Sakhalin Energy has been working with indigenous peoples since 1994, and since 2006, together with the Regional Council of Authorised Representatives of Sakhalin Indigenous Peoples and the Sakhalin Oblast Government, it has been implementing a partnership programme titled the Sakhalin Indigenous Minorities Development Plan (SIMDP).
The main ethnic groups representing Sakhalin’s indigenous peoples are the Nivkh, the Evenki, the Uilta, and the Nanai.
The programme supports indigenous peoples' projects aimed at the sustainable development of indigenous peoples and the achievement of the Global and National Sustainable Development Goals.
All fund allocation decisions are made by representatives of the island's indigenous peoples, who have been elected from each of the districts where they traditionally live.
The SIMDP is based on international standards relating to indigenous peoples, which include the principle of free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC). It is enshrined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007) and is contained in the IFC's Performance Standard 7: Indigenous Peoples. The SIMDP is the world's first example of a private company successfully applying this standard in its interaction with the public.
The Grievance Procedure, which streamlines the process of receiving, recording, and handling grievances related to the implementation of the SIMDP, is an important tool to promote trust and transparency in the relationships with indigenous peoples.
This procedure was developed with input from representatives of indigenous peoples and is based on the general principles of Sakhalin Energy's Community Grievance Procedure.
The programme is monitored annually to assess its effectiveness and identify areas for improvement.
The SIMDP is updated every five years to keep up with the latest trends, incorporate any identified areas for improvement, and address indigenous peoples' development needs.
Sakhalin's experience with public-private partnerships has been recognised as a best practice at the federal and international levels.
• It has been recommended for deployment in other parts of the Russian Federation.
• It is included in the compilations of best practices in the area of engagement with indigenous peoples.
• It has received strong praise from Russian and international experts, including the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, the International Finance Corporation, the World Bank, and others.
The Company also implements other projects aimed at preserving, developing, and promoting the languages and culture, and unlocking the potential of indigenous peoples.