This article seeks to touch base with the policy objectives of the European Union (EU)’s 2003 Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (‘FLEGT’) Action Plan, and highlight lessons learnt during Forest Peoples Programme’s EU-funded Strong Seat at the Table project. With partners Centre pour l'Environnement et le Développement (Centre for the Environment and for Development, CED), FERN and ClientEarth, the ‘Strong Seat’ project supported the legal capacity of civil society partners engaged in VPA-related legal reforms in West and Central Africa.
Please join FERN, Forest Peoples Programme, ClientEarth and the Centre for the Environment and for Development (CED) for a short presentation on the findings of "a strong seat at the table", an EU funded project to strengthen land tenure rights in Africa. It will include the launch of a new guide on securing land tenure reform in Africa titled "Securing land and resource rights in Africa: a guide to legal reform and best practice" and will be followed by Forest Drinks.
A coalition of NGOs, including Forest Peoples Programme, have written to the President of the World Bank, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, to encourage the World Bank to elevate secure community land rights as a priority, and to ensure that all assistance, advice, and investments promote development models that fully respect local peoples’ human rights.
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.
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.
DALAT, Vietnam (23 March 2011) – A new report launched today at the 8th meeting of the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) reveals that the Bank is not fulfilling its promises to protect the rights of forest peoples. Smoke and Mirrors: a critical assessment of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility by Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) and FERN exposes the World Bank’s failure to uphold its commitments on human rights and its engagement in never-ending changes to its social and environmental policies, weakening its accountability to affected communities and the public.
FPP and Fern release new report Cutting Corners - World Bank's forest and carbon fund fails forests and peoples
Press release by FERN/SinksWatch