FPIC SOLUTIONS DIALOGUE
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.
The FPIC Solutions Dialogue is a multi-sector initiative to develop practical guidance to support free, prior, informed consent (FPIC) community processes relating to mining, oil and gas projects.
RESOLVE is the convener and program secretariat. Program participants are working in partnership to identify FPIC guidance derived from site-based experiences. However, participation in the program does not suggest any formal or legal partnership, nor does participation in the development or evaluation of case studies suggest endorsement.
RESOLVE is convening and facilitating a series of conversations, case studies and pilot projects on strategies and tools for implementing FPIC and broad community acceptance – beginning with a NGO-Industry dialogue in September 2012. The project seeks to help communities and companies work together to navigate issues of community acceptance and consent on development projects.
There are multiple noteworthy FPIC initiatives currently underway. The focus of this project is to engage stakeholders (including companies, communities and civil society) to build a consent toolkit from site- and evidence-based lessons stemming from case studies, pilot projects and other cooperative, interest-based opportunities.
The best way to identify and develop practical guidance on FPIC is a) to work together at sites to learn from experience and test approaches, and b) to identify challenging issues and work in small groups to develop potential solutions. With this in mind, our program contains three elements:
- Case Studies—site-based learning from past and current projects.
- Pilots—testing new approaches at active sites.
- Issue Resolution & Scenario Planning—to develop guidance on site-based FPIC challenges through organized dialogue on key elements of F, P, I and C, as well as cross-cutting issues.