CCCS CEO Dr. Greg Guldin is offering his decades-long social development experience working with indigenous communities to support Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), private firms, and government agencies in their implementation of the new FPIC standard.
While the requirement of Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) for projects affecting the natural resources, causing relocation, or appropriating cultural heritage has long been a demand of Indigenous Peoples worldwide, only recently has FPIC been elevated to a new global standard. But how to achieve this new standard?
FPIC has been seen as a project-stopper, but our experience demonstrates that FPIC can both be achieved and a project-saver when our lessons learned are followed:
- Embracing the Past: Legacy issues are acknowledged and defused so as to build trust and lessen chances for discontent to emerge later
- Engaging the Present: Transparent, inclusive, and collaborative planning for social development invites local indigenous buy-in
- Assuring the Future: Build FPIC into social development planning so that Indigenous Peoples Plans are co-implemented by indigenous communities–and harmonized with local government plans
- Working with Trusted Local Organizations: Engage an IPO/NGO with credibility which can be accepted by all sides as neutral facilitator
Of course, these pointers are just the outlines of Good FPIC Practice. But they can pay dividends in both the short-run (achieving FPIC) and long-term (maintaining a social license to operate). See below for some other factors to consider when figuring out how best to achieve FPIC.