Declaration of Civil Society and Indigenous Participants of the Regional Workshop of the World Bank’s Extractive Industries Review – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil April 16-19, 2002
Study | 19 April 2002
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – April 16-19, 2002
We, the undersigned, would like to express our comments about the Latin American Regional Workshop of the Extractive Industries Review, and to highlight several important issues about the Review, keeping always within an analysis of whether or not the extractive industries have contributed to poverty alleviation in our countries.
Limited focus and unequal participation and information
The overwhelming number of participants from the mining and oil sectors, as well as those who have first hand access to information about their respective activity, created an imbalance of participation and a limited analysis of the problem.
The focus was around the question of whether or not the extractive industries generate wealth, which is obvious, since these industries are among the most profitable in the world. Instead, what should have been discussed was why this wealth is not fairly distributed, does not contribute to economic development, and has not been an effective response to combating poverty in our countries.
The problem at hand should be excluded from its national and global context, just as the World Bank’s role cannot be ignored. It is crucial to analyze how Structural Adjustment Policies contribute to poverty, and to set priorities in order to ensure that the most effective strategies in alleviating poverty are implemented.
The World Bank Group’s Role
World Bank staff participation contributed to the above-mentioned imbalance, and their overwhelming presence (especially through their presentations) should be modified in the remaining consultations. Moreover, the information they provided was neither objective nor appropriate for the Review. Useful information may have included economic and social analyses of our countries, which would help to understand the problem of poverty, and to put into context the role of the extractive industries within it.
1. The Review’s focus should be expanded. In order to evaluate the problem, it is necessary to have a comprehensive understanding of the economic, social and environmental consequences of development through extractive activities.
2. The World Bank has not been able to prove that the extractive industries contribute to poverty alleviation. Therefore, it should redirect its investments to other sectors, and reorient its development policies toward activities that have a greater impact on the fight against poverty, such as education and health, sustainable agriculture and tourism.
3. We reject all efforts to expand indiscriminately oil and mining activities in our countries, given their negative economic, social and environmental impacts. These activities threaten the natural resource base on which other current and potential productive activities depend.
4. Civil society organizations should be strengthened through investments in projects designed to promote sustainability and to contribute to poverty alleviation.
5. Development resources should be redirected toward support for small-scale and artisanal mining, as well as toward mitigating the environmental impacts caused by the extractive industries in our countries.
6. We demand that the World Bank and governments respect the wishes of the local communities when they are in opposition to extractive projects that threaten their way of life.
Indigenous communities’ concerns and recommendations
The indigenous communities would like to make the following declarations:
* We reiterate once more that the indigenous communities bear the overwhelming social, cultural, economic and environmental impacts of the extractive industries on indigenous territories, for which there must be indemnity to compensate for the negative effects of these activities.
* There has been a failure to recognize our fundamental rights, such as legal entitlement to our territories and our organizational structures.
* There are constant attempts to manipulate our leaders, with the intention of dividing our communities. * There are no standards and procedures to guarantee previous consultation, and our right to participate in decision-making.
* There are no policies and procedures to guarantee that communities benefit from profits generated by the extractive industries, and that these contribute to the development of our communities. This could be directly contribute to poverty alleviation.
* Indigenous communities’ participation in the tripartite dialogue does not meet the basic principles of equity, given our unequal standing, not only financially but in terms of capacity, against the government and the industry.
* The World Bank’s and the respective governments’ information systems are extremely limiting, as they are inaccessible by indigenous communities.
* Extractive activities in indigenous territories threaten biodiversity conservation, and our ancestral traditions, which are guaranteed by other international instruments such as the International Labor Organization’s Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries, as well as the Biological Diversity Convention.
Finally, regarding the World Bank’s revision of Operational Policy 4.10 on Indigenous People, the indigenous delegates present here support the declaration of the indigenous communities during the Inter-American Working Group Meeting on Indigenous Rights of the Organization of American States. The consultation process recommended by the indigenous communities has not been followed, and the document does not emphasize recognition of the fundamental rights of indigenous peoples already guaranteed internationally, such as the right to land and territories, natural resources, cultural integrity, right to self-determination, customary decision-making and conflict resolution processes, the right to informed consent, among others.
Rio de Janeiro, April 19, 2002.
Sebastiao Haji Manchineri, Coordinador General COICA
Teresa Antaz, Dirigente AIDESEP, Peru
Ruben Suarez, Dirigente ONIC, Colombia
Robert Cartagena , Dirigente CIDOB, Bolivia
Florentino Nahuel, Dirigente Coordinadora Mapuche, Argentina
Adolfo Shakay , Presidente CONFENIAE, Ecuador
Ruperto Calena Vidal, CONACAMI, Peru
Jorge Acosta Arias, CDES, Ecuador
Gladis Marquez, Labor, Peru
Sandra Ramos Lopez, Movimiento de Mujeres “Maria Elena Cuadra”, Nicaragua
Carlos Zorrilla, DECOIN, Ecuador
Theme: Social & economic impacts | Mining