More about this guideline
Stakeholder consultation is a critical component of any private sector project located within or adjacent to a Key Biodiversity Area (KBA). Importantly, stakeholder consultation is not a tick box exercise that is done once with no resulting actions and then forgotten. Effective stakeholder consultation must be fully integrated into all aspects of the project, from initial land-use agreements through to the planning, implementation, monitoring, and verification of the project’s biodiversity management programme.
Despite the existence of numerous guides to participatory decision making, every situation is different, and there is no one blueprint for success. Most participatory methodologies also focus on a community scale, whereas, at least in the larger KBAs, companies will be looking to consult at a landscape scale, which is more complicated and less understood. The growing recognition of the importance of a Human-Rights Based Approach and Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) for engaging with indigenous and traditional peoples and local communities is adding pressure for participatory models to be used as a matter of course (IFAD, 2015 and RSPO, 2015).
In the context of business developments in KBAs, consulting with the organisations that originally participated in the identification of the area would also provide added value to the business, as these organisations would likely have additional data and knowledge about the area.
Companies seeking to engage with local communities need to ensure that the process is well-structured and conducted in a timeframe that meets stakeholders’ expectations.
References and Resources
IFAD. (2015). How to do. Seeking free, prior and informed consent in IFAD investment projects.
RSPO. (2015). Free, Prior and Informed Consent Guide for RSPO members.