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RESOLVE launches guide on Free, Prior, and Informed Consent

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New guide supporting the rights of Indigenous peoples in natural resources development

Thursday, May 20, 2021 – 9:15am

RESOLVE has launched The Practice of FPICa new guide supporting the rights of Indigenous peoples to give or withhold free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) for proposed development on or near their traditional lands.

The Practice of FPIC captures insights from the FPIC Solutions Dialogue, a group of civil society organizations, Indigenous networks, and leading mining and oil and gas companies that have shared experiences and advice with one another on good practices and common challenges in FPIC processes. Since the Dialogue’s launch in 2012, the insights emerging from these discussions have supported members in their own understanding and practice of FPIC; this guide now seeks to support respectful and rights-based engagement in natural resource development by sharing these lessons more broadly.

“FPIC is a critical and necessary step toward protecting Indigenous peoples’ human rights and the ecosystems they are from,” said Nuskmata (Jacinda Mack), Nuxalk and Secwepemc Indigenous Peoples of North America, who served as one of nine peer reviewers of the guide. “FPIC is a starting point in establishing a healthier way of conducting business and relating with diverse Indigenous communities.”

The Practice of FPIC was developed by RESOLVE, the co-founder and secretariat of the Dialogue, with funding from Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

“The Sustainable Development Goals can only be met by involving Indigenous groups in the decision-making processes concerning the extractive and other sectors,” said Dr. Jürgen Zattler, Director-General for international development policy, 2030 Agenda, and climate at BMZ. “The use of FPIC allows for the critical early identification of the specific social, environmental, and religious needs of Indigenous networks.”

Dr. Kanyinke Sena, Maasai/Ogiek peoples of Kenya and Director of the Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee, who also peer reviewed the guide, said, “FPIC protects the interests of Indigenous communities, and it also leads to better outcomes for investors and governments.”

“The guide is a rigorous effort to generate a tool that contributes to a better understanding of FPIC implementation at different stages of projects, pointing out both risks and opportunities for communities and companies,” said Miguel Cervantes Rodriguez, one of the peer reviewers and Managing Partner of CCPM Grupo Consultor in Peru.

The Practice of FPIC aims to capture the immense learning that Dialogue members have shared in the past several years,” said Taylor Kennedy, Senior Program Manager at RESOLVE and one of the guide’s authors. “It especially emphasizes what we call ‘the Spirit of FPIC’ – building respectful relationships and upholding community rights. We hope it will support Indigenous communities in exercising their rights, and help companies strengthen their policies and practices.”

Nick Cotts, Senior Vice President of Sustainability and External Relations at Newmont Corporation said, “Participating in the FPIC Solutions Dialogue has enabled Newmont to share both challenges and successes around pursuit of FPIC and gain insights from community partners and industry peers. Most importantly, it has helped us evolve and improve our practices of ongoing, meaningful engagement with Indigenous Peoples in the places where we operate. As a founding member of the Dialogue, we are pleased to see the launch of this guide with the aim of sharing key lessons learned with a broad range of communities and companies as we endeavor to operationalize FPIC.”

The Practice of FPIC: Insights from the FPIC Solutions Dialogue is available at fpicdialogue.org in English, Spanish, French, Bahasa Indonesian and Hindi.