Effective participation

Ensuring full consent and active participation of Indigenous peoples and local communities

This methodology was written by, and for, IP and LC, and its impact is directly related to that focus.

The ISBM has been co-developed over one year with an on-site collaboration of biologists, conservationists, and Indigenous small farmers who live in the Putumayo Amazon, technologists, and more than five Indigenous groups (Kamëntsá, Cofan, Pasto, Emberá Chami, and Inga). Each of these groups represents an essential contribution to its relevance (See detailed description in Appendix H).

To truly preserve biodiversity hotspots and functional rainforests requires a tremendous amount of work with the IP and LC, respecting cultural differences in perspectives of time and trust (Stewart and Gosling et al., 2021). Methodologies that are overly complex or structurally exclusive can be inadvertently harmful to IP and LC through inadvertently financing corrupt behaviors or individuals. But more importantly, they are simply ineffective as the people who best know how to preserve these species are the ones least consulted in markets intended to have that effect.

“Incumbent power structures have excluded diverse perspectives, by design or through ignorance. The facilitation of diverse voices needs more than an invitation. It requires investment, the provision of tools and information to bring all representatives to the same baseline of understanding on varied topics, from the complexities of carbon markets to the intricacies of Indigenous land practices.” (Cheikosman, 2023)

Free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) is a right and requirement that must be respected at all times and should not be framed merely as an “process of FPIC”. This requires that Indigenous Peoples can determine whether and how to be consulted, effective participation in decision-making, and the right to give or withhold their free, prior, and informed consent. A more detailed description of the key elements of FPIC can be found in Appendix H which is not comprehensive and should be tailored to BCP site and participating communities.

Please note, the IEP must verify free, prior and informed consent through ground-truthing as outlined in Appendix I . Simply having it on paper or in a standard without detailed implementation guidance is not sufficient.

The ISBM was designed by and for IP and LC. If The BCP projects are not IP or LC run and/or managed they must have an effective participation protocol that includes:

  • A stakeholder map, an institutional map of the governance structure or institutions and leaders associated with decision-making in the territory, associated with the BCP activities.

  • Consensual decision with local governance structures. Which must include clear information about the nature, size, pace, reversibility and scope of any activity, including information about possible risks, benefits, should be made available as part of any FPIC process.

  • Mapping of FPIC processes including a schedule of BCP decision-making meetings.

  • A conflict management protocol which includes handling of petitions, complaints, claims, and requests, and their traceability

  • A document of agreement, signed by the local community representative parties for the development of the BCP. In this case, community representativeness is given, as a minimum, by explicit agreement with the local governance structures and represented in their designated leader(s).

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