We Have Rights: A Community Guide for Indigenous Peoples on the 2009 ADB Safeguard Policy Statement and Accountability Mechanism

We Have Rights
Asia Indigenous Peoples’ Pact (AIPP)

We Have Rights: A Community Guide for Indigenous Peoples on the 2009 ADB Safeguard Policy Statement and Accountability Mechanism

The Asia Indigenous Peoples’ Pact (AIPP) is proud to offer this community guide as a response to the continuing need to produce resource materials useful for advocacy work and community actions. In addition, the materials can contribute in strengthening the capacity of member-organizations for local, national and regional engagements. The Guide also hopes to contribute in building a fully-informed network of indigenous communities and advocates that actively addresses the multi-faceted challenges confronting the world’s indigenous peoples, particularly in Asia where majority of indigenous communities are found.

This Guide focuses on the Asian Development Bank Safeguard Policy Statement of 2009 (ADB 2009 SPS) particularly its safeguard requirements for Indigenous Peoples. In addition, it features the ADB Accountability Mechanism of 2012. It also contains the principles and process of the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). Understanding the subject areas covered in this Guide is especially urgent amidst the continuing implementation of development projects by governments funded or assisted by ADB and other Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) that impact on indigenous communities. In addition, there is a need to challenge the prevailing development model that does not fully account for the recognition and protection of indigenous peoples’ rights and welfare.

In particular, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Investment Plan supporting the economic integration of this sub-region under free trade has serious implications to millions of indigenous peoples. The avowed rhetoric of the ASEAN of sustainable development as people-centered and for environment protection is merely a lip service for indigenous peoples. There are no specific policies and measures for legal and environment protection of indigenous peoples’ rights over their lands, territories and resources. Likewise, the drive for more power generation through large dams and related facilities as clean energy is already leading to massive displacements of indigenous peoples in Northeast India, Malaysia, and along the Mekong River, among others. Many large dams constructed in the 60’s to the 90’s were implemented without the FPIC of the affected communities as affirmed by the report of the World Commission on Dams (WCD) in 2000 entitled, “Dams and Development: A New Framework for Decision Making”.

This Guide has been developed collectively by the Regional Secretariat of the AIPP through the guidance of its Secretary General, Joan Carling and contribution of its staff, Ashok Chakma, Robeliza Halip and Bernice See. Acknowledgement is also given to Maria Teresa C. Dominguez for the simplification of the community guide, Arnold M. Azurin for the copy editing work and Potchie Lazaro for the layout design and illustrations.

This publication has been produced with financial support from OXFAM Australia.

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