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Chile

New instructions regarding indigenous consultation in the Environmental Impact Assessment System

Introduction

On August 24, 2016, the Environmental Assessment Service issued an instruction on implementation of the process for consultation of indigenous peoples in the Environmental Impact Assessment System in accordance with Convention 169 of the ILO (Official Ordinary Instruction 161116).

 

The Service intends to standardize the consultation process through these instructions.  The instructions indicate the technical and regulatory information to be taken into account in this process.

Regulatory framework for consultation of indigenous peoples

The first chapter refers to the regulatory framework for consultation of indigenous peoples in both an international and national sphere, followed by a list of the requirements that make such a consultation necessary.  These are the principles guiding the consultation, which must always be undertaken in good faith previously, freely, responsibly, participatively and transparently, in respect for the uses and customs of human groups belonging to indigenous peoples.

 

The instructions explain which measures may directly affect indigenous peoples, and it specifies that an environmental approval or disapproval is one of these measures that may be the subject of consultation.  A description is provided of the process to analyze whether people will be affected, as defined in the Regulations on the Environmental Impact Assessment System Regulations (SEIA), and the way to rule out any such impact within the SEIA framework.

The Role of the Environmental Assessment Service

The Environmental Assessment Service must fulfill the consultation obligation whenever relevant by notice to the project owners of any agreements that are reached so that they can be included to the project.  It must also give notice to the human group belonging to indigenous people of the evaluation of the possible impact, and to the owner of the respective project or activity that it is a stakeholder in the procedure and may intervene to facilitate agreements between the authority and indigenous peoples and offer alternative solutions.

Stages in the consultation process

Finally, the instructions discuss the different stages to be followed in a consultation within the SEIA framework, which include the phases of: preliminary meetings to generate relationships of trust; a decision that formally kicks off the process; planning of the process and definition of methodology; time for internal deliberation by the human groups belonging to indigenous peoples; and finally, systematization and notification of results.

 

The entire text can be downloaded at the following link

Contact

Please contact Rodrigo Benitez at rbenitez@jdf.cl should you require further information on this subject.