Dissenting voices in a consenting village: lessons from implementation of free, prior and informed consent at a REDD+ pilot in Tanzania

Dissenting voices in a consenting village: lessons from implementation of free, prior and informed consent at a REDD+ pilot in Tanzania
K Mukisa, D M Tumusiime, C Webersik, E T Liwenga, J R S Tabuti
International Forestry Review, March 2020; 22(1) pp 120-131
Abstract
Free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) is a key institutional tool in meeting social safeguards. Its implementation ensures respect of the local people’s rights in an intervention. This paper presents a case of FPIC implementation at a REDD+ pilot site. Data were obtained through key informant interviews and focus group discussions with proponents and village members of the Lindi REDD+ project. Findings indicate that the inclusive approach to FPIC by taking the consultations to the hamlet level did not deliver a flawless process. The consent decision was reached by a majority vote, not consensus. There was some dissent, prompting the early establishment of project implementation committees. Consent was obtained, though it was not absolutely free, prior and informed. Future REDD+ projects should consider having FPIC as an independent and earlier process, separate from the main implementation of the project in order to uphold local peoples’ rights in a less anxious process.

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