Indigenous Peoples and indigenous organisations in Paraguay have worked hard in 2010 to obtain guarantees from the government and the United Nations that any policy, decision or initiative relating to REDD readiness will respect their collective rights, including rights to land and the right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC). Through its participation in the national REDD Committee, for example, the Coordinadora por la Autodeterminación de los Pueblos Indígenas (CAPI) has stressed that the UN-REDD programme must comply fully with its own Operational Guidance on Indigenous Peoples. At the same time, CAPI has insisted that the government must fulfil its obligations under international and regional human rights treaties that the country has ratified.
As a result of taking this rights-based position, the draft National Joint Programme (NJP) between the government and the UN-REDD Programme now contains a dedicated section on indigenous peoples’ rights. In addition, commitments exist on the part of the UN-REDD Programme and the government to include guidelines on FPIC which have been formulated and ratified by CAPI member organisations. Notwithstanding these important gains, the draft NJP document still contains gaps and contradictions that need to be removed. The situation has been made more complicated in December 2010, as the World Bank FCPF has launched its controversial proposal for “Multiple Delivery Partners” to oversee the implementation of World Bank grants to assist countries to prepare for future REDD programmes. This new situation runs the risk of creating confusion among different agencies and it is not clear at this stage what the implications could be for REDD planning in Paraguay (see the other article on REDD in this ENewsletter).
CAPI is currently sharing information with other indigenous organisations and is planning joint work to review the revised NJP draft document before engaging in any national meeting to consider whether or not the document should be validated. CAPI continues to liaise with the government and the local UN-REDD programme, over the need to establish concrete mechanisms that would ensure the application of agreed measures to respect the rights of Indigenous Peoples in all REDD plans and readiness activities.
Informe de dos talleres sobre: Los Pueblos Indígenas, Cambio Climático y Políticas de Reducción de Emisiones derivadas de la Deforestación y Degradación de los Bosques (REDD) en Paraguay, febrero de 2010 (Only available in Spanish)