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Free Prior and Informed Consent: An indigenous peoples’ right and a good practice for local communities

This Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) Manual is designed as a tool for project practitioners of a broad range of projects and programmes of any development organization, by providing information about the right to FPIC and how it can be implemented in six steps.

In an FPIC process, the “how”, “when” and “with and by whom”, are as important as “what” is being proposed. For an FPIC process to be effective and result in consent or lack of it, the way in which the process is conducted is paramount. The time allocated for the discussions among the indigenous peoples, the cultural appropriateness of the way the information is conveyed, and the involvement of the whole community, including key groups like women, the elderly and the youth in the process, are all essential. A thorough and well carried FPIC process helps guarantee everyone’s right to self-determination, allowing them to participate in decisions that affect their lives.

This FPIC Manual will ena ble field practitioners to incorporate FPIC into project and programmes’ design and implementation, ensuring that indigenous peoples’ rights are duly respected. FPIC can be considered the “gold standard” because it allows for the highest form of participation of local stakeholders in development projects.

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