Free and Prior Consent in Panama
rePlan client Minera Panama S.A. (MPSA), a subsidiary of Inmet, identified the need to recognize and respect the land tenure of Ngäbe indigenous people who have migrated eastward from their reserve, informally settling in the project area in search of a better life. In an article on mining's contribution to sustainable development, the June issue of the International Council on Mining & Metal's Good Practice magazine describes rePlan's work on Inmet's Cobre Panama Project. The Project, which revolves around one of the largest undeveloped copper deposits in the world, represents the largest private sector investment in Panama's history. When it became clear that the development of Cobre Panama would involve the displacement of some Ngäbe families, MPSA established a resettlement process that emphasizes the highest international standards of fairness and transparency, tailored to account for language, cultural, gender, generational, family and community variables. As part of the resettlement process, in-depth consultations and negotiations were conducted with those affected under the leadership of indigenous rights experts – including Ngäbe employees – and rePlan. The process has successfully resulted in the fully documented free, prior and informed consent of those being resettled.