Summary of the main points contained in the conclusions and recommendations of the final report of the extractive industries review

Summary of the main points contained in the conclusions and recommendations of the final report of the extractive industries review

Indigenous peoples and human rights in the World Bank’s Extractive Industries Review Final Report

This document summarises the main points in the conclusions and recommendations sections of the World Bank’s Final Report of the Extractive Industries Review (EIR). The document focuses particularly on a few of the issues touched upon in the report, such as indigenous peoples’ rights, human rights generally, World Bank accountability/institutional issues, and the definition of poverty and sustainable development.

The Final Report recognises that if the World Bank Group is to comply with its mandate, strict conditions must be applied to Extractive Industry (EI) projects. It also recognises that at present risks and benefits are unevenly shared and that the majority of the negative burden falls on the poor, local communities, women and indigenous peoples. Unfortunately, the end result still appears to be a ‘net gain’ analysis that is incompatible with the ‘do no harm’ approach that is supposed to underlie World Bank safeguard policies.

EIR Final Report key points and recommendations include:

  • poverty is defined from a human rights perspective
  • sustainable development is seen as centred on human beings, communities and societies rather than on purely economic grounds
  • for indigenous peoples poverty alleviation and sustainable development may have additional or nuanced interpretations/requirements and include effective guarantees for territorial rights and the right to self-determination
  • there is a strong focus on the need to improve governance issues in EI projects, with governance interpreted broadly to include issues such as rule of law, adequate legal frameworks recognising and protecting indigenous peoples’ rights, human rights generally, revenue sharing, etc.
  • the World Bank Group should not increase its involvement in EI projects without addressing a series of prior conditions, which relate both to borrower and corporate governance and institutional reforms within the World Bank Group
  • indigenous peoples and other affected parties do have the right to participate in decision-making and to give their free prior and informed consent throughout each phase of a project cycle

[adapted from author]

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