New Report on Consent of Indigenous Peoples2010-05-05
Bâtirente and the Regroupement pour la responsabilité sociale des entreprises(RRSE) are pleased with the independent report exploring the concept of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of indigenous peoples that was commissioned by Talisman and released today. Click here to consult the report.
The report explores the benefits and challenges of implementing a policy requiring the company to ensure that the FPIC of indigenous peoples who are potentially affected by its activities is secured before project development begins, in the spirit of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The main conclusion of the report is that, in the long term, the benefits for oil and gas companies of obtaining community agreement based on FPIC principles are likely to outweigh the disadvantages, despite the challenges involved with securing such consent.
“This report confirms that FPIC principles can, and should, be part of Talisman’s indigenous peoples and local community policy,” states François Meloche, Extrafinancial Risks Manager for Bâtirente.
Philippe Bélanger, Analyst for RRSE, comments: “We believe this report is a cornerstone that will fuel discussions between extractive industries and indigenous peoples. Let’s hope now that Talisman will confirm its leadership in this area by improving its policies and practices in light of the recommendations of the report.”
Implementing a Corporate Free, Prior, And Informed Consent Policy: Benefits and Challenges was commissioned by Talisman and written by Foley Hoag, a Washington-based law firm with special expertise in corporate social responsibility. Included in the report is an independent assessment of the findings conducted by the World Resources Institute (WRI), an environmental think tank commissioned to review the report, underlining its high quality while pointing out areas of improvement. Click here for more information.
For over a year, Bâtirente and the RRSE, both shareholders of Talisman Energy, have been pursuing a dialogue with Talisman with respect to indigenous peoples engagement. At their request, Talisman Energy mandated a third party to conduct this research and agreed to have the WRI review the report. The on-going dialogue will now focus on reviewing the company’s approach in light of the report’s recommendations.
Bâtirente is a retirement system dedicated to members of unions affiliated with the Confederation of National Trade Unions (CNTU/CSN), whose assets reached $790.4 million as at December 31, 2009. It is also a leader in the development of responsible investment practices. For more information, please visit www.batirente.qc.ca.
The Regroupement pour la responsabilité sociale des entreprises (RRSE) is a network of religious communities, organizations and individuals whose purpose for over ten years has been to promote corporate social responsibility through shareholder engagement. For more information, please visit www.rrse.org.
See also Talisman Energy’s news release.
For more information:
Francois Meloche, Bâtirente: (514) 525-5740 (2324), cell (514) 679-6889
Philippe Bélanger, RRSE: (514) 722-1414, cell (514) 475-5426