Free, Prior and Informed Consent

The right to FPIC is a key principle of international human rights law to protect Indigenous Peoples’ livelihoods and territories and is therefore a requirement of many sustainability standards and international finance institutions. However, despite a growing body of knowledge around FPIC, there are limited resources designed specifically to help assurance providers verify whether FPIC has been achieved. Since 2017, EO and RSB have been working jointly on a project funded through the ISEAL Innovations Fund to research and develop a means of addressing this challenge. The key output from this project is draft framework for a tool that can be used to aid the verification process. The tool is multi-sided, facilitating a “co-audit” process that is jointly implemented by the assurance provider and by the affected Indigenous Peoples’ community.   This project has been supported by an expert Steering Committee comprising members from the voluntary sustainability standards community, international human rights and law experts, international finance institutions and Indigenous Peoples’ organizations.
To download an Executive Summary of the report for the first phase of this project, please click here. Para descargar un resumen ejecutivo del informe para la primera fase de este proyecto, haga clic aquí. Please click here to download the full project report: Enabling FPIC Through Voluntary Standards (September 2018)

Project next steps

  • The next phase of the Tool’s development will use a human-centred design approach to co-design with end-users an appropriate and relevant technology solution for implementing the tool making it user-friendly. This is key to ensuring that project-affected Indigenous Peoples’ communities have equitable access to the tool, together with project developers and assurance providers, and equitable ownership over the data that it produces.
  • We are also now seeking case study projects where the draft Tool can be piloted and further refined through experiential learning.

How to be involved

Pilot-testing the tool: if you are interested in pilot-testing the tool and may have a suitable case study project that fits our eligibility criteria*, we would like to hear from you (see contact details below.) Steering Committee membership: we are updating the Steering Committee Terms of Reference and membership to take the project through into the next phase of development. We especially welcome participation from those who:
      • Can facilitate pilot-testing of the Tool (see below regarding project eligibility criteria)
      • Have expertise in technology for development
      • Have expertise in ownership models for community-generated data
Co-funding partnerships: we are seeking to build a consortium of partners to co-fund approximately US$70,000 for the next phase of the Tool’s development, described above. Community of practice: for this second phase, we have expanded the working group to a Community of Practice for potential users of the tool including standards systems, assessors, and financial institutions. If you are interested in joining our Community of Practice we would like to hear from you (see contact details below.) For more information on any of the above, or queries, please contact Bruno Taborga : [email protected]

Other project outputs:

  • Animated educational FPIC video, in Spanish (with English subtitles)
  • Video sobre CPLI, es español (con subtitulos en inglés)

Project Eligibility criteria:

  • The development project is expected to require an FPIC process due to possible impacts that it may have on local Indigenous Peoples’ communities.
  • Geographic scope: Amazon / Andes region prioritised, however other regions can be considered too.
  • Project development has not yet started.*
  • Project stakeholders (project developer, investor, affected Indigenous Peoples community, local government) are willing to collaborate on pilot-testing the Tool.
  • Project stakeholders commit to testing the tool and provide feedback to inform its improvement.