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Moreton in Marsh, United Kingdom

The World Commission on Dams (WCD) helped establish as development best practice the requirement to respect the right of indigenous peoples to give or withhold their 'free, prior and informed consent' (FPIC) to development projects that will affect them. Recognition of this right helps redress the unequal power relations between indigenous peoples and others seeking access to their lands and resources. In this Viewpoint, we examine the evolution of policy in the ten years since the publication of the WCD Report, and how FPIC has been affirmed as a right of indigenous peoples under international human rights law and as industry best practice for extractive industries, logging, forestry plantations, palm oil, protected areas and, most recently, for projects to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. To date, relatively few national legal frameworks explicitly require respect for this right and World Bank standards have yet to be revised in line with these advances in international law. We analyse how international law also needs to clarify how the right to FPIC relates to the State's power to impose resource exploitation in the 'national interest' and whether 'local communities' more broadly also enjoy the right to FPIC. In practice, as documented in this Viewpoint and in the cases we review, the right to FPIC is widely abused by corporations and State agencies. A growing tendency to reduce implementation of FPIC to a simplified check list of actions for outsiders to follow, risks again removing control over decisions from indigenous peoples. For FPIC to be effective it must respect indigenous peoples' rights to control their customary lands, represent themselves through their own institutions and make decisions according to procedures and rhythms of their choosing. Source


Farhan Ferrari M.,Forest Peoples Programme | de Jong C.,Forest Peoples Programme | Belohrad V.S.,Forest Peoples Programme
Biodiversity | Year: 2015

Community-based monitoring and information systems (CBMIS) refer to initiatives by indigenous peoples and local community organisations to monitor their community’s well-being and the state of their territories and natural resources, applying a mix of traditional knowledge and innovative tools and approaches. A newly emerging CBMIS network of indigenous peoples and local communities is now active in pilot communities in at least a dozen countries, with monitoring activities on the health of biodiversity, climate change impacts, effects of unsustainable/illegal activities and also implementation of international agreements such as the CBD at the national or local level. By showcasing illustrative examples, this article highlights the importance of indigenous peoples and local communities’ CBMIS activities towards achieving the Aichi biodiversity targets and monitoring their implementation. It is found that target 18 is central and cross-cutting, given that traditional knowledge and innovations are fundamental in monitoring progress and challenges under all other targets. © 2015 Author(s). All rights reserved. Source

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