A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
DOI-ITAP coordinates DOI participation in the Energy Governance and Capacity Initiative (EGCI) a U.S. Department of State-led, U.S. interagency effort to provide a wide range of technical and capacity building assistance to the host governments of select countries that are on the verge of becoming the world's next generation of oil and gas producers. The countries receiving EGCI assistance have world class hydrocarbon resource potential and expect to receive sizable, near-term financial windfalls from the development of their oil and gas resources. EGCI's core objective is to help these countries establish the capacity to manage their oil and gas sector resources responsibly. Although EGCI's goals are country-specific in nature, the program broadly tries to ensure sound and transparent energy sector governance for the benefit of national economic development.
The EGCI program supports a broad range of U.S. foreign policy objectives and is tightly coordinated with our overall bilateral energy relationships. EGCI assistance complements other reform efforts, such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), for which DOI is the lead Federal agency, and aims to coordinate with and leverage the work of other donors to every extent possible. EGCI typically works in four areas of capacity-building:
Technical: understanding the resource through the most appropriate technologies
Financial: responsible management of revenues from the sector
Legal: embedding international best practices into laws and regulations
Environmental: protecting people and the environment from sector impacts
Government-to-Government Support: The EGCI program taps into the U.S. Government's considerable in-house expertise and capabilities in order to provide assistance that is tailored to the specific needs of individual countries. A by-product of this government-to-government engagement is the potential for establishing long-term working relationships that will foster institutional stability and enhancement of the U.S. Government's ability to further diplomacy on critical issues, such as promoting sound energy sector governance.
Sample Programs and Activities: Examples of the types of programs and activities that EGCI undertakes in various countries include: workshops and seminars on leasing, revenue management and regulatory best practices for oil and gas sectors; in-country support for regulatory bodies to provide independent energy sector oversight and management; legal and technical guidance to support the implementation of reforms and policies that will create sustainability in the energy sector as well as a commercial environment conducive to attracting large scale investment; specialized assistance in oil and gas revenue sharing and distribution as well as in related financial and tax management; implementation of financial tracking systems and other measures to reduce corruption; technical training in oil and gas resource identification, resource assessment methodology, and best practices related to geological/geophysical data analysis and management; and capacity-building assistance to boost in-house technical and management skills within energy-related ministries and other governmental entities.