This working paper summarises some progress made by indigenous peoples and by supportive organisations, as they seek to assess and apply the right of indigenous peoples to give or withold free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) to actions that affect their territories and natural resources. It shows how national laws vary in the extent to which they recognise this right, and even where it is recognised, there are deficiencies in implementation. This is also the case for some corporations, which may have standards stating that they respect indigenous rights and international law, but may not adhere to these in their actual dealings with communities.
The report is informed by field programmes, indigenous peoples' experiences, and case studies from Suriname, Guyana, Peninsular Malaysia, Peru, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines. These were also reviewed at a workshop hosted by Forest Peoples Programme and Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara in Indonesia in 2007.