Forest Peoples Programme Supporting forest peoples’ rights

REDD+ and related initiatives

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) is a global initiative to pay countries to protect their forests in order to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. REDD+ has been discussed in climate negotiations since 2005 and includes both market and non-market initiatives. Since its inception the focus of REDD+ has broadened considerably to include a wide range of interventions and approaches including conservation and the sustainable management of forests, as well as the enhancement of forest carbon stocks (tree plantations, afforestation etc).

The initial phase of REDD+ involves preparing countries for its implementation through ‘readiness’ mechanisms – ensuring, for example, that the drivers of deforestation are being tackled and that procedures and safeguards are in place for the equitable sharing of benefits arising from REDD+. Most countries are in this phase at the moment, though many have pushed ahead to adopt national REDD+ strategies without carrying out rigorous participatory assessments of deforestation drivers. Readiness actions have also tended to focus on measuring carbon and forest cover changes, without adequate attention to governance and rights issues.

A number of crucial issues have arisen for forest-dependent communities, who are increasingly questioning REDD+ programmes and choosing to pull out of engagement with national initiatives. Indigenous peoples and local communities are often not recognised as owners of forests by the State in national laws, therefore there is concern that they will not see equitable benefits from REDD+ projects and that forest and climate schemes risk driving a global green land grab. Since REDD+ projects impact on communities living in and around forests it is essential that safeguards are in place to secure their customary rights to land, and to ensure local communities’ free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) is sought during the planning process together with their full participation from the outset.

Relevant resources

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Securing Forest Peoples’ Rights and Tackling Deforestation in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Forest Peoples Programme

11 May, 2016

Securing Forest Peoples’ Rights and Tackling Deforestation in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Deforestation and forest degradation have increased in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), despite the government’s commitment to safeguard its forests.

Illegal logging, unsustainable mining, commercial agriculture, and urban demand for fuelwood represent only some of the major long-term threats to the forests. By contrast, the traditional livelihood strategies of indigenous and local communities show a capacity to coexist with forests sustainably.

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The rights of Baka communities in the REDD+ Ngoyla-Mintom project in Cameroon

Jake Willis, Messe Venant, Olinga Noel

21 March, 2016

The rights of Baka communities in the REDD+ Ngoyla-Mintom project in Cameroon

Of the indigenous hunter gatherer peoples of Cameroon (the peoples who self-identify as ‘autochthonous’), the Baka are the largest group, numbering about 40,000 and living in an area of 75,000 km2 in the south-west of the country; the Bagyeli/Bokola are the second-largest group with approximately 3,700 people living near the coast in an area of about 12,000 km2; and the third-largest group are the Bedzang who live in the forests north-west of Mbam (Ngambe-Tikar), in the Central Region.

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Is carbon funding hurting forest peoples? Evidence from Madagascar

23 February, 2016

The Paris Agreement of December 2015 encourages countries “…to take action to implement and support, including through results-based payments…activities relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation” (Article 5)  as a key policy instrument for climate change mitigation. The Agreement also acknowledges the need to respect human rights in all climate actions. In principle, new investment in protected areas and REDD+ projects, by the World Bank and other international donors, are tied to strong social safeguards. These should be designed to ensure that a project does no harm and respects the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities. At present, UN climate change convention safeguards go further and require carbon funding to provide additional social and ‘non-carbon’ benefits, though World Bank safeguards still fall short of this.

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‘High Carbon Stocks Forests’: challenges in implementation

23 February, 2016

In response to consumer pressure to eliminate deforestation from products on supermarket shelves, corporations have been making numerous ‘Zero Deforestation’ pledges, often accompanied by ‘Zero Exploitation’ commitments. These companies seek to ensure that products in their ‘supply chains’ do not ‘embody deforestation’ and are not linked to land grabs and abuse of human and labour rights. These commitments are welcome but raise numerous questions: what do they require in practice and how can companies’ performance be verified?

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Forest Peoples Programme Dialogue on Community-based Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV)

14 December, 2015

MRV Meeting participants

From 16-19 Nov. 2015, FPP in collaboration with its local partners working across the Africa region organized in Yaoundé in Cameroon a meeting on Monitoring Reporting and Verification (MRV). The objective of this MRV meeting was to develop a common approach to community-based monitoring and set out appropriate indicators and tools for MRV that FPP and partners can mainstream throughout various initiatives on the ground to secure the rights of forest communities.

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The Situation of Indigenous Peoples in Paraguay: Their lands and the Laws that Would Protect Them

14 December, 2015

On 12 November 2015, Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) and its partner in Paraguay, the Federación por la Autodeterminación de los Pueblos Indígenas (FAPI) released a companion set of reports describing the current situation of indigenous people, their lands, resources, and territories in Paraguay, along with the national legal framework that is meant to respect, promote and protect their rights.  Many have argued that the last big “land grab” with respect to indigenous lands, resources and territories will not be from large infrastructure projects, but from conservation and resource protection initiatives.

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New Analysis Reveals that Indigenous Lands Hold More than 20% of World’s Tropical Forest Carbon

1 December, 2015

New analysis of forests in indigenous territories shows recognizing, protecting rights of traditional peoples can make major contribution to slowing climate change and would support nat'l commitments to reduce climate impacts

An analysis released at the UN climate conference (known as COP 21) maps and quantifies, for the first time, the carbon stored in indigenous territories across the world’s largest expanses of remaining tropical forest.

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VIDEO: The Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Relation to the Green Climate Fund and Deforestation in DRC

11 June, 2015

At the Bonn 2015 Climate Change Conference, Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) and Tebtebba held the side event 'Deforestation, Climate Finance and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: the cases of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF).’

In this video by IISD Reporting Services, the event panelists discuss the need for the Green Climate Fund and upcoming UNFCCC decisions to adopt a rights-based approach to climate change. Panelists also discuss the drivers of deforestation in the DRC and gave examples of eviction of indigenous peoples from their land.

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APA letter expressing concerns about Guyana's proposal to the FCPF Carbon Fund

30 April, 2015

 

letter submitted by APA to the Carbon Fund of the FCPF before their meeting (27-30 April) to consider the eligibility of Guyana to develop an Emission Reduction Project Idea Note (ER PIN) under the FCPF framework. The letter makes arguments for why Guyana is not ready to develop an emission reductions programme yet.

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Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) Submission on Safeguards Information System (SIS)

AIPP

24 September, 2014

Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) position on the Safeguards Information System (SIS).

The submission was made to the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on 24 Sept. 2014.

The submission includes the list of 37 endorsements from indigenous peoples organisations and civil society organisations.

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