Free, Prior, and Informed Consent for Land rights, Environmental protection, and Human Rights Defense

Free, prior, and informed consent (also known as FPIC) is widely regarded as one of the most significant victories won by indigenous movements. This represents a shift away from the traditional mindset that saw indigenous peoples as unable to determine their destinies. That is a standard practice in international law. The standard is an essential part of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples). It has been cited in significant cases throughout the world’s legal systems. Several iterations of the concept can be found in the Basel and Rotterdam Conventions, as well as Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization. Additionally, parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity have reached an agreement regarding traditional knowledge in regard to the concept. In addition to being incorporated into the performance requirements of the International Finance Corporation, it has been cited by the World Commission on Dams and the Extractive Industries Review conducted by the World Bank.

Prior consultation, which in practice means that an outside entity such as a government, corporation, or multilateral could hold a workshop in an indigenous territory before the bulldozers roll in, is widely regarded as an inadequate substitute for free and prior informed consent (FPIC), which is widely recognized to be a significant improvement over the concept of prior consultation.

Previous consultation can be thought of as a form of gate that outsiders need to go through to obtain access to territory and undermine other human rights, such as the rights to one’s home, livelihood, environment, and health; consent is the gate’s lock. It is a gate that has a latch, but it is still a gate that can be and continues to be opened all the time, as evidenced by the rapid expansion of extractive industry and large-scale infrastructure on the territories of indigenous peoples all over the world. Although it has a latch, it is still a gate that can be and continues to be opened all the time. In point of fact, FPIC is not much more than a gate with a latch and three broken hinges in the shape of the ideas of free, prior, and informed consent, all of which are poorly defined and challenging to implement.

How can we be confident that the decisions taken regarding the territory were not influenced by outside forces? What exactly does it mean to say “prior”? Before the oil business moves into the area before the government leases the concession before the development of the hydrocarbon law?. And what exactly is meant by the term “informed”? Who is responsible for generating and supplying the information? What happens when people in fact do not have access to the knowledge that is necessary to make decisions concerning their fundamental rights?

Oil and mining industries are each actively using each of these hinges as a means to increase their profits. Newmont Mining and the World Bank both establish working groups to develop FPIC guidelines, and there is a strong rationale for this. Everyone is interested in finding out how to get through the gate so that normal operations may resume.

When communities in less-industrialized nations are confronted with new or existing development projects, it is uncommon for them to have either the technical tools or the information necessary to effectively address potential impacts on human health and the environment. This is because these nations have not yet undergone the industrialization process to the same degree as more developed nations. In many cases, government agencies are unable or unwilling to provide the required level of knowledge to address the problems of their constituents. Ngetha Media Association for Peace Would Like to Respond to This Need by Providing These Communities with Critical Technical Expertise and Capacity Building by Working with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) Partners, Affected Communities, Government, Media, and Religious Leaders as well as Cultural Institutions.

Indigenous peoples are regarded as active participants who make and build their history in both the International Labour Organization Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Both of these documents can be found on this website. This is further emphasized by the right to free, prior, and informed consent. It was a defining moment in the struggle of indigenous peoples against governments and corporations throughout history. Sadly, both parties frequently disregard it, and despite this, it continues to be a significant obstacle on the ground.

The idea of free prior and informed consent appears at different times in different contexts. In some cases, it takes the form of consultations with communities. In other cases, it takes the form of the need to consult Indigenous peoples for possible displacements and transfers to a new location due to the construction of infrastructure projects such as hydropower plants, roads, etc. without giving them the time to organize themselves and make a collective and informed decision. In both cases, the concept of free prior and informed consent appears at different times. The real meaning of FPIC standards, as outlined in Article 42 of the United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Peoples, which states that indigenous peoples have the right “to give or withhold their free, prior and informed consent to actions that affect their lands, territories and natural resources,” is frequently distorted, particularly in relation to the “Consent” part of it, which is translated into “Consultation” by the World Bank and governments, whereas its real meaning gives i. FPIC stands for “free, prior, and informed Consent”.

Indigenous peoples are facing increasingly intense pressure on their lands and resources, making this a crucial juncture for their communities. The Ngetha Media Association for Peace will continue to collaborate with the government, local communities, and other interested parties to assist indigenous peoples in their fight for the recognition and upholding of their rights, as outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

More than ever, this is the time when it is important to demand respect for the rights of indigenous peoples, the rule of law, and the right to self-determination, a cornerstone of the UN Declaration, and to be ready to facilitate indigenous communities’ understanding of each of the terms in FPIC when they are asked about it.

They should be aware that they are not subject to any form of intimidation, coercion, or pressure from governments or companies, as these entities are unable to make decisions regarding projects on indigenous land before being given sufficient time to consider the information and come to their conclusion. They are required to be INFORMED on all aspects of the project, they are required to be given all of the information in a form that they can understand, and they are required to have access to independent experts on law and technical issues should they be requested to make an informed decision. If the project would have a significant influence on their land or resources, they should have the opportunity to decide whether or not to give their consent to the endeavor. The necessary amount of time will be made available for the completion of this process.



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