Aug 22, 2019 by members
Oxfam released a new report highlighting the importance for development banks to act on and ensure that free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) of communities are secured first before they provide funding for development.
Free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) is a recognized right of Indigenous peoples under international law and it is the communities’ decision whether they would agree and consent to projects or activities planned to take place on their lands, waters and forests. It is also a best practice principle that applies to all communities affected by development projects or activities.
The discussion paper aims to start the conversation with banks on what they need to do to ensure that their commitment on FPIC is put into practice and how it can help banks ensure that they have obtained an accurate situational analysis and help them manage operational, legal, financial, compliance and reputational risks. It acknowledges that the banking sector has increasingly recognized FPIC and how this has been put in part into guidelines and standards such as the Equator Principles and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The paper tackles why FPIC is important and why it has become a prominent human rights, environmental and governance issue, including, among other aspects, rapidly escalating violence towards people who peacefully speak out on land-related issues.