Increasing demand - With increased demand for minerals, the mining industry is increasingly operating in indigenous lands.
Economic drivers – poverty and lack of more attractive livelihood options push more people into artisanal mining
Legacy - Relationships between the mining industry and indigenous peoples have often lead to negative outcomes for the livelihoods of indigenous groups, such as environmental pollution, influx, diseases and cultural changes
Increasing indigenous empowerment - Indigenous peoples now have increasing potential to increasing potential to negotiate better outcomes:
indigenous peoples in many countries have stronger land rights,
lessons learned from elsewhere are providing indigenous groups with improved ways of working
more equitable consultation processes – through changes in domestic legislation, mining company policy and internal capacity within indigenous groups.
Changing relationship - This situation is fundamentally changing the nature of the relationship between indigenous groups and miners wishing to work on indigenous lands.
Referring to a distinct, social and cultural group possessing some or all of the following characteristics in varying degrees:
Self-identification as members of a distinct indigenous cultural group and recognition of this identity by others;
Collective attachment to geographically distinct areas , habitats or ancestral territories and to the natural resources in these habitats and territories;
Distinct customary institutions - cultural, economic, social, legal, and/or political - that are separate from those of the dominant society and culture;
Indigenous language , often different from the official language of the country or region.
There are an estimated 250 million indigenous peoples (also referred to as First or Aboriginal peoples) worldwide, covering a diverse set of groups such as Pygmy and Inuit. The number varies given that there is no universally accepted definition available.
A small number of cases of large scale mining companies operating in contexts with supportive government, recognition of indigenous rights and empowered indigenous groups – particularly in Canada and Australia
Mining companies and indigenous peoples have negotiated agreements which typically include:
Financial – royalties, equity, bonus payments
Employment and contracting opportunities
Environmental and social impact management
Institutional and decision-making arrangements
Key factors behind successful agreements include:
Focusing on long-term outcomes and mutual benefits
Building understanding and trust
Managing the risk of exacerbated tensions within indigenous groups and companies
The importance of capacity building – on all sides
Agreements which are integrated and understandable
Government involvement and support
Indigenous peoples are having increasing control of mining – projects are driven by supporting indigenous development goals, with strong indigenous control, management and participation in mining
LSM best practices Government Indigenous Peoples Miners
Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) is a decision-making process that is free of manipulation or coercion, made before proposed activities take place, is based on a full understanding of the issues and ultimately involves saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the proposal.
Increasing debate in international law/international institutions stating that Indigenous Peoples have the right to Free, Prior, Informed Consent.
FPIC can be understood as the practical implication of Indigenous peoples’ land and territorial rights .
FPIC is advocated by supporters to be seen as the principal determinant of whether there is a ‘ social license to operate ’
FPIC increasingly endorsed by major UN and international agencies (inc. UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations, EU, EBRD, the World Commission on Dams and the World Bank Extractive Industries Review (EIR))
FPIC is incorporated in various ways in national legislation in many countries