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Big victories for indigenous peoples and transparency advocates

Author: Emily Greenspan, extractive industries policy and advocacy advisor, Oxfam America, Published on: 10 August 2011

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...Oxfam and other NGOs have been in the trenches over the past two years trying to wrench out improvements. IFC’s new framework includes a precedent-setting requirement that its clients secure the Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of indigenous communities prior to launching development activities expected to generate adverse impacts on their lands and natural resources...as with any new policy, implementation must be closely watched [refers to Citigroup, Barclays, Credit Suisse]

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Related companies: Barclays Citigroup Credit Suisse