Free, Prior and Informed Consent

For FSC, diversity is a key cornerstone to ensure equality in our certification scheme and in our organization around the world. It includes workers’ rights, Indigenous Peoples and local community engagement and gender equality.

There are 1.67 million people in Canada that identify as First Nations, Metis and Inuit belonging to around 600 different groups or communities. Indigenous Peoples usually have (or had) their own language, cultures and traditions, influenced by their ancestral homelands. Many of these Indigenous Peoples live and work in forests, or on the surrounding land – and that’s really important to FSC. 

Indigenous Person
Melodie Charlie

FSC & Indigenous Peoples' Rights

FSC actively supports the rights of Indigenous Peoples and prioritizes these rights in Principle 3 of the FSC Principles and Criteria (FSC P&C). Principle 3 requires all FSC-certified forest owners to uphold principles of free prior and informed consent (FPIC) - that a community has the right to give or withhold its consent to proposals that may affect the lands it customarily owns, occupies or otherwise uses - in accordance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP), and the International Labour Organization’s Convention 169.

FSC Canada’s national forest stewardship standard addresses the need for Free, Prior and Informed Consent rooted in equality and mutual respect, and with the goal of yielding tangible benefits to Indigenous Peoples affected by forestry activities within their traditional territories.

FPIC Learning Videos


FPIC Guidance for Organizations
PDF, Size: 916.15KB
FSC-STD-CAN-01-2018 EN_V1.pdf
PDF, Size: 2.12MB
FSC International Guidelines for the Implementation of the Right to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent
PDF, Size: 909.04KB
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act – The Implementation
PDF, Size: 231.78KB