Last October 27, Bantay Kita presented the experience of the Philippines with the implementation of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) in a session organized by PWYP Indonesia held in Mexico.
In a session titled “Addressing Extractive Challenge to Pursue Sustainable Development”, Mr. Allan Barnacha of Bantay Kita talked about BK’s experience in mainstreaming FPIC in mining negotiations between Indigenous Peoples (IPs) and mining companies. He mentioned the law governing the FPIC which is the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act (IPRA). The law states that IPs may enter into an agreement with non-IPs for the development and utilization of resources within the Ancestral Domain provided that they give their FPIC.
Mr. Barnacha mentioned that the “informed” component is the most problematic as majority of IPs are uninformed about auxiliary rights that mining companies are given and also their rights to demand and engage with the mining companies. He also cited the lack of capacity among IPs to operationalize and monitor the memorandum of agreement they entered into.
BK, for its part, has conducted in the past numerous outreach and capacity building sessions with IP communities. During these sessions, IP communities are oriented with the PWYP Value Chain and transparency and accountability mechanisms related to monitoring extractive industry activities. These sessions provide communities space for reflection on the impact of mining on their welfare. Bantay Kita has also produced modules on FPIC anchored on the Human Rights Approach. These materials were published in three major languages in the Philippines namely English, Filipino, and Cebuano. BK has also provided training materials on the FPIC and Community Based Agreements along with primers related to IPs titled “Subnational Transparency and Accountability Framework” and “Analysis of the PH-EITI Report from the CSO Perspective”.
For future direction, BK aims to help IPs formally organize themselves and continue capacitating especially in having meaningful engagement with different stakeholders. BK will also advocate for a separate seat for an IP representative in the PH-EITI MSG citing the fact that many of operating mining companies are in ancestral domain. BK shall also encourage and assist IP communities in developing Transparency and Accountability Resource Management Framework.
Mr. Barnacha shared the panel with other experts including Rizky Ananda Wulan Sapta Rini of PWYP Indonesia and Jessica Webb of World Resources Institute. The session was moderated by Isabel Munillah of Oxfam America.