IFC review of its Sustainability Policy and Performance Standards

FPP's submission to the IFC review of its safeguard framework, with specific emphasis on the issues of information disclosure, inaccurate categorisation of projects and the need to adhere to the principle of free, prior and informed consent.July 2010

Guyana: indigenous peoples continue to be left out

During May, the Norwegian Government announced that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Guyana to contribute US$230 million towards the country's Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS). It only remained to be decided which financial agency would act as the intermediary with the fiduciary responsibility to make sure the monies were handed over with due care. Would this be the World Bank and what standards would the World Bank follow to supply this money?

Palm Oil and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) - Update

During May and June, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank's private sector financier, finally began a long-delayed process of consultation aimed at developing a revised strategy setting out the terms and conditions for future investment in the controversial palm oil sector. The IFC produced an 'issues paper' which usefully summarised the viewpoints of the various actors, including critics of the IFC. Consultations were then held in Washington, DC; then in three places in Indonesia, followed by Ghana, Costa Rica and finally Europe. Working closely with a consortium of Indonesian NGOs, smallholders and indigenous peoples, Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) helped put together a detailed Joint Statement to the IFC setting out proposals for the IFC strategy and how it should be developed. The statement was endorsed by over 160 organisations in Indonesia and around the world and was widely cited by supportive organisations in the subsequent consultations.

Indigenous peoples raise concerns over failure to meet protected area participation and benefit-sharing targets at Convention of Biological Diversity's SBSTTA-14 and in response to Global Biodiversity Outlook 3

Most of the world's biodiversity targets have not been met. This is the key message of the third edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-3), presented at the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD)'s 14th meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-14). The report does, however, choose to highlight the expansion of protected areas as a positive accomplishment. For indigenous peoples this is a cause for concern - not a success - as the establishment and expansion of protected areas still largely takes place without their participation and consent. This concern was underlined in the conclusions of the in-depth review of the implementation of the CBD's Programme of Work on Protected Areas (PoWPA).

Free, Prior and Informed Consent - Making FPIC work for Forests and Peoples

The right of indigenous peoples to give or withhold their free prior and informed consent to projects, laws and policies that may affect their rights is affirmed in international law. Making this right effective is more challenging: and what should private sector companies do to ensure they respect this right? This 'scoping paper'has been prepared by FPP for The Forests Dialogue to stimulate an interactive discussion about how to respect FPIC in practice among all those concerned about forests and rights.

Scoping paper prepared for The Forest Dialogue's (TFD) FPIC Initiative.

REDD+ Partnership launched amid concerns over indigenous peoples' rights while UN negotiations resume

The Interim REDD+ Partnership was launched in Oslo on 27 May before United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) talks resumed in Bonn between 31 May and 11 June. Fifty delegates from REDD and donor countries' governments adopted a declaration including the principles and modalities of work of the new Interim REDD+ Partnership initiative. Respect for indigenous peoples' rights and support for the implementation of safeguards still under discussion at the UNFCCC are not among the Partnership's principles, and the process so far has been evidently lacking in terms of transparency and participation.

Bangladesh - Cyclone Aila: continued suffering one year on

Cyclone Aila hit the south-western coastal belt of Bangladesh, more specifically the Satkhira and Khulna Districts, on 25 May 2009, affecting almost 2.3 million people and immediately killing 325. The tidal surge, which measured 10-13m, inundated the region and washed away huge numbers of houses, livestock, crops and other resources within a very short time.

World Bank's Independent Evaluation Group finalises its review of safeguard and sustainability frameworks in the World Bank Group

The Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) of the World Bank has been conducting a review of the safeguard and sustainability frameworks in use by the Group. This includes the Operational Policies of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)/International Development Association (IDA) and the Performance Standards and related documents of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). The review covers the World Bank standards from 1999 (when they were introduced) through until 2008 and the IFC/MIGA standards since 2006 (their year of adoption) through to 2008.

The review will be completed shortly and any organisation or person wishing to provide the IEG with information from their experiences with World Bank, IFC or MIGA projects should contact the IEG as quickly as possible.

FPP has provided the IEG with a written submission based on our experiences with the safeguard and sustainability frameworks and the experiences of our partners and colleagues.  For further information please contact Helen Tugendhat.

International Finance Corporation enters final round of consultations on 3-year review of its safeguard and sustainability framework

As announced in our e-newsletter of November 2009, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) is conducting an on-going review of their use of the Performance Standards, the Sustainability Policy and the Information Disclosure Policy. They are now entering their second commenting and review period and have released to the public their proposed changes to all Performance Standards and other policies.

Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) will be providing comments in due course and would welcome any input from indigenous peoples' organisations. Please contact Helen Tugendhat.

Free, Prior and Informed Consent: Making FPIC work for forests and peoples

The shorthand phrase ‘free, prior and informed consent,’ and the acronym FPIC, refers to the right of indigenous peoples to give or withhold their free, prior and informed consent to proposed measures that will affect them. The right is affirmed in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and in the jurisprudence of the international human rights treaty bodies including the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.