Leaders of San Jose Village, Toledo have signed the Free, Prior and Informed Consent Agreement. Known by its acronyms, FPIC, the agreement is geared at charting the way forward following consultations that began in the community in January. The community needed to sign the agreement for the Resilient Rural Belize Program to meet its goals and objectives, one of which is to improve the quality and volume of smallholder farmer agricultural production in indigenous communities. Minister of Rural Transformation, Community Development, Labour and Local Government, Oscar Requena spoke on the occasion.
The Ministry says that the signing is the output of the consultation process is not a simple yes or no, but an agreement and plan that specifies how the project will be implemented, the shared benefits, a grievance mechanism and additional consent, if necessary, will be obtained.