Indigenous peoples’ organisations and international NGOs call for slowdown of Guyana-EU FLEGT process

In April and May 2013 the Amerindian Peoples’ Association (APA) of Guyana and a consortium of European NGOs, including Forest Peoples Programme, sent letters to the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) and the European Commission (EU) respectively, expressing concerns about rushed consultation processes and a lack of meaningful participation by forest dependent communities in the FLEGT process. 

UK government continues to develop plans for supporting developing countries to tackle deforestation

The British government is currently finalising its plans to help curb global deforestation as part of the UK’s £2.9 billion dedicated international climate fund (ICF). The ICF has been set up by the UK to ‘help developing countries tackle climate change and poverty[1]’ and includes a specific forest component that is currently being developed by the Departments for International Development (DFID) and Energy and Climate Change (DECC). A portion of the funds have already been allocated for the government’s Forest Governance, Markets and Climate programme, which is geared towards helping FLEGT countries to ‘continue and accelerate efforts to tackle illegal logging…..and supporting supply chain traceability for timber’[2]. It appears that the UK government now plans to extend this work to other commodities that are currently driving deforestation such as soya and palm oil.

O governo Britânico continua a desenvolver planos de apoio para os países em desenvolvimento combater o desmatamento

O governo Britânico está atualmente finalizando seus planos para a ajuda no combate ao desmatamento global, como parte das £2.9 bilhões de libras do governo, dedicados ao fundo internacional para o clima (ICF em inglês). O ICF foi criado pelo governo do Reino Unido para ‘ajudar os países em desenvolvimento a enfrentarem as mudanças climáticas e a pobreza’[1] e inclui um componente florestal específico que está atualmente sendo desenvolvido pelo Departamento de Desenvolvimento Internacional (DFID em inglês) e pelo Departamento de Energia e Mudanças Climáticas (DECC em inglês). Uma parte deste fundo já foi destinada ao programa do governo para Governança Florestal, Mercados e Clima, que tem como finalidade ajudar os países do plano de ação FLEGT a ‘continuar e acelerar os esforços para combater o desmatamento ilegal.... e fornecer apoio à rastreabilidade na cadeia de produção da madeira[2]’ No momento, parece que o governo Britânico planeja estender estes planos para outras mercadorias que atualmente estão levando ao desmatamento, como a soja e o óleo de palmeira.

Douala ACRN regional workshop strengthens common vision for securing community property rights to lands and resources

Hosted by ‘Le Centre pour l’Environnement et le Développement’ (CED), and co-organised by FPP with partners CED, FERN and ClientEarth, the African Community Rights Network (ACRN) regional four-day workshop on securing community rights to forest lands took place from 12-16 September in Douala, Cameroon. The workshop brought together around 50 representatives from civil society organisations (CSOs) and communities from seven countries in the Congo basin, Ghana and Liberia, as well as land tenure expert, Liz Alden Wily. The workshop was funded by the European Union and the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI).

The workshop culminated in position statements to government, and to civil society and communities. The statements expressed the conclusions of participants that the central and urgent issue to be addressed was how community rights to customary lands and resources could be secured as property rights in national laws. The statements also set out the means for securing this formal protection and supporting community governance. This common vision was presented to officials from Cameroon’s government on the final morning of the workshop by Silas Siakor, director of the Liberian ‘Sustainable Development Institute’ (SDI), on behalf of the workshop.

Could land reform succeed where conservation has failed?

Conservation organisations have been making great strides towards recognising that protected areas must respect the rights of indigenous peoples as enshrined in international law, including the right to give or withhold their free prior and informed consent to the establishment of new protected areas in their customary territories. Yet in practice conservation organisations often continue to exclude local people from using forest and other resources, and only consult them after they have drawn up management plans rather than jointly writing them.

Evidence of illegal incursions into community land by industrial loggers in Cameroon

This week, the Baka community in the Lomie region of Central Cameroon, have been mapping their lands with the support of the Centre for Environment and Development in Cameroon (CED) and Forest Peoples Programme (FPP). The resulting maps clearly show significant incursions into designated community forest by industrial loggers in Cameroon.

Industrial logging concessions begin two kilometres from the community.