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Research article2021Peer reviewed

Articulating FPIC through transnational sustainability standards: A comparative analysis of Forest Stewardship Council's standard development processes in Canada, Russia and Sweden

Teitelbaum, Sara; Tysiachniouk, Maria; McDermott, Constance; Elbakidze, Marine


An increasing number of sustainability standards integrate the principle of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) as a requirement to ensure respect for the rights of Indigenous peoples. FPIC remains a contested norm, due in part to divergences of interpretation and gaps in implementation. Drawing on a typology based on FPIC conceptions, this paper presents a comparative analysis of the Forest Stewardship Council's (FSC) standard development processes in three countries, Canada, Russia and Sweden. The paper investigates the dynamics of designing FPIC requirements and conceptions of FPIC reflected in national standards. Drawing on semi structured interviews and analysis of written standards, this study finds similarities in terms of the key debates, such as the scope of Indigenous authority and applicability of FPIC to non-Indigenous communities, however underscored by different stakeholder dynamics and outcomes. Despite the structuring presence of International Generic Indicators, different conceptions of FPIC are reflected in national standards.

Published in

Land Use Policy
2021, Volume: 109, article number: 105631

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    Law and Society

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