The Forests Dialogue Secretariat
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The Forests Dialogue
Free, Prior, and Informed Consent
The phrase ‘free, prior and informed consent,’ and the acronym FPIC, refers to the right of indigenous peoples to give or withhold their free, prior and informed consent to proposed measures that will affect them. FPIC has already emerged as a core theme in several of TFD’s prior dialogue streams. Due to a lack of statutory recognition of these peoples’ rights, serious land conflicts have become common. During more recent TFD dialogues, stakeholders reached a consensus that respect for the right to FPIC is crucial for effectiveness in Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD). Likewise FPIC has emerged as a key principle in providing an effective framework for those Investing in Locally Controlled Forests.
The right to FPIC is affirmed in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and in the jurisprudence of the international human rights treaty bodies. While the right itself is clearly affirmed, the practicalities for non-State parties to adhere to it are less clear. Additionally, given that recognition of the right to FPIC is most vital when statutory law and forest governance is weak, much more guidance is needed on how to respect this right in practice. In recognition of this gap, the forthcoming TFD dialogue stream will aim to develop answers to such practical challenges.
For more information on FPIC, read TFD's Research Paper by Marcus Colchester:
This Dialogue complemented the lessons learned from the FPIC Field Dialogue that took place in Indonesia in 2010. The dialogue brought together over 100 participants from a great variety of backgrounds including indigenous peoples, local communities, non-governmental organizations, development agencies, government bodies and the private sector. The dialogue focused on how the right to FPIC should be respected in the national program to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) and it was authorized and sponsored by the Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Tourism.
TFD's DRC FPIC Dialogue was co-organized by Forests Peoples Programme and sponsored by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).
TFD convened a four day field dialogue on FPIC in Pekanbaru, Riau Province on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. The dialogue brought together over 80 participants from a great variety of backgrounds including indigenous peoples, representatives of local communities, non-governmental organizations, international financial institutions, government agencies and the private sector. The meeting was the first in a planned series of field dialogues that aim to explore how, in practice, government agencies, commercial enterprises and non-government organizations should respect the right of indigenous peoples and local communities to give or withhold their free, prior and informed consent, as expressed through their own freely chosen representative organizations, to activities that may affect their rights
The dialogue consisted of field visits with local communities and forest enterprises and a discussion among participants representing forest-dependent communities, forest industry, academia, government, and NGOs among others.
The dialogue was hosted by The Partnership for Governance Reform in Indonesia - Kemitraan in collaboration with the Forest Peoples Programme and Scale-Up.
The Forests Dialogue's Scoping Dialogue on FPIC took place on the Yale University campus with the overarching goal of creating a basis in trust for future dialogues. Specifically, the purpose of this Scoping Dialogue was to identify key areas for discussion in the dialogue series, while of course not limiting future discussion to those topics. The Dialogue was hosted by the Secretariat of The Forests Dialogue.