ICMM/UN workshop on indigenous peoples and mining

Monday, 19 May, 2014

Hot on the heels of last week’s revelation that conflicts with local communities around mines are costing mining companies billions of dollars, we bring you quick news of a workshop designed to make a contribution to sorting that out. This workshop was on Indigenous Peoples and mining, and was held at the end of last week by the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) and UN Global Compact as a side event to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), which will run until 23 May in New York.

The multi-stakeholder international event explored challenges and promoted good practice around Indigenous Peoples and mining, and was also used to launch a crucial reference guide for businesses. Contributions came from indigenous representatives, ICMM member companies, UN Global Compact and the Chair of the UNPFII. Participating organisations included PiPLinks and Kimberly Regional Economic Development Enterprises. 

In the ensuing ICMM press release, Ursula Wynhoven, Chief of Governance and Social Sustainability and General Counsel at the UN Global Compact, said: “We are delighted to present the Business Reference Guide to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to mining companies and key stakeholders. The Guide points the way to a new paradigm for engaging with indigenous communities, one based on understanding, respect and support for their rights with sustainable value for those communities and for business."

The press release is available here.

As stated in the release, along with the launch the report, the workshop also:

- Introduced participants to ICMM’s policy commitments relating to Indigenous Peoples and mining and the UN Global Compact’s Business Reference Guide

- Provided opportunities to share perspectives and explore challenges around implementing effective engagement and decision-making processes in the context of mining within or near indigenous lands or territories

- Allowed participants to discuss challenges and opportunities around implementing Free, Prior and Informed Consent relating to mining project

- Explored how best to ensure mutual benefit where indigenous communities see value in mining

- Brought together the lessons learned from the previous four regional ICMM workshops on Indigenous Peoples and mining.

A report presenting the findings will be produced in the upcoming months. Reports from all ICMM regional workshops can be found here.