Big victories for indigenous peoples and transparency advocates

10 August 2011 - Oxfam America, Emily Greenspan

Free Prior and Informed Consent is crucial to ensuring that indigenous communities participate in decision-making processes that affect their lands, cultural identity, and livelihoods.  Big wins for the poor sometime come in unlikely venues. This week the International Finance Corporation (IFC)–the private sector lending arm of the World Bank Group–released its new and, in some ways, improved policies designed to protect the environment and communities. The IFC has been criticized for funding high-risk projects in sectors like oil, gas, and mining that entail serious risks for local communities. IFC’s new policies–its so-called “Sustainability Framework”–outline social and environmental requirements for the companies that it funds in order to reduce the risk associated with its projects. Why is this important? IFC’s social and environmental policies have far reaching impact.  Read More.