Indigenous Peoples’ Rights and the Role of Free, Prior and Informed Consent

The right of indigenous peoples to give or withhold free, prior, and informed consent (“FPIC”) for the use of their lands, resources, traditional knowledge, or intellectual property is among the special protections for indigenous peoples. This Good Practice Note provides background on the history of FPIC, without taking a definitive viewpoint on its legal status. The Note also explores the business case for obtaining FPIC and the challenges that are likely to arise in the process; outlines current company good practices to obtain FPIC; and discusses emerging practices that not only support FPIC but also long-term benefits for affected indigenous communities.