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13 Jun 2023

SIRGE Coalition

SIRGE Coalition welcomes the European Parliament’s official position on the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive related to indigenous peoples

The Securing Indigenous Peoples’ Rights in the Green Economy (SIRGE) Coalition welcomes the European Parliament's common position on the proposed European Union due diligence rules. The position of the European Parliament supports the full respect for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the new Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD).

Why Does the CSDDD Matter for Indigenous Peoples? 

The EU is one of the largest markets in the world with over 700 million consumers and much of what happens in the European Union dictates how raw materials are sourced, processed, and traded globally. As we transition toward a low-carbon economy, the CSDDD is an important step towards corporate accountability, responsible business conduct, and access to justice for Indigenous Peoples. 

There is a dramatic increase in demand for minerals such as nickel, lithium, cobalt, and copper for renewable energy technologies as a result of the Green and Digital Transitions. As a result, mining is expanding at an accelerated pace. Since Indigenous-managed lands cover more than a quarter of the Earth's surface and Indigenous Peoples manage 80% of the planet's biodiversity, increased mining directly threatens their rights, their territories, and the world’s biodiversity. Land is the basis for livelihood, identity, and survival for Indigenous Peoples. Therefore, given their important role and the great risks to Indigenous Peoples in this green transition, Indigenous Peoples must be fully and meaningfully consulted and involved throughout the value chain, and Indigenous priorities must be integrated into decision-making with the full respect of Indigenous-led protocols of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC)...

Indigenous Peoples’ Rights and Biodiversity Protection Are Two Sides of the Same Coin

Indigenous Peoples are stewarding and protecting at least 80% of the world’s remaining biodiversity, their involvement in the transition is not only crucial on its own but also for the health of the planet. 

As expressed in the European Parliament proposal amendment 10, recital 9:

“the General European Environment action programme to 2030, the framework for Union action in the field of the environment and climate, aims to protect, restore and improve the state of the environment by, inter alia, halting and reversing biodiversity loss. 

As Indigenous rights and biodiversity conservation are inextricably linked, we emphasize the importance of respecting both simultaneously. 

Indigenous Peoples’ Call to European Leaders

The SIRGE Coalition calls on European Member states to follow the European Parliament leadership and adopt a CSDDD that guarantees respect for the rights of Indigenous Peoples as stated in the United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Peoples, including the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent. Taking this approach in the coming trilogue in the European Union will ensure a sustainable, just, and no-one-left-behind transition for Europe and beyond.

The SIRGE coalition has advocated and urged for the explicit inclusion of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights as enumerated in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), the International Labour Organisation’s Indigenous and Tribal Peoples’ Convention, 1989 (No. 169), including the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent into the European CSDDD. In this frame, SIRGE applauds the European Parliament’s proposed new amendments (detailed below) and asks them to hold these proposals in the trilogues. SIRGE also calls all European Leaders to build further and strengthen these references in the final CSDDD version.