It is well known that extractive industries can have negative and even devastating consequences for indigenous peoples and local communities. These consequences are related to the current model of natural resource extraction, where communities are not involved in the planning of projects, nor do they receive benefits anywhere close to those obtained by the corporations involved. While the current model is deeply entrenched, communities can take steps to address the challenges that extractive industries pose.
Natural Justice, with the support of the Heinrich Boll Foundation (HBF), is currently working with four communities in Argentina, India, Kenya and Zimbabwe respectively who are dealing with the effects of extractive industries. These communities are participating in a project to pilot the development of biocultural community protocols that will help to establish common positions, identify areas, territories and natural resources used, explain appropriate procedures for obtaining free, prior and informed consent, and provide external parties involved in extractive activities with other information relevant to respecting the communities’ rights. In addition to addressing each community’s specific challenges, the purpose of the project is to share experiences among communities and ultimately to draw lessons from those experiences that can be applied when developing community protocols in the future.
From 10 to 13 February 2015, Natural Justice and HBF hosted a meeting in Cape Town where the communities and supporting partners participating in the project came together to share experiences, receive training and develop strategies for going forward. Read more