MAC: Mines and Communities

Asia Indigenous Peoples’ Workshop Declaration on Extractives

Published by MAC on 2014-05-06
Source: Asia Regional Indigenous Peoples' Workshop on Extractive Industries, Energy and Human Rights

The declaration below is from a recent Asia Indigenous Peoples Workshop on Extractive Industries, Energy and Human Rights.

A Spanish version can be read here: Pueblos Indígenas de Asia rechazan industrias que avasallan su desarrollo autónomo

The meetings accompanied the 2014 Cordillera Day, and a video of that gathering can be viewed here

Asia Regional Indigenous Peoples' Workshop Declaration: Advance the Right to Self Determined Development of Indigenous Peoples!

Asia Regional Indigenous Peoples' Workshop on Extractive Industries, Energy and Human Rights

22 April 2014

We, 68 participants of the ASIA REGIONAL INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' WORKSHOP ON EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES, ENERGY AND HUMAN RIGHTS, held in Sagada, Mountain Province, Philippines on April 20-22, 2014; representing 54 indigenous peoples organizations and advocate groups in Asia, Pacific, Africa, South America and USA; hereby declare our position in relation to the encroachment of extractive industries and energy projects in indigenous peoples' territories.

We are concerned with the aggressive pursuance of neoliberal globalization, whereby indigenous peoples' land, lives, territories and resources are increasingly privatized and liberalized. The current development model undermines indigenous peoples' sustainable way of life based on our deep respect, care, and inseparable relationship with Mother Earth. The overwhelming focus on private sector-led development and Public Private Partnership in the exploitation of territories and lands, forest, water, aerial and energy resources will further undermine indigenous peoples' culture, tradition, identity and human rights.

With Asia becoming the new economic hub, we have witnessed the massive exploitation of our lands and resources in the name of development. Mining, hydropower dams, large scale plantations, oil exploration, geothermal projects, economic land concessions, special economic zones and economic transformation programs, imposition of commercial agriculture dependent on agrochemicals, security zones such as ESSCOM in Malaysia and national parks and other conservation projects are just among the many projects being imposed in our territories without our Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) and without recognition of our right to self determination. Food insecurity, pollution, displacement, destruction of sacred sites, militarization, health hazards, trafficking of and violence against indigenous women and girls as well as violations to our civil and political rights are among the many violations we are experiencing.

Furthermore, the current regional cooperation funded by international financial institutions, coursed through governments and regional economic cooperation among governments such as the ASEAN and SAARC with an aim to promote free trade among countries, is increasing our vulnerability and marginalization. A case in point is the power grid, roads and railways being constructed connecting Asian countries in preparation for the ASEAN Economic Integration being planned for 2015.

Another issue we face is the peace processes, where our life, identity, sovereignty, land and resources are at stake. This is evident in our misrepresentation/nonrepresentation of current peace processes in Mindanao, Philippines, India, and Bangladesh and among the ethnic nationalities in Myanmar, in which our full and effective participation is not ensured and our peace processes not respected and not implemented particularly in Northeast India and Bangladesh. These crucial issues have driven us to wage struggles and movements for our right to self-determination and self-determined development against unsustainable development processes. At the same time, we promote our development alternatives, based on respect and protection of our lands, territories and resources, cultural integrity and empowerment, social and economic well-being of indigenous peoples, sustainable resource management, and self-governance through our customary institutions.

In the light of the alarming situation in Asia and our enduring struggles to defend our rights as indigenous peoples, we forward the following key recommendations for urgent and appropriate action by those concerned:

For governments in Asia:

1. Stop destructive extractive industries, energy projects, economic land concessions, mono-crop plantations and other intrusions into our ancestral territories. Review and revoke licenses, permits, concessions and other agreements issued for projects that have been found to be detrimental to the interests of indigenous peoples.
2. Ensure our constitutional recognition as indigenous peoples and our inherent rights as affirmed by the UNDRIP. Review national legal frameworks, and enact legislations and formulate policies consistent with the UNDRIP, and ensure their proper implementation. Repeal/amend legislations violating indigenous peoples rights.
3. Recognize and respect our right to self-determination and free prior informed consent (FPIC), in accordance with indigenous political structures and customary systems of governance and other forms of collective decision making, including the decision to say no to development projects and policies that violate our rights.
4. Stop militarization of indigenous communities, human rights violations, killings of indigenous peoples and advocates and criminalization of peoples' legitimate resistance in the assertion of our collective rights. Give justice and hold perpetrators accountable of past violations
5. Establish appropriate consultation and grievance mechanisms with indigenous people and other development actors at different levels.
6. Establish documentation, monitoring and information mechanisms on the development projects implemented in indigenous territories to ensure transparency.
7. Establish a corporate accountability framework for public and private corporations.

For International Financial Institutions (IFI):

1. Stop funding extractive industries, energy projects, plantations and other projects that destroy indigenous peoples' land, resources and cultural identity. Ensure that companies have obtained the FPIC of indigenous communities as a prerequisite before extending any financing for projects in indigenous peoples' territories.
2. IFI funding for projects where military and paramilitary forces are being used as security forces resulting to human rights violations should be stopped immediately and no further support should be extended.
3. Ensure transparency and full and effective participation of indigenous peoples in the review process of the safeguard policies of IFIs. Ensure the alignment of these safeguard policies with international human rights instruments including the UNDRIP.
4. Appropriate enforcement mechanisms and sanctions should be strictly enforced and properly monitored to strengthen the implementation of the safeguards.

For Corporations:

1. Respect international standards on indigenous peoples, especially the UNDRIP, ILO Convention 169 and UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. These international standards should be mainstreamed within corporate policy and practice.
2. Respect FPIC as a process defined and managed by the indigenous communities whose lives are impacted by proposed extractive and energy projects. Respect indigenous peoples' own FPIC protocols or policies where these exist.

For Civil Society Organizations:

1. Support indigenous communities' local struggles by extending assistance for research, information, education, advocacy and lobby. Support capacity building of indigenous peoples for the effective assertion of our rights.

For Indigenous Peoples organizations and communities:

1. Strengthen and sustain our sustainable ways of life for the future generations and our resolve in defending our land, territories and resources against destructive projects.
2. Strengthen our organizations to assert our rights when dealing with extractive industries and other projects that impact on our lives and territories. Build alliances among indigenous peoples and with wider networks and organizations in order to engender the broadest possible support for our struggles.
3. Utilize relevant processes and possible avenues of complaint and redress at local, national and international levels. Learn from the experiences of other communities to inform our local decision-making and planning.

We also agree to take the following concrete steps as ways forward:

1. Strengthen and expand the Asia Indigenous Peoples Network on Extractive Industries and Energy Projects (AIPNEE) and the Indigenous Peoples Human Rights Defenders Network (IPHRD).
2. Support ongoing and organize sustained campaigns on extractive industries, energy and human rights to support the local struggles of indigenous communities.
3. Conduct national and international lobby activities targeting governments, ASEAN, SAARC, IFIs, UN, and companies investing and operating in our lands.
4. Extend concrete solidarity support to fellow indigenous peoples across the world waging struggles against extractives and energy projects, human rights violations, and the current unsustainable development model.

Affirmed on this 22nd day of April, 2014 in Sagada, Mountain Province, Philippines.

Recommendations for the revision of World Bank Group and Asian Development Bank safeguard policies on Indigenous Peoples

Twenty-five (25) participants from 21 indigenous organizations in 8 countries in Asia and supported by three (3) civil society organizations gathered for the REGIONAL TRAINING ON SAFEGUARD POLICIES AND GRIEVANCE MECHANISMS OF INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS in Sagada, Philippines.

We have studied and discussed the safeguard policies and grievance mechanisms of international finance institutions and have reflected on the experiences of our communities and peoples with projects funded by these institutions.

We recognise that the policies of the World Bank (WB) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) are now, or soon to, undergo review and we wish to provide our perspectives into the review process.

We note at the outset that the primary purpose of the safeguard policies is to ‘do no harm' yet our experiences show that the current safeguards is insufficient to stop human rights violations, including the destruction of our lands, our livelihoods and damage to our cultures and identities.
We also re-iterate that national laws respecting the rights of indigenous peoples especially to land tenure shall be respected and safeguards by IFIs should further strengthen and not weaken the implementation of these laws and measures on indigenous peoples' rights.

We identify, based on the experiences of our communities, our organisations and our peoples, the following problems with the current safeguard frameworks, policies and procedures of the main international finance institutions:

Policy level concerns

1. The safeguard policies are not in line with international human rights instruments which governments have to respect and protect, including the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
2. Customary land rights are not sufficiently recognized or protected by the current language of the safeguards and therefore risk being damaged or lost
3. Traditional or customary governance systems and management systems are not sufficiently protected and respected by the current language of the safeguards and therefore risk being undermined
4. The World Bank (WB) and ADB prioritize economic growth and market driven development over equitable, self determined and sustainable development for the people resulting to increasing gaps between the rich and the poor and resulting to human rights violations including the collective rights of indigenous peoples over their lands, territories and resources among others.
5. There are no appropriate or effective sanctions provided by the safeguards to be applied in cases of non-compliance and as a result we see violations in our communities left unresolved
6. We reject the WB's requirement for ‘free, prior and informed consultation', instituted in place of free, prior and informed consent. Experience since the adoption of this requirement in 2004 shows that it has failed to secure our full and effective involvement or support for projects impacting on us. The World Bank's own internal Learning Review highlighted extremely low levels of evidence provided for broad community support and low levels of effective consultation.
7. The policy as currently formulated does not require our participation in decision making at an appropriate level, including by failing to require our involvement in the conduct and validation of social impact assessments and failing to require clear indicators and monitoring plans in the implementation of indigenous peoples' plans and other agreed planning and implementation frameworks.

Implementation level concerns
1. The information and protections contained in the safeguards are inaccessible to communities for the following reasons
a. The language is complex and difficult to interpret
b. It is often not known in communities affected by a project funded by a particular institution that safeguards exist.
2. There is lack of adequate and accurate information provided to communities regarding the safeguard protections, including through lack of appropriate and transparent forms of wide consultations with community members and not only with selected leaders; limited time periods provided for consultations and information sharing; and lack of effort put into awareness raising among affected indigenous peoples on the project and related guidelines
3. The limited available sanctions, including stopping funding, withdrawal of future funding, or blacklisting implementation agencies for future high risk funding, are rarely exercised
4. Monitoring of the implementation of the policy at the World Bank and at the borrower level is poorly done. Among others, the conduct of consultations, information provided to communities, process and implementation of the Indigenous Peoples Plans with key indicators are not properly undertaken.
5. There is little or no transparency and information on the different roles of stakeholders and key actors such as government agencies, project proponents, consultants and others.
6. Some governments continue to fail to comply with the safeguards or implement their requirements, sometimes due to a lack of political will and sometimes due to a lack of knowledge and coordination between government agencies and with WB officials.

Based on these problems and the experiences that we have the following recommendations for the international finance institutions in the review and reformulation of their policies:

Policy level changes needed
1. Indigenous peoples' own concept of self-determined development shall be explicitly recognized and supported in the safeguard policies
2. Safeguards shall incorporate a human-rights based approach at all levels, including appropriately assessing risks to our individual and collective rights
3. Customary and collective land rights shall be respected explicitly and projects dependent on formalizing recognition of such rights
4. The indigenous peoples' policy be retained as a stand alone policy in the World Bank
5. The safeguards shall be guided by, and provide reference to, international human rights law, including the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, to strengthen the protections for indigenous peoples
6. Additional provisions are required to ensure that Indigenous peoples' plans are formulated by the community members in ways consistent with their independent decision making process; and key indicators for its appropriate and timely implementation are identified for strict monitoring with the effective participation of community members.
7. Appropriate enforcement mechanisms and sanctions to be used in cases of non-compliance shall be designed to strengthen implementation of the safeguards

Implementation level changes needed
1. Transparency shall be ensured, in part by requiring awareness raising on the safeguards for affected communities and providing the safeguards in local languages
2. The language of the safeguards shall be simplified for community level understanding
3. The safeguards shall ensure the full, effective and meaningful participation of indigenous peoples in the planning and implementation of projects. In particular, the full and effective participation of affected indigenous peoples, including but not solely through their representative authorities, shall be ensured in the following among others:

4. The safeguards shall respect indigenous system of decision making and customary laws on resource management and shall not be driven solely by local governments or other agencies
5. Appropriate enforcement mechanisms and sanctions should be strictly enforced to strengthen implementation of the safeguards. Projects linked with serious human rights violations such as the criminalization of community actions against development projects or violations to the collective rights of indigenous such as the lack of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) should be immediately suspended for investigation and appropriate sanctions applied.
6. Projects unnecessarily utilizing State military forces and paramilitaries to protect or implement projects should be carefully monitored and reviewed as this can and does create a sense of insecurity and intimidation, preventing the full and effective participation of communities as well as constraining them from raising their concerns freely. A case in point is the implementation of some KALAHI CIDSS projects funded by the WB in Tineg, Abra and in Kalinga Province in the Philippines. There is a high probability that similar intimidation will attend projects implemented in Myanmar. Investments there are now pouring into the territories of ethnic nationalities in a historical context in which the military is implicated directly in land grabbing and in activities opposed by ethnic minorities, including mining and dams.

World Bank

We take note of the series of consultations conducted with indigenous peoples. We hereby reiterate earlier recommendations made by indigenous peoples including in submission and letters sent to the World Bank. We strongly recommend that further consultations with indigenous peoples include feedback and actions in response to these earlier recommendations. We refer, in part, to the following:

The Indigenous Peoples Policy shall be maintained as a standalone policy with the incorporation of the following elements:
1. The right to Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) in accordance with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and ILO Convention 169, along with the recognition and respect of the rights of indigenous peoples.
2. The recognition of pastoralism as a livelihood and a lifestyle and the inclusion of pastoralist people as indigenous peoples in World Bank policies, in particular in the Indigenous Peoples Policy.
3. The recognition and respect of the rights of Indigenous Peoples in voluntary isolation. In particular, no project shall take place in their territories.
4. The effective and immediate solution of the gaps and shortcomings of the implementation of OP4.10 based on the World Bank Learning Review (2011).

Asian Development Bank

Specific to the Asia Development Bank we provide the following recommendations:
1. Share the any reports and reviews on the implementation of the Safeguard Policy Statement in projects affecting indigenous peoples
2. Conduct an independent evaluation on the implementation of the Safeguard Policy Requirements for Indigenous Peoples
3. Ensure the participation of indigenous peoples' representatives in the selection of members of the independent evaluation team and in defining their Terms of Reference.

Affirmed this 20th day of April 2014 in Sagada, Philippines.


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