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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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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Free, Prior and Informed Consent - An indigenous peoples’ right and a good practice for local communities
    E-learning fact sheet
    2020
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    This fact sheet describes the course that focuses on how to practically operationalize the indigenous peoples’ right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) throughout all stages of the project cycle. The course describes each of the recommended six steps of the process and the related actions to be undertaken.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Women’s land rights and agrarian change: Evidence from indigenous communities in Cambodia 2019
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    Current changes in land tenure in Cambodia are reshaping indigenous communities agrarian and socio-economic systems. Customary laws that have determined land usage and rights, are now undergoing profound transformations. The commodification of land, influenced by processes of dispossession and alienation, is reshaping communities’ norms and customs. Land, before freely available to users, is now substantially a private asset and as such transferred from one generation to the next one like other assets. Customary laws derive their legitimacy from social systems that are context specific and change with time. This determines their ambiguous character as instruments for resistance and self-determination as well as generators of unequal social relations in rural communities. The experiences from other continents and countries have shown the contradictory and often conflicting linkage between customary land rights and women’s rights to own land. This study analysis the customary inheritance system of indigenous groups in Northern Cambodia, prevalently centred around matrilineal or bilateral kinship, where women used to inherit and own the principal family assets. The research questions focus on indigenous women’s inheritance and property rights as they apply to land, in the context of increasing land commoditization and scarcity. The aim of the enquiry is to contribute to the understanding of the gender implications of these changes, by gaining insight about women’s position vis-à-vis land property, inheritance and transfer to new generations. The changes in land tenure that have occurred in Ratanakiri province during the last decades have resulted in a substantial alienation of land and resources formerly available to indigenous people. Consequently, the area farmed under shifting cultivation has significantly decreased and been replaced by permanent commercial crops, while the increasing monetization of communities’ economy has triggered new processes of social differentiation. Little support has been given to indigenous farmers in order to manage this transition and adapt their farming system while maintaining its sustainability. The legal instruments deriving from the Land Law, which in theory should have contributed to provide formal legal protecting to indigenous land and allow communities to continue using land according to their traditional tenure system were impaired by delays and the obstacles in the practical implementation of the law. External actors, institutional as well as non-governmental, have been actively promoting agricultural practices centred on rapid gains, unsustainable exploitation of land and forest, carpet introduction of monocultures without creating the conditions for the establishment of favourable value chains and market conditions. The changes that have taken place have important implications in terms of women’s role and status within communities: not only because of the farming system transition, but also as a consequence of the increasing influence of the mainstream culture, in which gender norms are more hierarchical and constrictive then the ones in use among the indigenous peoples targeted by this study. Following the evidence presented here, strengthening indigenous women land rights may result from a multipurpose approach that embraces different areas of interventions and actors, detailed in the recommendations provided.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Respecting free, prior and informed consent
    E-learning fact sheet
    2020
    Also available in:
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    The Voluntary Guidelines on Governance of Tenure (VGGT) state that responsible investments should do no harm, and safeguard against dispossession of legitimate tenure right holders. They also embody international legal provisions requiring the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) from Indigenous Peoples to any project that may affect them. This course explains the underlying principles of FPIC, and sets forth practical actions that government agencies, civil society organizations, land users and private investors can take to ensure that FPIC is integrated into their operations.

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