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Community protocols and free, prior informed consent: overview and lessons learnt (PLA 65)

In this overview article to the special issue of Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) on Biodiversity and culture: exploring community protocols, rights and consent, the guest editors begin by setting the scene, explaining how loss of biological and cultural diversity is threatening the livelihoods and biocultural heritage of indigenous peoples and local communities (ILCs). They explore the role of community protocols (CPs) and free, prior informed consent (FPIC) in helping ILCs to defend their heritage and assert their rights over resources and traditional knowledge. They emphasise the importance of community level participatory processes in the development of CPs and FPIC, and highlight the dangers of using these tools in a top-down, mechanistic way. They then consider recent changes in international law that have given CPs and FPIC official support.

Next, they turn to this special issue of PLA, introducing the process used to develop it, its objectives and structure. They identify key lessons and conclusions on how to effectively support FPIC/PIC and CPs to maximise positive impacts for biodiversity and livelihoods, drawing on the articles in the issue.

Follow the links below for more about our work on Biocultural heritage.

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