Free, Prior and Informed Consent and REDD+: Guidelines and Resources

Posted on 13 January 2014
One aspect of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, and conserving, sustainably managing, and enhancing forest carbon stocks (REDD+) that has generated great interest is its potential to increase support for the forest stewardship activities of indigenous peoples and local communities. Potential social benefits associated with REDD+ initiatives include strengthening of community land and resource rights, empowerment of community institutions, and increased income through benefit sharing.

At the same time, REDD+ has sparked concern about possible adverse impacts on indigenous and community rights, livelihoods and cultures  including restrictions on land and resource rights, increased centralization of forest management, and inequitable benefit-sharing.

Free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) of indigenous peoples and other forest-dependent communities is widely recognized as a key foundation for securing the opportunities that REDD+ may provide and addressing its risks contributing to more equitable, effective and sustainable REDD+ initiatives. At the same time, practical challenges to effectively realize FPIC remain. A number of recent publica- tions and current processes seek to address these, including the development of practical guidelines and procedures.

One purpose of this working paper is to distill these practical guidelines into guiding principles and procedures for WWF programmes working on REDD+ into a resource for ensuring that rights to FPIC are respected and supported. The paper also provides an annotated compilation of additional and more in-depth resource materials on which programmes can draw.