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Sustainalytics examines the challenges of implementing free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) policies for natural resource development projects in the report License to Operate: Indigenous Relations and Free, Prior and Informed Consent in the Mining Industry.
Informed by analysis from the report, Sustainalytics' Senior Analyst Irene Sosa presented an online webinar discussing indigenous rights and the potential impact poor community relations can have on companies in the extractives industry. She also examined the role responsible investors can play to encourage changes in mining companies’ indigenous community relations policies. Irene was joined by Philippe Bélanger, Analyst and Assistant Director, RRSE and François Meloche, Extra Financial Risk Manager, Bâtirente. Francois and Philippe discussed some of the challenges and accomplishments of their engagement with Talisman Energy.
FPIC should be conceived as an iterative, multi-layered process, not a one time "yes" or "no."
Poor community relations can pose material risks to mining companies. Through engagement responsible investors can encourage companies to commit to FPIC and to contribute to the debate on its implementation.