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

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.


FPP’s review of REDD+ and rights in eight countries finds that REDD+ policies and pilot projects have so far not been effective in addressing rights and equity issues. Key messages for policy makers at the national and international levels, including at the UNFCCC are that:

  • Governments and donors need to prioritise support for reforms of legal frameworks, tenure and forest governance to ensure alignment with international obligations
  • National REDD planning needs to include participatory reviews of international obligations and facilitate agreements on required reforms
  • Priority actions are needed to ensure recognition of land and territorial rights of indigenous peoples, including support for community mapping and demarcation activities
  • Tighter regulation and closer oversight of local projects to control ‘carbon piracy’ are required
  • More robust mechanisms for Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) and effective prior consultation are needed
  • Capacity-building is needed at all levels, including on FPIC, good governance and related safeguards
  • Urgent measures are needed to implement safeguards at the national and local levels
  • Safeguard monitoring must include assessment of governance, rights and livelihood issues
  • More robust actions are needed to identify and tackle deforestation drivers
  • National and local debates are needed on climate finance mechanisms
  • More attention needs to be paid to the development of a rights-based mechanism for the sharing of local benefits
  • Specific safeguards are required to protect rights to livelihoods, subsistence, traditional practices and community development
  • Greater recognition of traditional forest management and direct support for community-based initiatives are needed

For further detailed information and country case studies please see:

Lessons from the field: REDD+ and the rights of indigenous peoples and forest dependent communities. November 2011 at: http://www.forestpeoples.org/topics/redd-and-related-initiatives/public…

FPP’s Rights, Forests and Climate Briefing Series: http://www.forestpeoples.org/tags/rights-forests-and-climate-briefing-series-0

This series includes a set of seven briefings on REDD+ and indigenous peoples’ rights in Indonesia:http://www.forestpeoples.org/region/asia-pacific/indonesia