REPORT SERIES: IFC investments are failing indigenous peoples

In 2020, NomoGaia launched a multi-part series evaluating IFC’s implementation of its Indigenous Peoples Performance Standard, PS7. We found that:

IFC is restricting the scope of PS7 to exclude FPIC even where the standard is applied (“FPIC at the IFC” October 2020)

IFC bypassed PS7 on dozens of projects where indigenous peoples are present (“Missing Peoples” May 2021)

IFC never fulsomely applied PS7 in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, resulting in investments where clients were incapable of respecting indigenous rights under Chinese Law (“IFC and the Uyghur Genocide” March 2021). Further investigation of these investments found that IFC clients actively contributed to the Uyghur Genocide (“Financing and Genocide” February 2022 published with the Atlantic Council’s DFR Lab and Sheffield Hallam University).

IFC’s investment portfolio includes only 29 applications of its Indigenous Peoples safeguard. Those applications are almost all partial. FPIC has only been demonstrated four times.

The International Finance Corporation needs new approaches to implementing its Indigenous Peoples Safeguard, PS7. Bypassing indigenous rights has grave consequences for people and planet.

The report says the IFC must reform its lending to clients that impact indigenous peoples by:

  • Hiring indigenous specialists onto E&S teams, worldwide
  • Removing red tape that disincentivizes clients from acknowledging indigenous peoples
  • Increasing transparency around the identification of indigenous people and the determinations of impacts
  • Assuring that indigenous peoples, not clients, dictate whether they will experience impacts
  • Geolocate projects so that IFC can easily demonstrate where projects overlap with traditionally stewarded lands

The report says the IFC has begun to reform its application of the Indigenous Peoples Safeguard in response to recent criticisms. These steps include hiring indigenous expertise in Asia and committing to heightened transparency around the application of PS7. However, the report says fundamental flaws remain and more needs to be done.


NomoGaia: +13035141522

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