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Nov 30, 2022

Indigenous Community Says Yes to R.R.B. Project through FPIC Process

On Sunday, the residents of Santa Rosa Village in the Stann Creek District gave their written affirmation to the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) Agreement and the Indigenous People’s Plan (IPP). The agreement indicates that Santa Rosa Village has given its consent for the Resilient Rural Belize Program to commence work in the community. For any activity to be implemented in areas where indigenous people reside, R.R.B. is required by law to implement the legally required process of the FPIC. It is a relatively new practice in Belize and today we asked Geraldo Flowers, the Program Manager at R.R.B. about it.


Geraldo Flowers

Geraldo Flowers, Program Manager, R.R.B.

“The Free, Prior, and Infirmed Consent is a process that resilient rural Belize has to do whenever it plans to engage with an indigenous community. So, Santa Rosa is regarded by the Government of Belize and the UN as an indigenous community and therefore before we go in, before we develop our program, we have to inform the community itself of the benefits and some of the risks working with Resilient Rural Belize, so that process is an extensive process, it took us about six months or so and it culminated last weekend with the agreement between the community leaders and RRB Belize. The FPIC process not only covers the program but also enacts the monitoring system that is compromised of the RRB and also the community itself so that we can periodically update them on what the project is delivering and how it challenges our risks. The project is working primarily with farmers who are producing vegetables and honey and pineapples. In this case these farmers are interested in sweet peppers, producing tomatoes, and cilantro. What we want to do is three things, we want to help develop their productive capacity, provide them with implements such as green houses as well. We also want to enable them to find markets for their products.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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