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REDD+ systems on providing information on safeguards (SIS): Inclusion of data relevant for indigenous peoples

Developing countries’ remaining forests are spaces inhabited by indigenous peoples. These spaces have been shaped, protected and expanded by indigenous peoples over generations. The relationship of indigenous peoples to forests is linked to livelihoods, cultures, world views and traditional knowledge and may be expressed through forms of customary tenure, land use and resource use. By proposing social and rights-based indicators and building blocks, this document promotes a view of REDD+ that is holistic and secures carbon stocks, biodiversity and the rights of forest peoples.

Press Release - Land conflicts, carbon piracy and violations of indigenous peoples’ rights: New report by Amazonian indigenous peoples exposes the reality of REDD+ in Peru and proposes solutions

PRESS INFORMATION - EMBARGOED for 04:00 GMT Wednesday, 30 November 2011

A new report published today by Peruvian indigenous organisations, AIDESEP, FENAMAD and CARE, and international human rights organisation the Forest Peoples Programme (FPP), reveals the impact that REDD projects and programmes are already having on the lives of indigenous peoples. The reality of REDD+ in Peru: Between theory and practice - Indigenous Amazonian Peoples’ analyses and alternatives finds that REDD pilot projects run by some NGOs and companies are already undermining the rights of indigenous peoples, and are leading to carbon piracy and conflicts over land and resources. Persistent advocacy efforts by indigenous peoples’ organisations to secure respect for the fundamental rights of indigenous peoples have resulted in some government commitments to modify national REDD programmes financed by the World Bank. Nevertheless, solid guarantees for respect of these rights are yet to materialise.

Roberto Espinoza Llanos, coordinator of AIDESEP’s Climate Change Programme and one of the lead authors of the report, explains, “The commitments made by the previous government in 2011 were not made lightly, they were assumed by the State and approved in a global meeting of the World Bank’s FCPF [Forest Carbon Partnership Facility]. We hope that the present government and international entities like the World Bank will deliver on their promises to respect land and territorial rights. Continual monitoring will be necessary to make sure they keep their word.”

Press Release: Agribusiness and Human Rights in Southeast Asia Workshop brings together Human Rights Commissioners, indigenous peoples’ representatives, academics and NGOs from across the world. November 2011

PRESS INFORMATION – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

A landmark workshop, “Human Rights and Business: Plural Legal Approaches to Conflict Resolution, Institutional Strengthening and Legal Reform”, is taking place at the Santika Hotel, Kuta, Bali, from today until 1 December 2011, convened by the Indonesian National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) and supporting NGOs SawitWatch and Forest Peoples Programme. The event will be attended by over 60 participants, from the National Human Rights Commissions of the Southeast Asian region, the ASEAN Intergovernmental Human Rights Commission, notable academics, representatives of indigenous peoples, as well as members of supportive national and international NGOs.

Nur Kholis, Deputy Chairperson of the Indonesian National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM), said,

“We are taking this initiative in collaboration with the other human rights commissioners of South East Asia as a way of ensuring a more balanced approach to development based on respect for peoples’ rights, with an emphasis on the need to secure livelihoods and the right to food.”

Lessons from the field: REDD+ and the rights of indigenous peoples and forest dependent communities

In October 2011, Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) conducted a survey of our local partners asking them to pinpoint key experiences and emerging lessons learned in relation to REDD+ and rights issues over the last three years. Partners who contributed include the Centre for Environment and Development (CED) and Association Okani (Cameroon), CEDEN (DRC), Foundation for the Promotion of Traditional Knowledge (Panama), Amerindian Peoples Association (Guyana), Association of Village Leaders in Suriname, Association of Saamaka Authorities (Suriname), AIDESEP (Peru), Federation for the Self-Determination of Indigenous Peoples (Paraguay) and Scale-up, Pusaka and FPP field staff (Indonesia). Observations and lessons are also drawn from workshops with local partners, field studies and issues stemming from indigenous peoples’ representatives in dialogues with national and international REDD+ policy-makers. Key observations and lessons are summarised below.

Some key issues of relevance to UNFCCC COP17

The articles and related information in this special edition e-bulletin contain a number of findings and pinpoint issues that are pertinent to the discussions and negotiations that will take place in Durban in relation to REDD+. Some key elements that require due consideration by Parties and policy-makers, include, inter alia, the need to:

Global Climate Talks: Business as Usual or Progress on Social and Rights Issues?

•    Low likelihood that Durban will deliver a binding and comprehensive agreement on GHG reductions •    No agreement on long-term climate financing while Green Climate Fund talks proceed with difficulty •    Limited progress on a Safeguards Information System in REDD+ •    UNFCCC considers non-carbon values of REDD+ •    Indigenous Peoples adopt “Oaxaca Action Plan” on climate

Governments gathering in Durban in late November for COP17 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) face a daunting task. They will have to make progress on crafting an agreement on greenhouse gas emissions reductions within an effective, monitorable and binding legal framework, while securing the necessary financial resources needed to support developing countries on their path towards low carbon development. The survival of the Kyoto protocol is at stake. Some countries will not support the second commitment period: the United States is advocating for a “pledge and review” system, while other countries propose a broader instrument that would engage both developed and developing countries.

REDD+ Financing – Some Contradictory and Some Emerging Assumptions

As covered in the Global Climate Talks article in this bulletin, it seems that State Parties to the UN Climate Convention, meeting in Durban 28 November to 9 December 2011, are unlikely to reach a decision on the use of public and private finance for REDD+ and that this will seemingly be left to the discretion of governments[i].

However, while that may be the official ‘non-position’ that is strengthened at Durban, there are four key factors regarding REDD+ financing that need to be borne in mind. These were discussed extensively and very usefully at the recent Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) 11th Dialogue on Forests, Governance and Climate Change[ii] held in London on 12 October 2011. To differing degrees, these four issues are influencing the emerging REDD+ negotiations and preparations at international, national and project level.

Press Release: Palm Oil Need Not Harm Environment or Local Communities, says New Study. 21 November 2011

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The exponential growth in the palm oil sector, which accounts for a third of the total global trade of 130 million tons of vegetable oil annually, is strongly challenged by indigenous peoples and civil society organisations.  Indiscriminate land clearing and acquisition for oil palm plantations is resulting in rapid habitat loss, species extinctions and alarming greenhouse gas emissions. It has also led to the dispossession of both indigenous peoples and the rural poor who depend traditionally on forest habitats for their survival.

Press Release: New Report Exposes Human Rights Abuses in Wilmar Group Plantation in Jambi, Indonesia. Embargoed for 00:00 GMT, November 21 2011

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EMBARGOED for 8 am Malaysia 21 November 2011

A new report released today exposes how local Indonesian police (BRIMOB) in Jambi, working with plantation staff, systematically evicted people from three settlements, firing guns to scare them off and then using heavy machinery to destroy their dwellings and bulldoze concrete floors into the nearby creeks. The operations were carried out over a week in mid-August this year and have already sparked an international controversy. Andiko, Executive Director of the Indonesian community rights NGO, HuMa said: 

“Forced evictions at gun point and the destruction of the homes of men, women and children without warning or a court order constitute serious abuses of human rights and are contrary to police norms. The company must now make reparations but individual perpetrators should also be investigated and punished in accordance with the law.”

Oil Palm Expansion in South East Asia: Trends and implications for local communities and indigenous peoples

This insightful study by Forest Peoples Programme, SawitWatch, Samdhana Institute and the Center for People and Forests (RECOFTC) documents in detail, and for the first time, the way oil palm plantations are now expanding in very different ways across South East Asia as a whole. The study complements better known experiences in Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea with new case studies of the processes of oil palm expansion in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines.