Across 90 countries, 476 million Indigenous Peoples – or 6.2 percent of the global population – are trying to protect their communities and the biodiversity within them. Investors, including Mercy Investment Services, recently met with leaders in Indigenous communities to learn more about what they see as best practices for preserving Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC).
FPIC is a principle protected by international human rights standards for Indigenous Peoples, as granted through the United Nations. This year, the Investors and Indigenous Peoples Working Group (IIPWG) brought together Indigenous Peoples’ leaders and investors including Mercy Investment Services and fellow Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility members to discuss best practices for investment and corporate governance. The roundtable fostered discussions on how to accelerate companies’ uptake of Indigenous-led FPIC protocols and how to respond to common questions about FPIC from companies.
Key takeaways included:
- Indigenous leaders need the opportunity to participate in decision making and give or withhold consent, without force or threat, for projects that would affect their lands, territories or rights.
- Companies need to understand that tribal nations are governments, and the leaders represent the perspectives and priorities of entire communities.
- Investors believe that by implementing FPIC, a company can show the competitive advantage of respecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples.
- Investors would benefit from ongoing engagements with Indigenous leaders to better understand their baseline assumptions concerning FPIC and tribal sovereignty.
- This event led to new research, ‘Indigenizing Catalytic Capital, ’ as well as increased tools for investors.
Mercy Investment Services will use these learnings in its ongoing company engagements that involve and impact Indigenous Peoples. You can learn more about the history of Indigenous Peoples’ collaboration with socially responsible investors on this timeline.