Reports & Analysis
Applying FPIC in Viet Nam
As the first country programme to proceed with formal preparations for field-based REDD+ activities, the Viet Nam UN-REDD Programme is pioneering a process to seek Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) in two pilot districts.
|A poster developed by the Viet Nam UN-REDD Programme for awareness raising activities in villages|
Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) is a rights-based principle representing a particular expression of the right to self-determination, related rights to land, territories and natural resources, the right to culture, and the right to be free from racial discrimination. FPIC applies to key decision points for actions that have the potential to impact the land, territories, and resources upon which rights holders depend for their cultural, spiritual and physical sustenance, well-being and survival, and is of particular relevance to future REDD+ activities.
As the first country programme to proceed with formal preparations for field-based REDD+ activities, the Viet Nam UN-REDD Programme is pioneering a process to seek FPIC in the two pilot districts of Lam Ha and Di Linh. The UN-REDD Programme’s approach to FPIC is consistent with international human rights instruments such as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and reflects the draft UNFCCC COP-15 AWG-LCA text, which recognizes the need for full and effective engagement of Indigenous Peoples and local communities in REDD+.
The Viet Nam UN-REDD Programme has designed and initiated an eight-step process based on the principles that: 1) FPIC should be sought for all forest communities and communities living at the margin of forests; 2) FPIC process must proactively reach out to communities (rather than wait for them to come forward); 3) Homogeneity between communities cannot be assumed; and 4) Rights holders offer primary guidance for customized consent procedures. The process is based on seeking consent in each village of the two districts. It starts with consultation with local officials and relies on trained “interlocutors”, fluent in local languages, who are responsible for facilitating FPIC activities. For each village, interlocutors, in consultation with village heads, conduct local awareness-raising activities and facilitate an agreed number of village meetings, where the decision on whether or not to grant consent is recorded. Through these steps, a number of practical questions arise. What is the unit of consent? What representation is appropriate? How does the process unfold in each village? And how is the expression of consent (or lack of) recorded? Depending on the results of the process, different scenarios are envisioned for how to proceed or not with activities planned under the Viet Nam UN-REDD Programme.
Activities have started and are expected to be completed by mid-2010, at which point they will be independently evaluated and verified by RECOFTC- the Center for Peoples and Forests. In the FPIC process the Viet Nam UN-REDD Programme is also benefiting from the expertise and support of partners such as the Center for International Environmental Law, the Global Canopy Programme, The Forest Dialogue and the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and the Woods Hole Research Center.
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