Business News of 2013-12-11

Mining investors urged to adopt FPIC

Madam Hannah Owusu Koranteng, Associate Executive Director of the Association of Communities Affected by Mining (WACAM), on Monday urged mining companies in the country to embrace the “Free, Prior and Informed Consent” (FPIC) concept.

She was speaking at the opening session of a three-day capacity building workshop on the FPIC for journalists from the Western and Ashanti regions in Takoradi.

Madam Koranteng said the concept required companies to secure the FPIC of communities affected by extractive industry projects prior to initiating activities.

She said all communities that could potentially be impacted by extractive industry projects had the right to access full information and participate meaningfully in negotiations.

Madam Koranteng said FPIC was increasingly being recognized in international law and corporate policies and was emerging as an effective method to empower communities, prevent conflicts and reduce the harmful effects of development projects in poor areas.

She said extractive companies must seek the consent of the people before initiating projects as a principle of best practice and under provisions of the United Nations Convention 169 and other protocols of the Africa Union (AU) and the Economic Commission of West Africa States (ECOWAS).

Madam Koranteng said there were no provision for consent of mining communities on the basis of FPIC and a defined legal requirement for decommissioning of mines, restoration of land, among others in the country.

She said Ghana by extension adopted the FPIC when it ratified and gazette the ECOWAS directive on the guiding principles and policies in the mining sector in 2009 and 2010 respectively.

Madam Koranteng said many people in the country were not aware of these provisions and how the FPIC should function in the country.