The Merian mine (75% Newmont) is located in Suriname, in northeast South America, and on the traditional lands of Maroon peoples.In February 2016, Newmont commissioned RESOLVE to convene the Merian Expert Advisory Panel (the “Panel”) to consider matters relating to free, prior and informed consent (“FPIC”) within a human rights framework at Merian. Natural resource development and extraction can affect a vast array of indigenous and tribal peoples’ human rights, including land and resource rights, rights to culture, and rights to health.3 The Panel considers FPIC to be a mechanism to safeguard indigenous and tribal peoples’ human rights, including their rights over traditionally used and occupied lands and resources. At the same time, the operationalization of FPIC by state and corporate actors provides a framework through which to recognize and respect those rights.This report presents the Panel’s observations following discussions with the company, a rapid review of available documentation, and engagement with a limited sample of stakeholders related to the Merian mine. It is not a comprehensive human rights or social performance assessment of the company’s approach to FPIC in Suriname. The Panel’s report was produced on a basis of consensus amongst the Panel members. The Panel had editorial control over the report during this process. The report describes the Panel and its process (Section 2), provides relevant background information (Section 3), outlines the mine’s approach to community engagement (Section 4), and presents Panel observations on the operationalization of FPIC elements at Merian (Section 5). Panel recommendations for Newmont (Section 6) and the industry more broadly (Section 7) are offered before concluding (Section 8).
Anaya, J.S., Evans, J. & Kemp, D. (2017). Free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) within a human rights framework: Lessons from a Suriname case study. Washington DC: RESOLVE FPIC Solutions Dialogue.