Forest Peoples Programme

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Forest Peoples Programme (FPP)
Founded 1990, UK
Type Charity, International non-governmental organisation
Focus Self-determination
Indigenous peoples' rights
Tropical forests
Community-based forest management
Area served
Method Advocacy, Research, Capacity Building, Training

Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) advocates an alternative vision of how forests should be managed and controlled, based on respect for the rights of the peoples who know them best. FPP works with forest peoples in South America, Africa, and Asia, to help them secure their rights, build up their own organisations and negotiate with governments and companies as to how economic development and conservation are best achieved on their lands.[1]

Forests cover 31% of total land area of the planet.[2] Of that, 12% are designated for the conservation of biological diversity and nearly all are inhabited.[2] Many of the peoples, who live in and have customary rights to their forests, have developed ways of life and traditional knowledge that are attuned to their forest environments.[3] Yet, forest policies commonly treat forests as empty lands controlled by the state and available for ‘development’ – colonisation, logging, plantations, dams, mines, oil wells, gas pipelines and agribusiness.[4] These encroachments often force forest peoples out of their forest homes.[5] Many conservation schemes to establish wilderness reserves also deny forest peoples’ rights.[5][6][7]


Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) was founded in 1990 in response to the forest crisis, specifically to support indigenous forest peoples’ struggles to defend their lands and livelihoods. It registered as a non-governmental human rights Dutch Stichting in 1997, and then later, in 2000, as a UK charity, No. 1082158 and a company limited by guarantee (England & Wales) Reg. No. 3868836, with a registered office in the UK.

FPP’s focus, in the beginning, came from the expertise and relationships that the small founding team had with specific communities, primarily in the Guyanas and in South and South East Asia.[8] Forest Peoples Programme has grown into a respected and successful organisation that now operates right around the tropical forest belt where it serves to bridge the gap between policy makers and forest peoples. Through advocacy, practical projects and capacity building, FPP supports forest peoples to deal directly with the outside powers, regionally, nationally, and internationally that shape their lives and futures. Forest Peoples Programme has contributed to, and continues supporting, the growing indigenous peoples' movement whose voice is gaining influence and attention on the world-wide stage.


Forests are owned and controlled by forest peoples in ways that ensure sustainable livelihoods, equity and well-being based on respect for their rights, knowledge, cultures and identities.


Forest Peoples Programme supports the rights of peoples who live in forests and depend on them for their livelihoods. FPP work to create political space for forest peoples to secure rights, control their lands and decide their own futures.


• Get the rights and interests of forest peoples recognised in laws, policies and programmes
• Support forest peoples to build their own capacities to claim and exercise their human rights
• Counter top-down policies and projects that threaten the rights of forest peoples
• Promote community-based sustainable forest management
• Ensure equity, counter discrimination and promote gender justice
• Inform NGO actions on forests in line with forest peoples’ visions
• Link up indigenous and forest peoples’ movements at the regional and international levels


FPP aims to create a political space for forest peoples to secure their rights, control their lands and decide their own futures. Below are the cross-cutting core concepts that guide the approach and work of FPP.

Free, prior and informed consent (FPIC)Free prior and informed consent’ (FPIC), is the principle that a community has the right to give or withhold its consent to proposed projects that may affect the lands they customarily own, occupy or otherwise use. Oxfam: Guide to Free Prior and Informed Consent [9][10] FPIC, for years advanced by FPP, is now a key principle in international law and jurisprudence related to indigenous peoples.

Self-determination FPP works to realise forest peoples’ right to self-determination, a fundamental right of all peoples that underpins the work of the United Nations. That this right also applies to peoples within nation states is made explicitly clear in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in Articles 3 and 4.

Work Themes[edit]

Forest Peoples Programme organises its work into three sub-programmes on: Legal and Human Rights, Environmental Governance, and Responsible Finance; and into three cross-cutting themes on: Climate and Forests, Communications, and Administration.


Forest Peoples Programme produces a wide range of publications, including reports, briefings, training manuals, papers, submissions to human rights bodies, statements, letters, urgent action requests, as well as news articles and the FPP E-Newsletter.

To see all of Forest Peoples Programme's publications click here.


To see a list of Forest Peoples Programme's donors see FPP's annual reports here.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Reuters AlertNet -". Archived from the original on 2012-03-06. 
  2. ^ a b Nations, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United. "Global Forest Resources Assessment". 
  3. ^ "This week in review … FFP e-newsletter highlights indigenous conservation efforts". 28 February 2012. 
  4. ^ "ILC Land Portal -". Archived from the original on 2013-02-18. 
  5. ^ a b "Conservation and Mobile Indigenous Peoples; Berghahn Books, Oxford". 
  6. ^ CCMIN-AIPP. "Climate Change Monitoring and Information Network". 
  7. ^ "WRM in English - World Rainforest Movement". Archived from the original on 2012-07-30. 
  8. ^ Colchester, Marcus (18 June 1997). "Guyana: Fragile Frontier". Monthly Review Press,U.S. – via Amazon. 
  9. ^ "The Forests Dialogue -".