Transparency Solomon Islands, TSI, has praised the government for taking an important step in building transparency and accountability in the fast growing extractive industry.

TSI reports that a Natural Resource Workshop was recently convened by the Ministry of Finance and supported by the World Bank.

TSI says that in convening the meeting the government "took an important initial step towards dialogue with civil society to explore the potential benefits of the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, EITI."

EITI is the global standard for promoting transparency and accountability in countries rich in oil, gas and mineral resources.

"Working in partnership through the EITI process allows for regular communication among these interested parties on important transparency and accountability issues in the sector," the TSI said in a statement.

TSI says that the country should learn from the logging industry, where a general lack of transparency has resulted in over harvest, where forests of commercial value are fast depleting.

TSI says that the EITI process could improve the industry and give civil society the opportunity to help ensure that the country does not make the same mistakes again.

It says a country rich in resources must always ensure that any exploitation of such resources should help in improving general services to its people.