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10 March 2004



Mr. James Wolfensohn


World Bank Group

1818 H Street NW

Washington, DC 20433

Fax: + 1 202 522 7700

[email protected]




Dear Mr. Wolfensohn:


Follow up and implementation of Extractive Industries Review (EIR) recommendations on indigenous peoples


We, the undersigned indigenous peoples’ organizations, welcome the final report of the EIR and are writing to you as President of the World Bank Group to lead in the World Bank’s implementation of its recommendations on indigenous peoples.


We especially endorse the EIR recommendations that deal with indigenous peoples because these are largely consistent with our own demands for reforms in the World Bank and in the extractives industry.


We commend the eminent person Dr. Emil Salim for recommending appropriate measures to ensure that World Bank policies and projects effectively address the negative impacts of extractive industries on our peoples. 


Positive aspects of the EIR report


The findings of the independent EIR Report corroborate the concerns that indigenous peoples have raised about World Bank-assisted extractive industry projects and their negative impacts on our territories, well-being and livelihoods. The report confirms that these industries have violated our fundamental rights and have a devastating effect on our lives, our territories and our cultures. The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Dr. Rodolfo Stavenhagen, for instance, states that extractive industries are “one of the major human rights problems faced by [indigenous peoples] in recent decades.”[1] In our experience, extractive industries are not sustainable and create or exacerbate poverty for indigenous peoples rather than alleviate it.


The EIR report also recognizes that the present World Bank policies on indigenous peoples do not provide adequate safeguards and are inconsistent with our internationally guaranteed rights.  The Eminent person observes that the current draft policy (OP 4.10) has been repudiated by indigenous peoples as sorely deficient in many respects.


Ongoing problems with the revision of the World Bank’s Indigenous Peoples Policy


On many occasions, indigenous organisations have criticized Draft OP4.10, the Bank’s proposed new policy on Indigenous Peoples because it does not contain adequate safeguards for our rights and welfare. We maintain that prior informed consent, land and territorial issues and protection from forced resettlement must be dealt in the Bank’s proposed new policy.


President Wolfensohn, as Dr. Salim stated in the letter accompanying the EIR Report, “the revision of the safeguard policy on indigenous peoples is a fundamental test of the World Bank’s commitment to poverty alleviation through sustainable development.”  We strongly endorse this statement and urge you to use all of your influence to ensure that the outstanding concerns regarding the Bank’s policy are addressed as soon as is practicable. As the President of the World Bank, we look to your leadership to provide a positive and progressive response to the EIR recommendations.


Proposed legal roundtable on OP4.10 and the rights of indigenous peoples


The EIR report recommends that draft O.P. 4.10 should not be further finalized until high level discussions with indigenous peoples, including a legal roundtable discussion between Bank lawyers, indigenous peoples’ representatives and legal experts on the consistency of the policy with internationally guaranteed human rights, have taken place. It is our understanding that Vice President Ian Johnson wrote to Dr. Salim in October 2003 (before the EIR Report was published), confirming that Bank's legal department is willing to organize a legal roundtable on indigenous peoples and international human rights law. However, to our knowledge, indigenous leaders and the wider indigenous movement have not received any communication from the Bank regarding this planned event. The proposed legal roundtable is of great importance to us, as it could provide a forum for examining the remaining outstanding issues on Draft O.P. 4.10 on Indigenous Peoples.


Problems with Management Response to Extractive Industries Review Report


It is therefore with great disappointment that we have read an early Draft World Bank Management’s Response to the Extractive Industries Review Report. We are particularly dismayed that the Draft Management Response has either rejected Dr. Salim’s key recommendations on indigenous peoples or avoided substantive response by saying that these issues are under consideration as part of the process of revising the Bank’s policy. Further, a number of important recommendations are omitted entirely from the Response, not responded to at all or are incorrectly recorded. This is unacceptable to us.


We are deeply concerned that Bank Management has rejected[2] the EIR recommendation that “The WBG should ensure that borrowers and clients engage in consent processes with indigenous peoples and local communities directly affected by oil, gas, and mining projects, to obtain their free, prior and informed consent. For indigenous peoples this is an internationally guaranteed right; for local communities it is an essential part of obtaining social license and demonstrable public acceptance for the project.” 


Bank Management’s draft response to the EIR report also fails to adequately address indigenous peoples’ issues in relation land tenure and territorial rights, compensatory offsets, involuntary relocation, submarine tailings disposal in areas of cultural significance or in areas used by indigenous peoples for subsistence and guarantees for indigenous peoples’ rights in relation to small-scale mining etc.  In each of these cases, Dr. Salim’s recommendations have either been rejected or no answer has been given citing an ongoing review or otherwise.





President Wolfensohn, we acknowledge and commend your attention to human rights as exemplified by your speeches on this subject. We urge you to ensure that the human rights and indigenous peoples’ rights recommendations in the EIR Report are not cast aside by Bank Management and that they are fully implemented with indigenous peoples' full participation through our freely chosen representatives. To this end, we implore you to:


bullet Take concrete actions and reforms in Bank policies and practices to implement the recommendations in relation to indigenous peoples contained in the EIR report;
bullet Ensure the Bank organizes the legal roundtable on OP4.10 in full cooperation with indigenous peoples;
bullet Provide leadership by ensuring that the Bank’s operational policies, including its Indigenous Peoples Policy, establish standards and safeguards that are fully consistent with the Bank’s obligations under international law.



Yours respectfully,



Tebtebba Foundation (Indigenous Peoples’ International Centre for Policy Research and Education)

International Indian Treaty Council

Indigenous Network on Economics and Trade

Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact Foundation

South Asia Indigenous Women’s Forum



Nationalities Youth Development Programme



Bangladesh Adivasi Forum



Nepal Tamang Ghedung,

Nepal Tamang Women’s Ghedung



Chotanagpur Adivasi Seva Samiti, India

Centre for Organisation Research and Education, India



Indigenous Peoples Network of Malaysia (IPNM-JOAS)

Partner of Community Organisations (PACOS) Trust, Sabah

Monungkus Kubasan Ulun Rungus (MONUNGKUS), Sabah

Sinui Pai Nanak Sergik (SPNS), Malaysia

Koisaan Pisompuran Tombing, Sabah

Sarawak Indigenous Association, Malaysia



Hmong Association for Development in Thailand




Cordillera Peoples Alliance

Cordillera Indigenous Peoples Legal Centre (DINTEG)

Cordillera Peoples Forum (CPF)

Alyansa dagiti Pesante iti Taeng Kordilyera – APIT TAKO

Innabuyog Cordillera

Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (KAMP)

Kabataan Para sa Tribung Pilipino (KATRIBU)

Pederasyon ng mga Aytang Samahan sa Sambales  (PASS Inc.)

Nagkakaisang Tribu ng Palawan (NATRIPAL )

Bigkis at Lakas ng Katutubo sa  Timog Katagalugan (BALATIK)

Negros Occidental Federation of Tribal Communities (NOFETRICOM)

Matigsalog Tribe of Bukidnon (Natulinan)

Kahogpongan sa Lumadnon Organization (KASALO)

Kahogpongang Lumad sa Halayong Habagatang Mindanao (KALUHHAMIN)

Confederation of Lumad Organization (PASAKA)

Solobukan nog Gotow Subanon (SGS)

Agtulawon Mintapod Higaonon Cumadon (AGMIHICU)

Trento Manobo Ancestral Domain Development Organization (TREMADDO)

NATRILUBU - Bukidnon

Tumaned Pusaká Subannen dig Midsalip (TUPUSUMI)

Siocon Federation of Subanon & Tribal Council (SFSTC)

Southern Bukidnon Tribal Council – Kibalagon, Kisanday, Narukdukan, Manobo-Talaandig Tribal Association (SBTC-KKINAMATTA/BAI)

Saloanon Clan

Peksalabukan Bansa Subanon (PBS)

Western Zamboanga Peninsular Subanon Association, Inc (WEZPESAI)

Siocon Subanon Association Inc. (SSAI)

Tribal Community of Esperanza Association

T’boli Ancestral Domain Foundation Inc.

Gukom Sog Pito Kubogulalan

Timuway Justice and Governance (TJG)

Balai Danggawan nok Subanen (BADASU)

San Luis Bukidnon Native Farmers Association, Inc.



Na Koa Ikaika o Ka Lahui, Hawai’i

Pacific Indigenous Peoples Environment Coalition, Aotearoa/New Zealand

Conservation Melanesia, Papua New Guinea



Asociacion Ixacavaa de Desarollo y Informacion Indígena, Costa Rica

ANIPA, Mexico

Asociacion Napguana, Panama

Kuna, Panama

Fundación para la Promoción del conocimiento indígena, Panama

Ofraneh, Honduras

CELIAC, Mexico



Consejo de Todas Las Tierras, Chile

Insitutio Indigena Brasileiro para Propreidade Intelectual (INBRAPI), Brazil

FPCI, Panama



Première Fondation de la Nation, Rwanda

Paranlolo, Kenya

Organization for Survival of Indigenous Il-Laikipiak Maasai Group Initiative (OSILIGI), Kenya



RAIPON Ethno-Ecological Information Centre “Lach”

Information Center “Indigenous Kamchatka”

Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, Kamchatka


Kamchatka League of Independent Experts

Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, the Bystrinsky

District, of the Kamchatka Region

Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, the Milkovsky

District, of the Kamchatka Region

Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, the Sobolevsky

District, of the Kamchatka Region

Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, the Ust-

Kamchatksy District, of the Kamchatka Region

Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, the Elizovsky

District, of the Kamchatka Region

Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, the Karaginsky

District, of the Koryak Autonomous Okrug

Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, the Olyutorsky

District, of the Koryak Autonomous Okrug

Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, of the


Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North of Vlyuchinsk,

Kamchatka Region

Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North of Klyuch,

Kamchatka Region

Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, of Palana,

Koyrak Autonomous  Okrug

Itelmen Council of Kamchatka “Tkhsanom”, Koyrak Autonomous  Okrug

Kamchadal Association of the Koryak Autonomous Okrug

Association of Itelmen Peoples (Elizovsky District of the Kamchatka


Corporation of the Tribal Communities of Indigenous Minorities of the

Elizovsky District (Kamchatka Region)

Social Movement for the Protection of the Rights of Indigenous

Minorities of Kamchatka “Aborigen” (Kamchatka Region)

Association of Communities “Yayar” (Elizovsky District of the

Kamchatka Region)

Itelmen Community “Tarya” (Vlyuchinsk, Kamchatka Region)

Tribal Community “Pimchakh” (Sosnovk, Elizovsky District of the

Kamchatka Region)

Tribal Community “Koyana” (Central Koryak Elizovsky District)

Tribal Community “Yako” (Elizovo, Elizovsky District of the Kamchatka






NCIV, Netherlands


FPP, United Kingdom

Indigenous Peoples Links, UK


horizontal rule


[1] Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, Mr. Rodolfo Stavenhagen, submitted pursuant to Commission resolution 2001/57. UN Doc. E/CN.4/2002/97, at para. 56.

[2] Draft Management Response, para. 41.


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