction. We have offices abroad (Cameroun and Congo) and operate in the field to identify and investigate cases of illegal activity, then follow their progress through administrative and judicial systems. We analyse the illegal forest activities documented and Government action in order to propose solutions to tackle them more efficiently, and participate to the implementation of these recommendations through continuous work with those concerned.
Independent monitoring is a systematic audit-style approach which enables good governance of state-owned natural resources and compliance with resource-extraction laws, treaties, and contracts. Founded in 2003 by experts with over 15 years of monitoring experience, REM bridges the gaps between governments, environmental and human rights NGOs and local communities, donors and the private sector by providing objective and timely information on natural resource allocation and use.
REM is not a lobbying organisation and has no political agenda, but we are pro-active in researching and presenting the issues of governance and transparency during project implementation. We recognise that good governance enables citizens to share more equitably in natural resource use whilst protecting those which they prefer to leave off-limits, and that compliance ensures a level playing ground for competing commercial interests.
While other organisations involved in monitoring the forest sector tend to focus mainly on forest cover through remote sensing, REM is unique in that it monitors on-the ground governance mechanisms and provides objective, site-specific and feasible recommendations for long-term policy and enforcement improvements. Formal contracts with the recipient governments, endorsed by the donor community, provide leverage and ensure REM access to necessary information as well as providing mechanisms to increase government accountability.
REM Cambridge Office, UK
Valérie Vauthier, director
REM CAGDF and Forests Monitor joint Brazzaville Office, Républic of Congo
REM Kinshasa Office, Democratic Republic of Congo
Laurent Granier, team leader and lawyer
REM promotes a constructive approach involving each of the following participants:
Where appropriate REM works with governments to help them develop monitoring systems for law enforcement, which brings international credibility to efforts undertaken. The transparency required in a working partnership and the recording of any denial of access to information is powerful evidence in and of itself. As always, when working with local officials we believe our work is most effective when we provide our partners with the tools and expertise to help themselves. REM supports improved law enforcement but law enforcement itself remains a function of governments. REM also sees as crucial that ownership of any improvement in law enforcement as well as monitoring processes is built within government.
The International Donor Community
The International Donor Community formulates programmes in partnership with local governments but often lack detailed information on law enforcement and governance. The Resource Extraction Monitoring approach can fill this information gap to help target funding more strategically. Through our monitoring activities REM enables improved governance and transparency and support the achievements of donor programme objectives.
The Private Sector
REM recognises that illegal trading in natural resources leads to the corruption of the level and fairly competitive marketplace and steals revenue not only from the state but from legal commercial interests. The private sector benefits from strong governance because compliance is rendered easier to maintain and companies need not waste money fighting corruption or damaging their market image. REM values the experience of the private sector in dealing with administrative systems and the issues of governance that arise in carrying out their activities.
Nobody benefits more from good governance than the public. As recent international investigations have demonstrated, states are losing enormous amounts of revenue through illegal extraction of natural resources. Corruption is difficult if not impossible to document and prove. REM's approach provides a systematic documentation of processes in areas where opportunities for corruption arise and provides recommendations to reduce them. The mere presence of an independent monitor often reduces opportunities for corruption. Information is published and helps the public understand the mechanics of corruption so that they can counter it effectively.
REM works with NGOs who seek to curtail illegality and human and environmental rights abuses. Often their independent investigations provide crucial data for in-country monitoring; REM works to corroborate the data of all groups working in a given space and to make their findings available to local law enforcement and policy-making officials. Monitoring findings can be used by other NGOs to support calls for improved governance. REM provides GIS training and monitoring techniques to increase local capacity. Where there is political space monitoring should be implemented by local NGOs, however they may need support in the early stages.
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