CDA 2014 Committee Proposal on Chapter 8: Natural Resources

 

The Constitutional Drafting Assembly

The Financial System and Natural Resources Committee

 

Part on Natural Resources 

Proposed Ideas and Principles for Constitutionalising Natural Wealth and Resources 

Al-Baida, 2014 

Introduction

The land, all natural resources of different kinds, in the soil and subsoil, in the territorial waters, the continental shelf, exclusive economic zones, assets of large economic projects, all natural products whose use contributes to national income, archaeological remains and sites, returns on the use of the air and airspace above the territory over which the sovereignty of the state extends. 

Article (1)

 

Chapter (1)

Ownership

-       Natural wealth and resources are owned by the Libyan people, and the state exercises its sovereignty on their behalf.

-       The state shall be committed to the following:

-       Preserving, exploiting and protecting these resources;

-       Exercising good governance over their returns in a manner that achieves the requirements of the national economy and security;

-       Managing these resources in accordance with the following principles:

  • Professionalism;
  • Transparency and access to information, and publishing this information unless otherwise stated by the law, to meet the requirements of national security;
  • Oversight and follow-up;
  • Accountability before the legislative authority. 

Article (2)

 

- The state shall be committed to managing these resources through the institutions charged with planning and exploitation, managing their revenues and exercising oversight and follow up in accordance with the law.

- The institutions charged with managing natural resources shall be committed to report directly to the legislative and executive authorities on the measures they have taken and the progress they have achieved. 

Article (3)

 

When drafting laws on natural resources, the legislative authority may consult with:

  1. The relevant advisory bodies;
  2. The executive authority (the ministries and relevant institutions);
  3. Relevant civil society organisations.

The legislative authority may also seek the assistance of whomever it finds appropriate

Article (4)

 

- Contracts and agreements on the exploitation of natural resources shall be reviewed and approved by the legislature.

- Contracts concluded for the exploitation of natural resources shall be approved by the legislature.

- The law shall determine the duration of these contracts according to the type of exploited resource.

-Granting the right to exploit quarries and mines shall be based on fees and licenses, and their duration shall be determined in accordance with the law. 

Article (5)

 

Chapter (2)

Revenues of Natural Resources

- These revenues shall be managed by investment funds and institutions regulated by the law.

- These revenues shall be distributed among central and decentralized levels; 

-  Resource revenues shall be distributed according to the following principles and criteria:

  1. Population (demographic density);
  2. Geographical surface area;
  3. Marginalisation and poverty;
  4. The level of services and infrastructure;
  5. Stability and the current demographic vacuum;
  6. Regional development (developing the regions);
  7. Human development in all regions;
  8. Using local expertise.

-       Allocating ten percent of the revenues of extracted resources to the production regions in order to create alternative, national and sustainable projects; and the areas surrounding production regions shall share three percent of the revenues. 

Article (6)

 

Chapter (3)

Sustainable Development

Sustainable and balanced development shall achieve:

- Liberation from the rentier economy and establishing a diverse economy;

- Achieving regional development;

- Ensuring the rights of future generations;

- Achieving prosperity;

- Maintaining a growth rate which ensures decent living;

- Moving development from the peripheries towards the centre;

- Manufacturing raw materials in order to give the economy an added value;

- Building a diverse and competition-based economy;

- Achieving balanced development taking into account the economic, environmental, social and cultural dimensions;

- Using local expertise in the management of resources and manufacturing the equipment necessary for that purpose;

- Exploiting natural resources in accordance with the law and for a limited time while emphasizing the principle of publicity and competition. 

Article (7)

 

Chapter (4)

The Rights of Future Generations

- Setting aside a share of the revenues of natural resources for the benefit of future generations;

- Creating a sovereign fund to invest these revenues, which shall be regulated by law;

- Allocating a share of the revenues to invest in the development of young people and their scientific and personal capabilities;

- Allocating a share not exceeding five percent of investment revenues to support government expenditure;

- Ensuring that the fund’s money is put in high-safety internal and external investments in the interest of the national economy. 

Article (8)

 

Chapter (5)

The Environment

-  Protecting the environment within the State's borders is a national duty regulated by a basic law which defines it and identifies the criminal and civil rules to protect it and the institutions charged with its management based on international treaties and agreements;

- The State shall guarantee the protection, development, use and exploitation of elements of the environment, and shall prohibit undermining, polluting or using them in a manner that is contradictory to their nature on the local and international levels; and the State shall have the right to determine public interest on any part of the territory to protect them;

- The laws based on the environmental law shall regulate the protection of agricultural land, forests, trees, pastures, wild life, water resources, seashores, deserts and archaeological regions.  

Article (9)

 

- The State shall be committed to protect, preserve and safeguard the environment, taking into account the following criteria:

  • Achieving balance between the environment and its ability to renew itself, on the one hand, and human exploitation on the other;
  • Stipulating protecting and preserving the environment in the contracts concluded for the exploitation of natural resources;
  • Preserving biodiversity and not damaging or undermining it;
  • Preserving the plant cover consisting of forests, pastures and green areas, developing them and criminalizing encroaching against them;
  • Correcting environmental damage and paying compensation;
  • Legislation shall force polluters of the environment to correct the damage, pay compensation and return the environment to its original condition;
  • Commitment, when concluding any contract, to conduct environmental impact assessment and take its results into account;
  • Establishing the environmental health fund which shall be partly funded by taxes and fees on production as regulated by law;
  • Abiding by the technical standards issued by international organisations. 

Article (10)

 

Chapter (6)

Renewable Resources Water

Water resources constitute a publicly owned national wealth, and the State shall be committed to draw up policies and regulate these resources in a manner that ensures their fair distribution among all citizens, while preserving, developing and protecting them and preventing any encroachment against them.

- The state shall be committed to rationalizing the use of water;

-  Concluding agreements, settling disputes, monitoring and protecting aquifers owned jointly by neighbouring countries in a way that ensures non-aggression on the State's water rights;

-  Giving local authorities, through water companies, the right to take part in managing, developing, distributing and exploiting water resources in a decentralised manner;

- Protecting water sources;

- The State shall pass the necessary legislation to protect water;

- The security of water facilities;

- Protecting ground water from pollution;

-  Protecting the coasts of the seas and lakes from pollution and from effects of harmful water. 

Article (11)

 

Preserving and Maximising Water Sources

-Prohibiting pumping water into oil and gas wells;

-Taking the necessary measures to protect water security;

-The State shall be committed to remove any infringements and enshrining that in the law;

- Every citizen has the right to clean and adequate water. 

Article (12)

 

The State shall be committed to create a water company structured in accordance with the geographical division of water regions; and every region shall be represented on the company’s board. 

Article (13)

 

Supporting scientific research and creating high quality research centres to find solutions for the provision of cost effective water sources to use in the fields of economy, agriculture and grazing land in order to achieve economic security. 

Article (14)

 

The State shall be committed to invest in the field of new and renewable energy of different sources and shall encourage scientific research in this field and build projects where they exist. 

Article (15)

 

Animal Wealth

- The State shall pass legislation to protect animals and exploit animal resources, preserve and develop local varieties and develop pastures; 

- The State shall regulate animal husbandry, the use of animals in scientific experiments, and using, trading and transporting them. 

Article (16)

 

Sea Wealth

The State shall pass the necessary legislation for the management, exploitation, protection and preservation of sea wealth and shall ensure balance between exploiting it and its ability to sustain and renew itself. 

Article (18)

 

Chapter (7)

Archaeological Remains and Sites

The following are considered part of national wealth:

- Archaeological ruins and sites, traditional buildings and archaeological and historical cities described as such by the law;

- Coins, manuscripts and documents;

- Sites of an aesthetic nature, rare natural structures and natural reserves; 

- All types and forms of cultural heritage. 

Article (17)

 

Plant Cover

-Plant cover includes all forms of natural plant life or planted forests, pastures, and desert plants and other additions made by humans;

-The State shall be committed to the preservation, protection and maximisation of the plant cover and managing it rationally and ensuring the soundness of environmental systems and elements;

-The State shall be committed to pass the necessary legislation, provided it complies with technical standards and international treaties and conventions;

-The protection of plant cover is the responsibility of individuals and the State;

-Local authorities shall take part in management, protection and planning. 

Article (18)

 

Chapter (7)

Archaeological Remains and Sites

The following are considered part of national wealth:

-  Archaeological ruins and sites, traditional buildings and archaeological and historical cities described as such by the law;

-  Coins, manuscripts and documents;

-  Sites of an aesthetic nature, rare natural structures and natural reserves; 

-   All types and forms of cultural heritage. 

Article (19)

 

- The State’s territory shall be divided into archaeological regions managed by a scientific authority with a general mandate. Its management structure shall include representatives of the regions and as a whole it shall constitute the Antiquities Council, which shall be responsible for joint management and supervision and shall be regulated by law.  

Article (20)

 

The state shall be committed to:

- Preserve, protect, restore and invest in archaeological ruins and sites and prevent any encroachment against them;

- Regulate exploration and excavation;

- Reclaim the antiquities which have been illegally appropriated inside or outside the country in cooperation with all relevant parties through compensation, confiscation or litigation;

- Prohibiting any encroachment against them or trading in them. Such acts are considered crimes which are not subject to prescription law suits related to them are public law suits;

- Prohibiting exchanging them or giving them as gifts;

-  Making use them in accordance with the law.

 

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