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Mexico: Inter-American Dev. Bank's report alleges wind farm projects violate indigenous rights


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14 October 2016

Inter-American Development Bank Confirms Mexico Wind Farm Project Violated Indigenous Peoples Policies

Author: Indian Law Resource Center

…The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) affirmed claims that the land rights of seven communities in Oaxaca, Mexico, were being violated by a Bank-funded wind power project. …The Mareña Renovables Wind Power Project was slated to be the biggest wind farm in Latin America, with transmission lines  and turbines that would cross over lands belonging to the indigenous communities and affect their fishing areas….A report, adopted by the Executive Board of the IDB…was produced by the Bank’s Independent Consultation and Investigation Mechanism (ICIM)…The report states IDB Management failed to comply with the Bank’s policies, including the Environmental and Safeguards Compliance Policy, the Access to Information Policy, and the Indigenous Peoples Policy….The report also highlights Management’s shortcoming in consulting with the communities…The Executive Board has instructed Management to prepare a work plan to implement the ICIM recommendations…For instance, the report asks the Bank to make publicly available all documents of mandatory release and to ensure that the wind power company communicates the closure of this project to the communities…

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1 October 2016

Mareña Renovables Wind Project (Mexico) – Compliance Review Report Published After Consideration

Author: Inter-American Development Bank

On September 14, 2016 the IDB Board of Executive Directors met as the Committee of the Whole to consider the Compliance Review Report for the “Mareña Renovables Wind Project” presented by MICI.The Board expressed its support with the Report findings which revealed non-compliance with three Operational Policies: Environment and Safeguards Compliance (OP-703), Indigenous Peoples (OP-765) and Access to Information (OP-102). The non-compliance found included omissions from the Bank with regard to the obligation of disclosing environmental and social information of the Project, as well as on enabling conditions to carry out good faith consultations with indigenous communities in the impact area. Upon endorsing the findings, the Board decided to adopt the recommendations made by MICI and instructed Bank Management to prepare a work plan to implement such recommendations…

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14 September 2016

Compliance Review Report Mareña Renovables Wind Project

Author: Victoria Márquez-Mees, Director of MICI

…The investigation found compliance failures and omissions with respect to various obligations contained in Operational Policies OP-703, OP-102, and OP-765. Those omissions resulted in the project being notable mainly for the opacity of its preparation and execution, in clear violation of the principles of transparency that distinguish the IDB Group. Consultation is one of those rights whose exercise requires the disclosure of information; in the case of the Marena Renewables Wind Project, the disclosure obligations established in the relevant operational policies were not complied with. Neither did the Bank comply with the provision of information in the places, languages and format that would allow for good faith negotiations…The investigation confirmed the depth and breadth of the environmental analysis and the mitigation plans devised under the Bank’s guidance. Nevertheless, with the exception of the effects on fishing activity, significant limitations were observed in the analysis of the social impact…We must also note that, in spite of identifying adverse effects on the communities’ way of life, cultural integrity, and traditional knowledge, there were no specific plans to mitigate those risks. In particular, the Bank does not seem to have taken measures to ensure access to Barra for ceremonial purposes, nor to have any considerations with respect to the cosmovision of the indigenous communities and their connection to the water…

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