Productive Workshop on Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) held at the World Bank

2 December 2013

On October 22-23, 2013, The Forests Dialogue led a workshop at the World Bank to facilitate learning between private sector actors and World Bank technical staff on some of the best tools and mechanisms by which FPIC can be achieved.

FPIC as a decision making process has in recent years been underpinned by various national and international laws, jurisprudence and standards to protect a community’s right to give or withhold its consent to proposed projects. One of the main challenges of FPIC is for various actors to now determine how to best interpret and translate those principles into practice on the ground. 

Using FPIC principles as guidelines, progressive forestry companies are developing a variety of different safeguards and policies to ensure that indigenous peoples’ and communities’ rights are not infringed upon during the different phases of project implementation. The two-day workshop centered on tools and approaches that the private sector has successfully used to bring about positive outcomes.

For the purpose of this workshop, several company project case studies were developed and shared with attendees to exemplify the variety of shapes and forms an FPIC process can take. The rich material highlighted both challenges as well as effective approaches to successfully engage with traditional communities and indigenous peoples in ways that protect their rights.

The workshop, co-organized with and sponsored by PROFOR and the World Bank, was the first of this kind led by TFD. The event brought together over 40 participants including TFD Steering Committee members and affiliates, as well as World Bank technical staff.