MINE DEVELOPMENT, CONSULTATION WITH INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND SUSTAINABLITY
Conflict over mineral development and its impacts on indigenous peoples occurs in many countries around the world. Canada, Bolivia and Peru have experienced mine development for centuries in areas where indigenous communities have been and continue to be affected by the mining industry. On a global basis the mining industry continues to face the challenge of implementing meaningful consultation programs with indigenous peoples. Many governments around the world have adopted sustainable development as a policy and one important element of sustainable development is minimizing social conflict. John Moffet and Francois Bregha (Moffet & Bregha, 1996), in their analysis of the role of law reform in promoting sustainable development, noted that stakeholder participation can reduce this type of conflict. Social conflict can result in expensive litigation and costly project delays for mine developers. Meaningful consultation with indigenous peoples in areas where mine development is proposed can be a critical factor in securing a social licence to operate. A report released by the United Nations in 2005, outlined the elements of a concept called “free, prior informed consent” (FPIC) that promotes more sustainable development.
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