Comments on Bank Operational Policy on Indigenous Peoples - February 28, 2005

February 28, 2005

Indigenous Peoples Coordinator
Mailstop MC5-523
World Bank
1818 H Street
NW Washington DC 20433 USA

RE: Comments on Revised Draft Operational Policy on Indigenous Peoples (Revised Draft OP 4.10)

Dear Indigenous Peoples Coordinator,

Please find below our comments on the Draft Operational Policy on Indigenous Peoples (Revised Draft OP 4.10).

We the undersigned Canadian organizations and representatives are writing to highlight the need for the World Bank to strengthen its draft OP 4.10 in order to ensure that the policy sufficiently meets international standards and guarantees on the rights of Indigenous Peoples.

In our opinion, for the operational policy to be seen to be credible and effective it must contain mandatory provisions that:

    Press release - October 25, 2004

    Report Card Flunks Crown Corp on Transparency

    Ottawa, October 25, 2004 – A Canadian coalition of groups hammered Export Development Canada (EDC) for poor transparency on the most controversial and risky projects it funds, the day before the Auditor General is set to release a report on the environmental and disclosure policies of the crown corporation.

    “Three years ago the Auditor General identified public consultation and disclosure of environmental information as being essential to a credible review process”, said Fraser Reilly-King, Coordinator of the NGO Working Group on EDC, the coalition that released the report.

    “Yet EDC still has no requirements to do either, and has not released a single environmental impact assessment for the potentially most harmful projects. Without greater transparency, EDC’s environmental review lacks credibility.”

    Comments to the Auditor General on the review of EDC's ERD - January 1, 2004

    EDC’s Commitments to the Environment

    “I have asked the Auditor General to undertake an audit two years after a revised framework has been adopted, to ensure that EDC has implemented the recommended changes in its design and operation.”

    Pierre Pettigrew, Press Release, June 26, 2001
    Following a two year review by Parliament of the Export Development Act (EDA) and Export Development Canada (EDC), Pierre Pettigrew, Minister of International Trade, held a press conference in June 2001 to highlight what changes EDC would make to its policies.

    The press release noted the government commitment to, among other things:

        * Take account of benefits to Canada and Canada’s international obligations in the area of human rights, core labour standards, and the environment

    Comments on the OECD 2003 Common Approaches, Rev. 2 - November 20, 2003

    November 20, 2003

    Mr. A. Ian Gillespie
    President and CEO
    Export Development Canada
    151 O’Connor Street,
    Ottawa, ON K1A 1K3

    The Hon. Pierre Pettigrew
    Minister of International Trade
    Department of Foreign Affairs
    125 Sussex Drive, Tower B, 5th Floor
    Ottawa, ON   K1A 0G2

    Dear Minister Pettigrew and Mr. Gillespie,

    Thank you for forwarding me Rev. 2 of the OECD “Common Approaches on Environment and Officially Support Export Credits 2003.”

    Press Response - November 16, 2003

    FINANCE: Groups Fear Canadian Funding for Romanian Mine

    Stephen Leahy

    BROOKLIN, Canada, Nov 16 (IPS) - The World Bank's refusal to help fund a Canadian company's controversial development of a huge open pit gold mine in Romania has raised concerns the Canadian government will step in with money.

    Last Monday hundreds of people gathered outside Canadian embassies in major European cities, including Budapest, Amsterdam, Vienna, Bratislava and Prague, to protest the 400-million-U.S.-dollar Rosia Montana gold mine in Romania. · Export Development Corporation· Romanian NGO Alburnus Maior· Gabriel Resources

    ''The Canadian government has to act to stop this mine. It will destroy the homes, churches and livelihoods of my people,” said Sorana Ciura, a member of Alburnus Maior, the Romanian group spearheading the protests, speaking at a news conference in Ottawa..

    Editorial - October 15, 2003

    Private Interest and the Public Good

    Tela sits astride a slow, meandering river of the same name. It looks out over a rim of white-sand beaches onto Tela Bay. A warm Caribbean sun forces you to lather up with sunscreen,and nolch back your pace a couple of strides per minute as you stroll around this small Honduran town.

    A mixed population of Garifuna -or more prop­erly Garinagu - a people with a unique blend of Carib Indian and African roots, and folk of Spanish ancestry call this century- old, clapboard,. tin-roofed port town home. It holds about the same pop­ulation as the whole of the Yukon.