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The principle that indigenous peoples and local communities have a right to give or withhold their Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) to developments affecting their resources is not new. However, experience using FPIC in REDD+ implementation is still limited in the Asia-Pacific region. Using relevant examples from a range of locations and sectors, this guidebook provides a basis for developing country-specific guidance on employing FPIC in REDD+ processes.
Through the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2008) the legal status of the right to FPIC has been strengthened. In the ongoing climate change negotiations it has gained prominence through the discussions around REDD+. GIZ and RECOFTC regard the guidance that this publication offers as an initial attempt that will need to be reviewed and adapted as more experience with REDD+ implementation and FPIC is gathered. In particular, we hope that it will serve as a basis for developing country-specific guidance. This would allow adapting recommendations to the specific legal situation of indigenous peoples and local communities with regard to rights to their resources, which differs widely from country to country in the region.
Respecting the right to FPIC is, by definition, a locally and culturally specific process in which the affected communities themselves determine the steps involved. It is therefore not possible to produce a universally applicable ‘how to do it’ guideline. This publication provides a basis for more specialized information and training materials, targeted at specific audiences in appropriate languages. It will be progressively adapted as the ‘rules of REDD+’ evolve.