Source: Civil Society Mechanism Secretariat, 11-10-2014

Please find here the CSO statement “No Compromise on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to FPIC in the CFS!” which has been signed by more than hundred international, regional and national civil society organisations from all continents.

Canada is blocking the rights of Indigenous Peoples’ right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) in the Committee for World Food Security (CFS). The Responsible Agricultural Investment (RAI) Principles being negotiated under the auspices of the CFS (Committee for World Food Security) are meant to promote responsible investment in agriculture and food systems that contribute to food security and nutrition, and support the progressive realization of the right to food. They address the core elements of what makes investment in agriculture and food systems responsible; They are meant to serve as a framework to guide the actions of all stakeholders engaged in agriculture and food systems.

The only text of the RAI principles that has NOT been agreed on reads “[Effective and meaningful consultation with indigenous peoples, through their representative institutions in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent under the United Nations Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples and with due regard for particular positions and understanding of individual States;] (principle 9(iv) in this document: FPIC is included in the UN declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples and in declarations by the UN General Assembly. Canada is now the ONLY country blocking critical language on the FPIC.

Civil Society is wary that weakening the text here, will create precedent and weaken it in other agreements as well. This issue is a non-negotiable ‘red line’ for the CSM – and indicated to the CFS Advisory Group and Chair yesterday that CSM will not support the agreement in the absence of this text on FPIC.

No Compromise on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to FPIC in the CFS!

Ensuring that investment in agriculture is done responsibly is vital for indigenous peoples, whose identities and cultural survival are inextricably linked to their lands and natural resources. Respecting this link is a fundamental principle in international law and jurisprudence, the recognition of which indigenous peoples have fought for and won and which reaffirms their right to determine the outcome of decision-making that affects them, rather than merely being involved in the process.

This right – known as Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) – is protected in human rights law and is based upon the right of all peoples to self-determination. In practice, it means that indigenous peoples are able to accept or refuse an investment project that will affect them, with all the necessary information in hand and without coercion. In a world where land grabbing is rife and indigenous peoples are routinely being kicked off their ancestral lands thus threatening their very existence, it has never been more important to protect this right to FPIC.

Despite this, the Canadian Government is blocking the inclusion of FPIC for indigenous peoples in the Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems, due to be endorsed by the Committee for World Food Security (CFS) in October 2014. The result of a two-year long global consultation, these Principles aim to prevent investments in agriculture from driving social and environmental devastation, and instead encourage positive investments and policies that prioritise food security over corporate profit.

Despite having previously accepted this inclusion in another international agreement, Canada now stands alone, as 100+ other governments have agreed that the Principles must include the right of indigenous peoples to FPIC. Although this country registered an objection to paragraph 20 of the Outcome document of the recent World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, it did not attempt to rescind indigenous peoples’ rights to FPIC. 

Canada’s actions to block FPIC in the Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems are unacceptable and a step backwards in the globalgovernance of resource rights. They risk seriously undermining the rights of indigenous peoples worldwide, further weakening the Principles and diminishing the credibility of the CFS as a space to advance the progressive realisation of the right to food.



Action Aid, Agricultural Hotel Restaurant Catering, Alliance of Indigenous Women’s Organizations in the Cordillera Region, Alliance of Peasants in the Cordillera Homeland (Philippines), Alliance Sud – A Swiss Alliance of Development Organisations, Amigos de la Tierra, AMIHAN, Andhra Pradesh Vyavasaya Vruthidarula Union (APVVU) India, AP Mastya Karula Union (Firsher Folk union) India, Apit Tako, APRODEV – Association of World Council of Churches related Development Organisations in Europe, Arab Group for the Protection of Nature, Arab Network for Food Sovereignty, Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) Thailand, Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Asian Rural Women’s Coalition (ARWC), Association for Rural Planning and Action India, ATP Agricultural and Trade Policy, Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance, Bai, Banteay Srei Cambodia, Berne Declarations Switzerland, Bread for all, Bread for the World – Protestant Development Service Germany, CADPI, Canadian Community Economic Development Network – Réseau canadien de développement économique communautaire, CCFD-Terre Solidaire, Centre for Human Rights and Development Mongolia, Centro Internazionale Crocevia, Chantier de l’économie sociale, CIDSE, CLOC LVC firmaremos, Continental Network of Indigenous Women of the Americas, Continental Network of Indigenous Women of the Americas- ECMIA, Cooperativa Agropecuaria APF Cañuelas (Argentina), Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA), Cordillera Women’s Education Action Research Center (CWEARC) Philippines, DanChurchAid (DCA), Dharti Development Foundation, Domestic Fair Trade Association, Elsa Stamatopoulou Columbia University Director, Entreide et Frateirnite, ETC Group, Farms not Factories – UK, FASTENOPFER (Swiss faith based organization), FIAN International, FIMARC, Find your Fit, Friends of the Earth (Eu Wales North Ireland), Greenpeace, Habitat International Coalition, Huvadhoo Aid Maldives, Innabuyog, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, International Indian Treaty Council, International Network for the Promotion of Social Solidarity Economy – RIPESS, Jalal Foundation Afghanistan, Just New World Rome Italy, KAMP, Law and Development (APWLD), LVC La via campesina, MAELA, MNCI VC, MOCASE VC, Mongolia Food Coalition (People’s Coalition for Food Sovereignty Mongolia), National Agricultural workers Forum- NAWF India, National Alliance of Indigenous Peoples Organizations in the Philippines, National Alliance of People’s Movements-NAPM India , National Center for Labour (Apex Body of Unorganised workers Unions In India), National Federation of Peasant Women Philippines, National Fisheries Solidarity Movement (NAFSO) Sri Lanka, National Network of indigenous Women’s Organizations in the Philippines Autonomía y Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas, Nijera Kori Bangladesh, NISARGA India, Oxfam international, Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific (PAN AP), Peuples Solidaires –ActionAid France, Philippines, Public Association SHAZET Kyrgyzstan, Réseau Maghrébin d’Associations de Développement Local en milieu Rural., SAHANIVASA India, Save the Earth Cambodia, Savisthri National Women’s Movement in Sri Lanka, Send a Cow, SERUNI Indonesia, Sindh Pakistan, Solidarité, South Indian Coordination Committee of Farmer’s Movements (SICCFM), Svenska kyrkan / Church of Sweden, Telengana Vyavasaya Vruthidarula Union India, Terra Nuova, The International Union of Food, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF), Transnational Institute (TNI), UKFG, Urgenci Europe Community Supported Agriculture, Urgenci International Community Supported Agriculture, WAMIP, War on Want, WFFP, Why Hunger, World Forum of Fish Harvesters and Fish workers, World rural Forum.