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Indigenous Rights

The new FPIC Guide: how Indigenous communities get more information and freedom of choice


20.05.2021 |

Together with the non-governmental organisation RESOLVE, the sector programme Extractives for Development has developed a guide for the implementation of FPIC (free, prior and informed consent) on behalf of BMZ, which aims to strengthen the consultation of indigenous groups in mining.

Large-scale projects in the mining, agriculture, energy and infrastructure sector across the globe can cause major social, economic, and ecological changes within the affected communities and landscapes. The adverse effects include limited access to land, pollution of natural water resources and incisions into the landscape. These changes can be irreversible.

Indigenous communities are disproportionately affected; however, often they are neither consulted nor informed about projects and their social and environmental implications. The right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) can be used to open up the dialogue between the affected communities and companies - as outlined in a new guide by RESOLVE.

Dr. Jürgen Zattler, Director-General for International development policy; 2030 Agenda; climate at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), affirms in the official press release from RESOLVE on the 20th of May 2021 the importance of FPIC:

 

"The sustainable development goals can only be met by involving Indigenous groups in the decision-making processes concerning the extractive and other sectors. The use of FPIC allows for the critical early identification of the specific social, environmental, and religious needs of Indigenous networks".


The global demand for raw materials will increase heavily due to the energy transition. The German Mineral Resource Agency (DERA) projects that for example the demand for lithium will increase from 35.000 tons in 2015 to up to 224.000 tons in 2025. The extraction of brine can lead to the violation of Indigenous rights.

As with lithium, many heavily sought out resources are found in the global south. FPIC can be a useful tool to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the overriding principle of LNOB anchored in the 2030 Agenda. Especially the protection of the rights of Indigenous groups play a crucial role within the SDGs. FPIC can also be used to increase the sustainability in supply chains by protecting the human rights of those directly affected by industrial mining or large-scale projects in other economic sectors. The competing needs and interests of stakeholders can be identified and reconciled. Indigenous networks should be involved in each stage of a project from the pre-feasibility assessment to the closure of a project.

The new guide The Practice of FPIC draws from a decade of insights and learning of the FPIC Solutions Dialogue, a group of civil society organizations, Indigenous networks, and leading mining and oil and gas companies that have shared experiences and advice with one another on good practices and common challenges in FPIC processes. The guide is divided into five chapters ranging from the pre-feasibility stage to the closure stage of an individual project. Each chapter provides information and recommendations for the communities and companies tailored to the specific characteristics of each project phase. It is available in English, Spanish, French, Bahasa Indonesia, and Hindi at fpicdialogue.org.

For further information please contact Christina Ankenbrand.

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