UK government to refine proposals for bilateral deforestation and climate fund

The launch of a long-awaited new British fund for tackling deforestation drivers in forest nations is still on hold as UK government agencies continue to finalise the business case for the initiative. Meanwhile, UK NGOs have continued to press the government to ensure transparency in the governance structure for the fund, which is to be geared towards supporting tropical countries to combat deforestation and curb land use emissions. 

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.

9th RRI Dialogue on Forests, Governance and Climate Change, London, February 2011

The 9th RRI Dialogue on Forests, Governance and Climate Change, co-organized with Forest Peoples Programme, Tebtebba and Forest Trends, took place in London, UK on 8 February 2011. The Dialogue drew together a number of key actors involved in REDD, including representatives from Indigenous Peoples organizations, governments of UK Mexico and Norway, the banking sector, NGOs and researchers.

The consensus emerging from the discussion was that REDD should not proceed before clear safeguards are put in place. Gregory Barker, British minister of State, Department for Energy and Climate Change outlined that before REDD projects take place, it is crucial to assess drivers of deforestation, secure clarity of land tenure and ensure equitable benefit-sharing for Indigenous Peoples. To that end, he assured that the UK government will apply safeguards in bilateral REDD agreements with Indigenous Peoples and local communities. Despite this commitment he avoided mentioning whether the UK would push for stronger safeguards in the readiness processes of the World Bank’s FCPF initiative.

UK Government insists on respect for rights in World Bank Palm Oil strategy

In response to questioning from the Forest Peoples Programme, the UK Government has affirmed that the World Bank's revised strategy on palm oil, which is still being revised, must secure community tenure and Free, Prior and Informed Consent. The Government supports legal reforms where these rights are not secure. The UK Government says it supports the temporary ban on World Bank Group funding for the sector and wants this freeze maintained until an adequate strategy has been developed and reviewed by the Board of the World Bank.

Statement to House of Commons RRI book launch by Andy White, Rights and Resources Initiative 'From Clash of the Commons to a New Agenda for Forests' 14 July 2008

Thank you Marcus, and thank you Mr. Horwood for your work and for hosting this event. It is truly an honor to be here to launch these new reports. It's also an honor to follow Marcus Colchester, who's made outstanding contributions to the recognition of indigenous people's rights around the world, and to precede Joji Cariño and Kyeretwie Opoku, two well recognized leaders on these issues in Asia and Africa.

Speech to House of Commons RRI book launch by Gareth Thomas, MP UK Government Minister for Trade and Development, Department for International Development (DFID) 'From Clash of the Commons to a New Agenda for Forests' 14 July 2008

Good evening everyone. It is a pleasure to be here with you to talk about a new global agenda for forests.

I would like to congratulate the Rights and Resources Initiative on the two important pieces of work that are being published today.

Last December at a meeting at Chatham House I announced a five-year programme of DFID support to RRI, and it is pleasing to see an early return on that investment.

FPP letter to UK's Department for International Development

Alerting the Secretary of State to the NGO submission to the UN's CERD [see below] and the pending World Bank Inspection Panel investigation into the detrimental impact of World Bank-supported initiatives on the rights and livelihoods of indigenous peoples in the DRC