Enabling Free, Prior and Informed Consent through Voluntary Standards

We are pleased to be the recipient of a grant from the ISEAL Innovation Fund to examine the issue of Indigenous Peoples’ right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent, or FPIC, and how it is applied in the context of voluntary sustainability standards.

FPIC is a principle that informs the right to consultation and is enshrined in the United Nations (UN) Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the ILO Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention 169. As voluntary standards, we draw upon normative frameworks of international human rights to establish performance targets for companies in a variety of sectors related to natural resource development. Furthermore, the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights establishes the responsibility of companies to respect all human rights.

Many international standards, including the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards and several ISEAL member standards, have now incorporated FPIC requirements. The problem facing standard-setting bodies, however, is the lack of knowledge, experience, examples and guidance on how FPIC can and should be implemented, what successful FPIC is, and how assurance providers can verify whether FPIC has been achieved.

This project, therefore, ventures into territory that few have explored and sets a goal to demystify the FPIC concept and produce a practical guidance for FPIC that is developed in partnership with Indigenous Peoples and can be used by standard-setting bodies and assurance providers.

EO will lead a Working Group consisting of ISEAL member standards, indigenous representatives and Indigenous Peoples’ rights experts. We are partnering with the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) and the Coordinating Organization of Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon Basin (COICA).

For more information about this project, please contact us: contact@equitableorigin.org

About COICA: The Coordinating Organization of Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon Basin

COICA is an organization that fosters the promotion, protection and security of indigenous territories through indigenous ways of life, principles and social, spiritual and cultural values. Their work is framed in the defense of life and the Amazon to preserve the forests for a living planet that will ensure the continuity of our present and future generations. COICA has been a partner of EO for several years and contributed to the development of the EO100™ Standard for Responsible Energy Development. For additional information: www.coica.org.ec

About RSB: The Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials:

The RSB is a global, multi-stakeholder independent organisation that offers trusted, credible tools and solutions for sustainability and biomaterials certification that mitigate business risk, fuels the bioeconomy and contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. For additional information: www.rsb.org