Community acceptance is a prerequisite to many natural resource development projects. Free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) – an internationally recognized indigenous right – is enshrined in procedural norms, standards and frameworks such as the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), policies of financial institutions such as the International Finance Corporation Performance Standards on Social and Environmental Sustainability and the Equator Principles, and in regional and national legal frameworks such as the Mining Directive of the Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS) and Peru’s recently-approved indigenous peoples’ consultation law. Some companies in the extractives sector have explicitly recognized FPIC in their policies; others are operationalizing engagement processes and benefits for sharing agreements that advance community acceptance when operating in areas that include both indigenous and non-indigenous people.
With these normative and operational developments on community acceptance and FPIC, there is growing interest from leading companies and civil society organizations to share practices and learn from concrete situations. Companies and civil society organizations want to learn from projects and programs that build community support at sites.