Guidelines on Free, Prior and Informed Consent
UN-REDD Programme, February 2013

These guidelines outline a normative, policy and operational framework for seeking and obtaining free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) in the context of REDD+. They are the result of a series of regional and international consultations with indigenous peoples, forest-dependent communities, practitioners and experts, and further analysis, pilot-testing and consensus-building. The document is defined as a “working final” version, meaning that there will be periodic updates to this version, based on the application of the guidelines, increased informa­tion and experience related to the application of FPIC more generally, and continued input and feedback from governments, indigenous peoples and forest-dependent communities, practitioners and experts. The guidelines address: a definition of the elements of FPIC; the UN-REDD programme policy on applying FPIC including what is required of partner countries, when is FPIC required and at what level it is applied, who seeks and who gives consent, and what should be the outcome of the FPIC process; the operational framework for seeking FPIC; and national-level grievance mechanisms. A list of annexes address, among other issues, indicative steps for a REDD+ process to respect the principle of FPIC, the role of facilitators, and tools and resources. The guidelines are accompanied by a “legal companion” providing details on international law and jurisprudence related to FPIC.

It is noted that international law has now recognized that FPIC is a legal norm imposing clearing affirmative duties and obligations on States. The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) includes seven provisions expressly recognizing the duty of States to secure FPIC from indigenous peoples in circumstances ranging from population relocations, the taking of cultural, intellectual, religious and spiritual property, any damages, occupation and uses of their lands, territories and resources, before “adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures,” and prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources, particularly in connection with the development, utilization or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources. The UNDRIP elaborates on the application to indigenous peoples of human rights already affirmed extensively in treaties ratified by the majority of States. As such, to the extent that the duties and obligations as expressed in UNDRIP as already binding on States, they merely need to look to the Declaration to assist them in understanding how such rights might be protected for indigenous peoples as collectives, as well as their individual members. In addition, international courts and human rights bodies in Africa and the Americas have made it clear that regional human rights instruments recognize States’ duties and obligations to secure FPIC.

Putting REDD+ Safeguards and Safeguard Information Systems Into Practice
UN-REDD Programme, February 2013

The UN-REDD programme has also released a report titled “Putting REDD+ Safeguards and Safeguard Information Systems Into Practice,” which highlights policy considerations related to country-level safeguard systems in line with the UNFCCC Cancun Agreement. The report provides a framework and information on instruments to assist countries in the development of effective and efficient REDD+ safeguards. It considers a number of steps in the development of safeguard systems for REDD+ including: defining social and environmental objectives; assessing potential benefits and risks from REDD+; assessing current safeguard systems; drafting a strategic plan or policy; and establishing a governance system.

Download the guidelines on FPIC [pdf] … Download the legal companion to the UN-REDD Programme guidelines on FPIC: international law and jurisprudence affirming the requirement of FPIC [pdf] … Download the report on country-level safeguard systems [pdf] …