Focus Session

Projects affecting indigenous communities

Turning aspiration into practice – putting FPIC into the hydropower context

Wednesday 15 May 2019 | 11:15-12:30 | room: Eiffel 1

Hydropower provides an important contribution to clean energy systems, but its development can affect the communities that live around it.

There is better understanding and recognition of the impacts of hydropower development, which has led to the advancement of good international industry practice guides and tools. Of particular importance is the consideration of the rights of indigenous peoples. The call for free prior and informed consent (FPIC) of project affected indigenous peoples has been one of the most contentious areas of debate.

Several organisations have attempted to define FPIC and provide guidance on what it means in practice.

Session objectives

The session will explore the practice of FPIC. Specialist consultants, industry and indigenous representatives will share their opinion and experience of FPIC in practice, and where it has been achieved.

The aspiration to protect indigenous people’s human rights is widely supported; however, the concept of FPIC has been the most controversial and increasingly litigious aspect for numerous sectors and stakeholders working with such communities.

How can FPIC be achieved? What are the key ingredients of success? What is the consent for? Who is the consent given by, and to whom? When has it been achieved and what evidence is required to demonstrate this? Can consent be retracted? Is the process undemocratic? Who would risk engaging in this process? What are the biggest risks? Could FPIC become a deterrent to sustainable development? Which projects would require FPIC? Can FPIC be used as a means to stop projects?

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Tamang people’s representative
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President, Cross-Cultural Consulting Services
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Principal, Manitoba Hydro International


Chief Strategy, Communications and CSR Officer, ENGIE Brasil
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Chair, FPIC Working Group, Hydropower Assessment Sustainability Council
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Head of Environmental and Social Governance, Statkraft AS

Birgitte FEIRING

Director of Development, Business and Human Rights, Danish Institute for Human Rights
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Kimberly LYON

Water Resources Specialist (Consultant), World Bank


Chief Operating Officer, International Hydropower Association

Soledad Mills

Chief Executive Officer, Equitable Origins