Meridian will demonstrate effective stakeholder engagement, as an ongoing process in a structured and culturally appropriate manner, with affected communities, workers and, where relevant, other stakeholders.
For Projects with potentially significant adverse impacts on affected communities, meridian will conduct an informed consultation and participation process. Meridian will tailor its consultation process to: the risks and impacts of the Project; the Project’s phase of development; their decision-making processes; and the needs of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups. This process will be free from external manipulation, interference, coercion and intimidation.
To facilitate stakeholder engagement, Meridian will, commensurate with the Project’s risks and impacts, make the appropriate assessment documentation readily available to the affected communities, and where relevant other stakeholders, in a culturally appropriate manner. Meridian will take account of, and document, the results of the stakeholder engagement process, including any actions agreed resulting from such process. Disclosure of environmental or social risks and adverse impacts will occur early in the assessment process, in any event before the Project construction commences, and on an ongoing basis.
Meridian recognizes that Indigenous Peoples may represent vulnerable segments of Project- Affected Communities. All Projects affecting Indigenous Peoples will be subject to a process of informed consultation and participation, and will need to comply with the rights and protections for Indigenous Peoples contained in relevant national law, including those laws implementing host country obligations under international law which include any of the following:
- Projects with impacts on lands and natural resources subject to traditional ownership or under the customary use of Indigenous Peoples,
- Projects with significant impacts on critical cultural heritage essential to the identity of Indigenous Peoples, or
- Projects using their cultural heritage for commercial purposes.
For Projects that meet these special circumstances, Meridian may seek the participation of a qualified independent consultant to evaluate the consultation process with Indigenous Peoples, and the outcomes of that process, against the requirements of host country laws. Where Stakeholder Engagement, including with Indigenous Peoples, is the responsibility of the host government, Meridian will collaborate with the responsible government agency during the planning, implementation and monitoring of activities, to the extent permitted by the agency.