#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. At the forum session Empowering People and Building a Community in the Field of Business and Human Rights in Central and Eastern Europe, representatives of states, public organizations, ethnic communities and other experts shared their experiences and plans to improve the interaction of business with communities.
Antonina Gorbunova noted that the indigenous peoples’ rights in Russia are protected at the constitutional level, measures to preserve the traditional way of life are enshrined in law.
On the other hand, the relationship between indigenous peoples and the private sector, including the extractive industries, is much less regulated and standardized.
“Companies should better understand the culture of indigenous peoples, the specifics of their life and lifestyle – for example, to know and take into account in their activities the location of sacred places for small ethnic groups. Indigenous peoples and most large companies in general are prepared to forge long-term relationships based on respect for culture and the recognition of indigenous peoples’ rights. The task of the human rights community and our organization, in particular, is to form a methodology and broaden understanding of the mechanisms for consultation and taking into account the views of indigenous peoples”, explained Antonina Gorbunova.
A specific case that Gorbunova spoke about was the application of the free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) procedure in the Arctic village of Tuhard on Taimyr.
“A group of independent international experts coordinated by the KMNSOYUZ is currently consulting Nornickel so that the procedure meets the most relevant international standards, and most importantly, to help the company and indigenous peoples build a long-term dialogue and effective communications”, Gorbunova cited as an example.
As a reminder, Nornickel recently held a second round of consultations on the Tuhard resettlement and development program. The company also discussed the new houses construction with the residents of the village. In addition, a website on resettlement issues was launched for the residents of Tuhard.
Text: Ekaterina Maksimova, Photo: Denis Kozhevnikov and Marina Peshkova