Challenges in governance and regulation should be addressed before Haiti can exploit its resources of gold, silver and copper, according to a recent report by the aid and development organization Oxfam and development.

Following this report, the potential revenues from mining could be essential for the country of Haiti in the quest to solve the persistent development challenges of the country.widespread poverty, extreme inequality, weak institutions, high risk of corruption and vulnerability to disasters but to date there are few facts that might suggest that the current Haitian government, proposed regulations and capacity in mining and fiscal management are not adequate to effectively manage the sector.

"The Haitian government should first promote and structure an intelligent management system revenue to invest in development initiatives in favor of the poorest," argues Damien Berrendorf, Director of Oxfam in Haiti. "Mining can be a blessing as a curse for the people of Haiti and we must take clear steps to ensure that these revenues will be managed responsibly. Oxfam hopes that this new report will keep informed the Haitian government management system and ensure that mining revenues are received in an ethical manner, to the benefit of all communities and responsibly vis-à-vis them. "

If we go back in history, we see that the mining industry has always developed timidly in Haiti. This situation is about to change, and today foreign investors have their eyes on Haiti to exploit and export these underground resources of gold, silver and copper.

Despite considerable assistance from foreign donors since 1990, following the 2010 earthquake, the Haitian public financial management system remains weak, inefficient and subject to corruption. There is little, if not no, indicators showing that the public financial management system of Haiti is able to effectively manage the expected mining revenue.

Moreover, the current draft law contains serious flaws that could endanger the environment of Haiti and the well-being of affected communities, and may even restrict the ability of the Haitian government to regulate the mining issue effectively. In particular, the measures taken in terms of environmental impact studies, financial transparency, compensation for requisitioned land, and risk guarantees should be strengthened, as well as provisions for closures and cost of cleaning of mines abandoned.

"There are serious concerns about the content of existing legislation and proposed ones, as well as public involvement in their drafting process," says Berrendorf. To address these problems, we believe it is of utmost importance that the government engages civil society in dialogues on how best to operate with regard to mining. If these problems are not addressed, this money could be mismanaged or lost in corruption maneuver, not directed to initiatives for reducing poverty and inequality and lead to waste of non-renewable revenues Haitians will have the chance to develop only once. "

Oxfam expressed these recommendations for the government and civil society: • The moratorium with respect to all new exploration and exploitation concessions should be formalized through legislation. Although the government has the need for new sources of revenue to invest in the fight against poverty, this urgency should not divert attention from the need to upgrade the legal and regulatory frameworks. This includes full assessment of social impacts and efforts of direct and indirect environmental impact that mining could lead, and whether mining is "the best use" to already fragile land of Haiti and its surface resources, in terms of short-term profits and long-term costs.

•The moratorium should be maintained and applied until Haiti is able to demonstrate significant progress as regards minimum standards of fiscal transparency. Although the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB) reported only minor improvements in fiscal management capacity of Haiti, their own analysts and other external analysts have recognized much remained to be done.

• In the bare minimum minimum, the Tax Transparency Standards should include a mandatory disclosure clause of all payments made by mining companies to the government of Haiti, as well as exploration licenses and Mines Operating. These publications must be available both in French and Haitian Creole, and measures must be taken to ensure that local communities understand exactly the content of these publications.

• The Haitian civil society must play a vital role of "watchdog" regarding the monitoring of mining activities, if they are to take place, and needs support to fully play this role . The capacity of the Haitian civil society and local communities to appropriately manage problems related to mining activities must be significantly reinforced. This capacity building should include technical training on issues like taxation and analysis of contract, monitoring the quality of water.

avant-draft mining law should be amended to include the contribution of civil society and independent experts. The draft should reflect the highest standards in terms of respect for human rights, environmental protection, and transparency and this includes respect for the principle of free, preliminary and informed communities that are potentially affected by mining.