Eco News Network is pleased to feature portions of an article titled, “The Next Financial Bubble: Indigenous Peoples Rights Report Exposes Risk to Shareholders When Indigenous Rights Are Ignored” by Rebecca Adamson and First Peoples Worldwide as part of our ongoing series on green money, sustainable investing, and business. The article is reprinted in part with the permission of Green Money Journal and it’s founder Cliff Feigenbaum. Cliff has been covering sustainable business and investing since 1992. He is the founder and publisher of GreenMoney Journal and GreenMoney.com.
First Peoples Worldwide released an Indigenous Rights Risk Report at the 2013 SRI Conference on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing. The report analyzed 52 U.S.-based extractive companies listed on the Russell 1000® Index and assessed 370 oil, gas and mining sites located on or near Indigenous Peoples land. The results are eye opening. 92 percent of the sites posed a medium to high risk to shareholders. This is concerning given that only 5 of the 52 companies had an Indigenous Peoples policy for productively engaging Indigenous communities, leaving shareholders exposed to considerable risk. You can view the full report online at www.firstpeoples.org/indigenous-rights-risk-report
The risk of not respecting Indigenous Peoples’ rights is only going to increase. First Peoples president and co-founder Rebecca Adamson forecasts a confluence of events that will make the extraction of oil, gas and minerals from Indigenous land riskier in the future. She says, “First, Indigenous Peoples have more rights enshrined at the international and national level, and are exercising them more effectively than ever before. Second, as extractive industries search the globe for oil, gas and minerals, they are finding them increasingly on or near Indigenous land. And third, digital media is allowing Indigenous Peoples and their allies to access and share information more easily, giving them the ability to tell their story and conduct advocacy campaigns on a global scale that can directly impact the profitability and value of a company.”
Therefore, it is more critical than ever for investors and shareholders to be able to access unbiased information about Indigenous Peoples and from Indigenous Peoples so they can make sound investment decisions. First Peoples hope this report will be a risk analysis tool for investors and shareholders as they make investment decisions in the extractive industry. Ideally, it will also act as a platform for Indigenous Peoples and investors to collaborate together on shareholder action campaigns that drive policy changes companies need to make to respect the rights of Indigenous Peoples and maximize shareholder returns.
Photo Credit: Flickr/canorus, Jeff Pioquinto, SJ