Proceso de Comunidades Negras Palenque Regional el Congal
Minority rights, community consultation and participation, cultural heritage, disclosure of information.
IFC’s investment in the Terminal de Contenedores de Buenaventura (TCBuen) involves the construction and operation of a new international container terminal in the port city of Buenaventura, Colombia. A complaint was lodged with the CAO on December 10, 2009 by a local network of Afro-Colombian communities. The complainants believe that the proposed project, along with other large development projects in their city, threatens their cultural identities and social practices and violates their human and collective rights as Afro-Colombians. In relation to IFC’s project, the signatories raise concerns about ensuring proper consultations with ethnic minorities such as themselves, ensuring community participation in decision-making, protecting their cultural and social ways of life, and guaranteeing access to project information.
During the assessment phase, the CAO held conversations with the complainants, company representatives, and the IFC team working in the project. In addition, CAO staff conducted two field trips to meet with stakeholders, visit project facilities, and surrounding neighborhoods of the community members to better understand whether and how the CAO could be most helpful. As a result of the assessment, the parties agreed that a structured dialogue process was not necessary. Instead, they agreed that a meeting among the parties’ representatives could be a helpful step forward to discussing the concerns that were raised in the complaint to the CAO.
With IFC, the CAO raised broader concerns about systemic issues relating to potential cumulative impacts of the project, and how to take these issues into consideration during decision making processes.
In November 2010, the CAO closed the complaint in agreement with all the parties involved.