On September 23, 2020, the Equator Principles Association released a series of guidance notes to support the implementation of the updated Equator Principles (EP4), which came into full effect on October 1, 2020.
Among other revisions, one of the key updates that appears in EP4 is the additional guidance it provides regarding stakeholder engagement with Indigenous Peoples (which is a defined term) and the concept of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). These changes are something that stakeholders in Designated Countries, including Canada, will want to be aware of and ready for in the context of project financing to which EP4 now applies.
While each project may require its own full assessment, this publication provides a high-level benchmarking of the requirements of IFC Performance Standard 7 against Canadian law, as it relates to engagement with Indigenous Peoples. This comparative analysis reveals that overall, there is substantial alignment between most of the key elements and goals of IFC Performance Standard 7 and Canada’s legal framework, and Canada’s legal framework includes mechanisms through which many of the same goals and outcomes of IFC Performance Standard 7 and EP4 can be achieved. The guidance notes can be found here.