We seek to engage with holders of ancient natural wisdom. To learn how they cultivate, formulate, and utilize natural remedies.. We seek to be their partners, to build bridges to markets for them, to amplify their voices, and to stand behind them in support as they help us understand how to heal people and our planet. We will build accountability mechanisms. We will codify guardrails. We will follow best practices.
The first step, in our thinking, is to engage directly with the people we seek to partner with. Through our partnership and guidance of El Puente we will follow the principles of Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) with indigenous communities globally. The indigenous peoples’ right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent (“FPIC”) is codified in the International Labour Organization Convention 169 (ILO 169). FPIC is also codified in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), among many others, as well as in national laws.
What does ILO 169 say? It says indigenous peoples have rights to the natural resources of their territories, including the following:
The right to participate in the use, management, protection and conservation of
The right to be consulted before natural resources on their lands are explored or
The right to studies on the effects of such exploration and exploitation;
The right to benefit in the profits made from any exploitation and use of
natural resources ;
The right to be compensated for any damages caused by such activities; and
The right to FPIC before any such activities occur.
FPIC is not just a process to obtain consent to a particular project. It is an ongoing
collaborative process of participation in projects by which Indigenous peoples are able to conduct their own discussions and decision-making in an environment where they have sufficient time to discuss in their own language, and in a culturally appropriate way, on matters affecting their rights, natural resources, knowledge, and culture or heritage (tangible and intangible).
We will fight doggedly to ensure the self-determination of these people that are still, after all that has happened, willing to help us understand how to heal ourselves through nature. We will commit to transparency, to accountability, to humility, and to equity. Our dearest hope is that our work of recording the wisdom of indigenous peoples will not only help the world grow healthier, but it will provide our partners with the means to chart their own course forward.