Aboriginal Policy Research Consortium International (APRCi)

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International Journal of Heritage Studies

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Free prior informed consent is a critical concept in enacting the rights of Indige- nous People according to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indig- enous Peoples. This paper outlines a case for the inclusion of free prior informed consent in World Heritage nomination processes and examines issues that are problematic when enacting free prior informed consent. Case research was used to analyse current issues in the potential nomination of certain areas of Cape York Peninsula, Australia. The authors’ reflexive engagement within this case offers insights into the praxis of developing a World Heritage nomina- tion consent process. The outcomes of this research were: preconditions need to be addressed to avoid self-exclusion by indigenous representative organisations; the nature of consent needs to account for issues of representation and Indige- nous ways of decision making; the power of veto needs to have formal recogni- tion in the nomination process; and prioritising self-determination within free prior informed consent ensures the intent of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The paper contributes to the human rights agenda of Indigenous People and conservation management processes by help- ing address the issues that will be raised during a World Heritage nomination process.

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