Learning Exchange on Free, Prior and Informed Consent in Indonesia
A learning exchange workshop held in June explored lessons learned from efforts to implement FPIC.
Policy makers, civil society and indigenous peoples’ organizations from Central Sulawesi, Central Kalimantan and Jambi Provinces in Indonesia recently attempted to demystify the concept and practice of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) in relation to getting ready for REDD+. The Learning Exchange Workshop held 12-13 June 2013 in Palu, Central Sulawesi, between the three provinces was a frank exchange of the challenges faced, as well as lessons learned from efforts to implement FPIC. One of the key messages from the workshop was the need to create institutions and mechanisms for consultations with and participation by indigenous and forest dependent communities through which FPIC can take place. Given that local conditions vary from one province to another, participants also brainstormed on the possibility of a monitoring framework to ensure processes undertaken do not undermine the free, prior and informed elements of consent. At the same time, the monitoring framework will also help to ensure the terms and conditions in which consent is given are adhered to by all parties.
The discussion on the first day of the workshop was complemented by a field visit to Lore Lindu, the site of second FPIC pilot for the UN-REDD Indonesia Programme in Central Sulawesi. Lead facilitators from the two villages who took part in this pilot, Pakuli and Simoro, were on hand to answer questions fielded by participants from Central Kalimantan and Jambi provinces. In particular, participants were interested to find out what the best practices for awareness raising were; what an acceptable duration for the socialization process is; how to ensure facilitators are impartial; how to gauge the understanding among the villagers; and how to determine legitimate representation among the affected villagers.
One of the recommendations from the two-day workshop was to establish a network of FPIC practitioners, initially consisting of participants from the three provinces. Among the activities proposed was a reciprocal study visit to Central Kalimantan. Participants also took note of the strength the indigenous peoples and forest dependent communities in Central Sulawesi gained from the introduction of a Provincial Governor’s Decree No. 37/2012: General Guidance on the Implementation of Free, Prior and Informed Consent for Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation Plus in Central Sulawesi Province.
The UN-REDD Programme in Central Sulawesi Province, Indonesia completed its operational phase in October 2012. The Programme was instrumental in the development of several decrees through a multi-stakeholder REDD+ Working Group comprising of representatives from relevant government agencies, non-governmental and civil society organizations, indigenous peoples’ organizations, academia and private sector. Central Kalimantan was selected as a REDD+ pilot province by the National REDD+ Taskforce as part of the Letter of Intent Program with Norway while Jambi is designated as a partner province. Both provinces are in various stages of REDD+ readiness.