Oct 18, 2017 - Divest the Globe: World Banks to Meet on Climate Change & Indigenous Rights

From October 23rd and 25th, ninety-two of the world’s largest banks will meet in São Paolo, Brazil to discuss policies on the climate and Indigenous People’s rights to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC).

According to Amazon Watch, “The Equator Principles are a set of voluntary standards signed by 91 financial institutions, mostly private sector banks, to govern their finance for large infrastructure projects. They are supposed to strengthen risk management by ensuring that projects being financed are “developed in a manner that is socially responsible and reflects sound environmental management practices.” Adopting banks also “recognize the importance of climate change, biodiversity, and human rights, and believe negative impacts on project-affected ecosystems, communities, and the climate should be avoided where possible.”

On these dates, the Indigenous-led coalition Mazaska Talks is calling on allies everywhere to join us for 3 days of mass global action due to the banks not living up their promises to respect Indigenous rights and protecting the earth.

From a joint petition, “These “Equator banks” have all promised to avoid or minimize the social, environmental and climate impacts of such projects, and to respect the rights and interests of Indigenous communities affected by them. However…

These Principles for banks to follow sound good – but they’re not working.

The Principles as they are written now are not stopping banks from financing disaster projects that are destroying our climate. Nor are these Principles stopping banks from trampling on the rights of Indigenous peoples, fully recognised in international law, to reject projects they do not want in their territories.

The U.S. Dakota Access Pipeline, fiercely opposed by the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Lakota Tribes, and the Honduran Agua Zarca hydro project, where Indigenous leader Berta Cáceres was murdered for leading the Lenca people’s opposition to the project, are but two examples of projects financed by banks under the Equator Principles.”

Sign petition to the 92 banks participating here

Days of Action

October 23: Turtle Island & The Americas
October 24: Europe, Australia, & Aotearoa (NZ)
October 25: Africa and Asia

To find and/or register an action/event go here


Action Toolkit Here

  • Divest Your Community: Launch a campaign to divest your community from pipeline banks! ( Divest Your Community Guide here)

  • Disrupt Bank Business as Usual: organize individuals to shut down their accounts at local branches of banks that finance the repression of indigenous rights & desecration of the Earth; occupy space inside a bank or at a bank’s headquarters; disrupt business at a bank branch of one of the banks financing new fossil fuel projects. (list of banks here)

  • Draw Attention to Local Desecration Projects: conduct a non-violent, direct action (examples: sit-in, vigil, trash clean-up, tree-planting, art gallery) at a fossil fuel infrastructure project in your area

We call on individuals, businesses, organizations, and governments to withdraw their money from these financial institutions until they divest from these pipeline companies who are violating our rights, our treaties and our sovereignty.” Grand Chief Derek Nepinak of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs on behalf of the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion

Send your questions & media inquiries to jackie@mazasktalks.org

Last Real Indians