Indigenous Peoples Pushed for MRV Engagement In REDD and REDD+ as Rights Holders in COP15

Special guest article from Fiu Mata’ese Elisara*/Executive Director of OLSSI, Samoa



The Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC) constantly monitored the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP15) negotiations. It continued to provide proposals and contributions as its members wanted COP15 to decide on a political framework to respect the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities (ILCs) and to enable their full and effective participation in climate mitigation and adaptation, including through REDD+.

The IIPFC suggested language on how the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) can contribute to make REDD+ monitoring anchored on a strong indigenous peoples’ rights framework, while ensuring that indigenous peoples’ traditional knowledge is integrated in methodologies for monitoring and reporting. It welcomed SBSTA’s recognition of the need to ensure full and effective engagement of indigenous peoples in Monitoring Reporting and Verification (MRV), but as rights-holders, any engagement in REDD+ must be conditional on the full implementation of their rights as recognized in applicable international standards and obligations, such as the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), to their free, prior informed consent (FPIC) and to their full and effective participation at all stages and in developing and presenting their own parallel reports on REDD+ and forest developments on the ground.

The IIPFCC reiterated that forests are more than carbon to indigenous peoples and local communities, important for resilient ecosystems, livelihoods and human well-being and the scope of MRVs must include respect for human rights, secure land tenure, clarification of carbon rights and fully capture multiple forest values. The indigenous peoples argue that they can provide methodologies based on their traditional knowledge, consistent with their conservation of forests, enhancement of biodiversity and their cultural and spiritual values and that SBSTA organized an expert workshop that secures the full representation of ILCs, chosen by them, to address methods, measures, criteria and indicators to assess the social, environmental, economic and cultural implications of REDD+ actions. The IIPFCC believes that such an activity will build their combined capacities to apply traditional knowledge and climate science to ensure robust methodologies for participatory REDD+ monitoring and reporting.

This call was fully supported by the Accra Caucus on Forests and Climate Change in their response to draft text on SBSTA 30 Agenda item 5 on REDD text for a decision on methodological guidance for activities relating to REDD and REDD+, recognizing the need for full and effective participation of ILCs and the contribution of their knowledge in all stages of monitoring and reporting of activities and associated safeguards and subject to their FPIC. Also recognizing the importance of promoting sustainable management of forests and co-benefits, including biodiversity, that may complement the aims and objectives of national forest programmes and relevant international conventions and agreements.

Both the ILCs and the Accra Caucus request all the parties to identify drivers and activities which result in increased deforestation and degradation in developing countries, and enact policies and measures to address these using the most recently adopted Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) guidance and guidelines as a basis for estimating anthropogenic forest-related greenhouse gas emissions by sources and removals by sinks, forest carbon stocks and forest area changes.

They also requested that independent monitoring, reporting and verification be carried out on the impacts of policies, measures and processes undertaken on the rights of ILCs, biodiversity, and other social and environmental safeguards and that further work may be needed by the IPCC, in accordance with any relevant decisions by the Conference of the Parties, to provide supplemental guidance on the application of methodologies for estimating anthropogenic forest-related greenhouse gas emissions by sources and removals by sinks, forest carbon stocks and forest area changes.

The SBSTA was requested to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to use appropriate guidelines for effective participation of ILCs in MRVs and that all Parties support and strengthen developing countries’ capacities to collect and access, analyse and interpret data, in order to develop accurate estimates, recognizing that developing countries, when establishing methodologies to establish national reference emission and reference levels should take into account national circumstances, respective national capabilities and capacities, historical data, relevant socio-economic factors, drivers of deforestation, and existing domestic legislation, policies and measures and this data should be independently reviewed and submitted to the COP.

Requests were also made to set up a distinct and separate complaints mechanism which is accessible by all stakeholders and which is independent, transparent and consistent with all other relevant Human Rights instruments including the UNDRIP and urges relevant international organizations, non-governmental organizations and all stakeholders to integrate and coordinate their efforts in order to avoid duplication and enhance synergy with regard these activities.

In the light of the above, the SBSTA was asked to consider the application of a correction factor to reflect national circumstances, historically low deforestation and forest degradation, developmental divergence, and respective capabilities and capacities, resolution of terms such as forest, conservation and sustainable management of forests, developing country Parties that are requesting support shall follow the guidance decided by the COP and adopt how to address international leakage if applying sub-national approaches for demonstration activities and the development of guidance in monitoring and reporting with the full effective engagement of indigenous people and local communities.

As a rationale for this, national circumstances can be addressed by ways other than applying a correction factor, such as fund based payments for countries with historically low deforestation levels protecting intact natural forests, which don’t rely on artificially creating an appearance of changes in carbon stocks. It is crucial that leakage issues are not constrained to the domestic level. Domestic leakage is alleged to be relatively easy to address through the application of national baselines, but international leakage is the real threat to REDD in terms of addressing forest loss or deforestation, and considerations of international leakage must be part of any international REDD agreement.

* Fiu Mata’ese Elisara is the Director of Ole Siosiomaga Society (OLSSI) in Samoa. Read more…


The Copenhagen Disaccord: The Copenhagen Accord leaves room for doubt, disappointment… and little hope.

Special guest article from Paula Moreira*, Instituto de Pesquisa Amiental da Amazônia (IPAM). For further information, please contact Paula Moreira (paulamoreira[at]@ipam.org.br)


On 19 December, 2009, the Copenhagen Conference of the Parties (COP-15) closed, leaving much doubt as to the validity of the “Copenhagen Accord”, and what the next steps should be for governments to minimize the effects of global warming. The result of COP-15 was merely a political declaration which Heads of State called the Copenhagen Accord.

There is no question that this accord contains several problems. It is not legally-binding and the manner in which the accord was reached was unfair. The Accord was not reached in the UN Plenary, or through its working groups officially established under the Bali Action Plan. (Decision 1/COP.13). Instead, this supposedly global accord was drawn up behind closed doors by just a few Heads of State, thus making it politically impossible to secure its approval in Plenary by all the countries. So, a political accord was reached by 25 countries, out of the total 192 members of the United Nations. Finally, the accord does not set targets for reduction of greenhouse gases for developed countries nor mitigation actions for developing countries.

Despite all of these criticisms, it is worth emphasizing that there were some positive aspects included in the documents which, although a mere political declaration, can be used to build a legitimate and legal binding agreement which must be drawn up in the coming months. Firstly, the Copenhagen Accord was proposed by a group of countries which, for the first time, included the United States. Participation of the US represents an important step in the right direction for climate change mitigation. The declaration also recognizes the scientific view that the rise in global temperature should be less than two degrees centigrade to avoid human interference with the climate.

“Declaration” of Copenhagen’s Highlights

  • Financing
    With respect to financing, developed countries committed US$30 billion in additional resources during the period 2010-2012, specifically to help developing countries who are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. In the context of meaningful and transparent mitigation actions, the developed countries committed to jointly mobilizing US$100 billion per year up to 2020. These resources will be used to help to address the needs of developing countries. The funding would come from public, private, bilateral and multilateral sources including alternative sources of finance. The Copenhagen Green Climate Fund– part of the Copenhagen Accord—would be the financial entity of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change that will support projects, programmes, policies and other activities in developing countries, including REDD+, adaptation, capacity-building, technology development and transfer.
  • Emissions
    Detailed emissions plans are set out in two annexes to the Copenhagen Accord; one shows targets for the developed world and the other lays out voluntary actions in developing countries. However, given that China has refused to allow international verification of its efforts, the Declaration provides no possibility of monitoring voluntary actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions taken by developing countries. The requirements of the plans in the annexes have not been fulfilled with the corresponding numbers related to countries’ targets and actions.
  • Forests
    The Copenhagen Accord recognizes the importance of reducing emissions caused by deforestation or forest degradation, and accepts the need to provide incentives to finance such actions using resources from the developed world.

Brazil’s potential leadership

Despite the disappointment and legal ambiguity concerning the effectiveness of the accord, Brazil should be commended for announcing a pledge of US$5 billion to help the most vulnerable countries in the world adapt to climate change. As highlighted by our Senate Marina Silva, by taking this symbolic gesture, developing countries are capable to embarrass rich countries and put them in an uncomfortable position, unblocking the negotiation. Furthermore, the target of reduction of emissions announced by Brazil in Copenhagen (36,1% – 38,9% of 2005 emission levels until 2020) became law though the Presidential Approval of the Climate Change National Policy on 29th December, 2009 showing the world that the country’s position tabled in Copenhagen was really a compromise.

The next steps

The President of the COP announced that the next climate change conference would be in Mexico, in November-December 2010. Nevertheless, many NGOs are urging countries to work for a strong agreement with political legitimacy in the next six months.

What is left, for the moment, is a mixture of feelings. A huge frustration of having spent a great deal of money and time to see this horror show of COP 15, not least the abysmal organization which left participants queuing for hours in the snow, without achieving a satisfactory outcome to the COP.

On the other side, the sole feeling of hope that Countries manage to transform the Copenhagen Declaration into a UNFCCC legal binding agreement in the next 6 months, with the fulfilled annexes of numbers of mitigation targets by developed nations and actions by developing countries, in particularly encouraged by the voluntary actions by developing countries such as the Brazilian example mentioned above.

Please, distinguished delegates, we call for action and not more disappointment in the next 6 months. Otherwise many of us, UNFCCC observers and climate campaigners, will be obliged to focus our work and energy on specific mitigation actions at regional and local level, giving up on the United Nations Climate Convention (UNFCCC) processes, in order to avoid more climate catastrophes that are already in place. We don’t have more time. We need action.

*Paula Franco Moreira is a lawyer with a Masters degree of International Socio-Environmental Law from the London School of Economics. She coordinates the area of inclusion and empowerment of indigenous peoples and traditional communities in the process of defining public policies on global climate change at the Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM) and is a representative of the Latin American and Caribbean civil society at the UN-REDD Programme’s Policy Board. Read more…

REDD is CO2lonialism of Forests

Special guest article from Fiu Mata’ese Elisara*/Executive Director of OLSSI, Samoa



The Australian newspaper (The Australian – The rush is on for sky money) calls REDD a ‘classic 21st century scam emerging from the global climate industry. The inclusion of forests in the carbon market raises a crucial property rights issue in that REDD will inevitably commodities and privatize the air which we breathe and forests which are homes for millions of indigenous peoples around the world’.

According to the World Bank report on REDD titled “Poster Child would Reward Forest Destroyers” it is evident that carbon traders require legal title to the carbon in the forests or rights to the land. REDD projects that utilize carbon market financing could compensate the culprits by generating profits for the loggers, polluters and forest destroyers. They will reduce forests to merely carbon sequestration experiments and for the benefit of large scale profit seekers and business investments from rich countries.

According to the Indigenous Environment Network publication on REDD – (R) Reaping profits; from (E) Evictions, land grabs; (D) Deforestation; and (D) Destruction of biodiversity, hundreds of REDD-type projects already exist on the voluntary carbon market without any clear and agreed upon framework that ensures the protection and respect for the rights of indigenous peoples to their lands and forests, respect for their indigenous and customary land tenure systems, as well as enhancement of their diverse traditional good governance practices. Many have resulted in militarization, evictions, fraud, disputes, conflicts, corruption, coercion, crime, mono culture plantations, and 30 to 100 years contracts and deals signed and agreed between Indigenous Peoples and climate criminals such as oil companies.

Most of the world’s forests are on Indigenous Peoples’ lands and according to FAO, 2008, some 1.6 billion people rely on forests which include some 60 million indigenous peoples who are entirely dependent on forests for their livelihoods, food, medicines, building materials, and existence. Unfortunately these peoples have been severely impacted both by the loss of forests cleared largely to grow crops and agro-fuel plantations for exports, to clean development mechanism (CDM) projects on reforestation and afforestation. For Indigenous Peoples who are often with no formal titles to ownership of their lands, many are already faced with being forcibly removed and evicted, sometimes violently, from their ancestral homes and community territories. The real concern here is the increasingly likelihood of Indigenous Peoples facing even more violation of their rights from the wrath of their own governments and companies that they engage in carbon markets business with, when the value increase in existing standing forests as carbon trading stocks in Indigenous Peoples lands and territories.

It is therefore the strong view of many Indigenous Peoples that the implementation of REDD projects in their lands and territories are extremely risky and should be rejected until there is guarantee that REDD projects will fully recognize the principles in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), respect the principle of free prior and informed consent, respect for their land tenure, protect their customary and territorial rights, and to ensure that the inevitable increase in the value of environmental services provided by their forests and ecosystems do not lead to these being forcibly taken away from them.

Furthermore, the commodification of forest carbon in REDD market-based trading is inherently inequitable and unfair since it compensate the culprit logging companies and related business interests as root cause of climate change but discriminate against Indigenous Peoples who have conserved forests all their lives. The ongoing rejection of REDD and REDD plus projects by Indigenous Peoples in their forests, lands and territories based on these continuing acts of injustices are therefore more than justified and need unconditional support.

Copenhagen is already shaping up to be a huge disappointment on the issue of REDD in the assessment of the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC), let alone Mother Earth. In Barcelona, Indigenous Peoples were profoundly disappointed at the lack of political will by parties to heed the call by IIPFCC that No Rights, No REDD and the refusal by many parties to make explicit mention of UNDRIP. But work continues to lobby support to accept language regarding the recognition of the rights of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in the final outcome, and whilst there seems to be difficulty in reaching agreement on the principle of free prior and informed consent (FPIC), there is also ongoing lobby to find support for full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities. It remains to be seen in the final outcome of Copenhagen given its projected possible 6 to 8 pages political declaration if the efforts of the IIPFCC will have not been wasted.

* Fiu Mata’ese Elisara is the Director of Ole Siosiomaga Society (OLSSI) in Samoa. Read more…

Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples in Tropical Forests and REDD: how to share the benefits and avoid risks?

Special guest article from Erika Pinto, Paula Franco Moreira*, Ricardo Rettmann, Paulo Moutinho, Flavia Gabriela Oyo França and Osvaldo Stella Martins, Instituto de Pesquisa Amiental da Amazônia (IPAM). For further information, please contact Paula Moreira (paulamoreira[at]@ipam.org.br)



The proposal of the REDD mechanism under the UN Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) must be based on strategies focused on the maintenance of native forest areas in order to conserve natural resources and ensure the integrity of their ecological functions and the provision of multiple environmental services. One of the aspects related to the conservation of ecosystems, which should be recognized as crucial if we want to promote a significant impact in reducing pressure on forests, is the guarantee of participation of the indigenous and traditional people in the REDD mechanism. Moreover, these are also the people most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

In fact, in the case of the Brazilian Amazon, any effort made to combat its high rates of deforestation requires the effective participation of indigenous peoples, traditional communities and rural communities of smallholder producers. Thus, REDD resources that can be accessed through projects under regional REDD Programs should reach these key stakeholders in order to strengthen their role in guaranteeing the conservation of the Amazon rainforest in large-scale. This position has been advocated by groups like the Brazilian Amazon Forest People Alliance (Aliança dos Povos da Floresta), which brings together indigenous peoples (Coordination of Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon – COIAB), extractive and rubber tappers traditional population (National Council of Rubber Tappers – CNS) and a network of smallholders in the Brazilian Amazon (Amazon Working Group – GTA).

According to a study conducted by IPAM on the costs and benefits for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation in the Brazilian Amazon (2008) (note 1), a national REDD program in Brazil should designate between 55% to 74% funds specifically to these population, which in turn can benefit 150 thousand families of the forest people in the Brazilian Amazon in terms of improvement of their livelihood, enhancing their territories protection and restoring degraded areas.

In the context of smallholder producers (note 2), which represents 84.4% of Brazilian farms (Agricultural Census/2006), incentives from REDD resources could support actions to improve agriculture practices, reforestation with native species, promote sustainable forest management and reduce the pressure on new areas of standing forest. Such incentives could result in the consolidation of a new rural development model that reconciles conservation and improvement in quality of life of these smallholders. In this respect, the first REDD project involving Rural Communities of Smallholder Producers in State of Pará, Brazil, have the goal to promote effective change in the rural development model of smallholders into a more sustainable basis and recognize REDD as an important opportunity to make this economic transition possible. The bases of this project are shown below.

  • The Transamazônica Highway Case: First REDD Project of Rural Communities of Smallholder Producers Recognizing the importance of the contribution of forest people in mitigating the effects of climate change, IPAM, in partnership with the local organization, the Fundação Viver, Produzir e Preservar (Foundation for life, Environmental Protection and Food Production – FVPP), provided technical assistance to develop the first pilot project of REDD for smallholders living in areas of expansion of agricultural frontier in the Amazon.
    Figure 1

    Area of Influence of the REDD project involving Rural Communities of Smallholder Producers along the BR 230 (Transamazonica Highway), Pará State, Brazil.

    The project, submitted to the Amazon Fund (note 3), aims to stop deforestation in the productive areas of 350 families of smallholders through allowing the implementation of Familiar Production Units Using Plans, designed with the goal of replacing conventional land use practices (such as slash-and-burn activities and extensive pasture) by sustainable ones (agroforestry systems, adoption of techniques to increase the productivity in opened areas, fire management, etc). In 10 years, the project should reduce the emission of approximately 3.1 million tons of CO2. This projected reduction is equivalent to the emissions of about 1.2 billion liters of diesel, enough fuel to allow almost three thousand trips around the Earth by car. Also, reduction foreseen by the project is equivalent to 15% of total annual emissions of Costa Rica (note 4).
    The project is grounded on the investments of REDD resources in improvements in production and generation of economic alternatives, especially in best agricultural practices, and not only on the payment of environmental services directly to families. Therefore, it is expected that, at the end of a 10 years period, a new economic logic and a new model of rural development that does not require more clearing of forested areas will be consolidated in the region.

  • Valuing the role of forest people on reducing the deforestation in their areas through a REDD mechanismIn the same way that communities of smallholder producers are organizing themselves to be recognized as providers of environmental services, many indigenous groups from the Amazon region are also involved in this debate about REDD mechanisms and the sharing of the benefits. They seek for recognition for their historic effort in conserving standing forests and, therefore, the maintaining carbon stocks. Only in the Brazilian Amazon, 23,4% (equivalent to 13 billion tons of carbon or 27% of the total stock) of the remaining forests are located in indigenous territories (note 5).
  • Recommendation to REDD Negotiators for the climate conference at COP 15, Copenhagen The 15th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC have the potential to set the guidelines for a new climate agreement in which, for the first time, the maintenance of forests and the reduction of deforestation will be encouraged through an official international mechanism. REDD must be a mechanism capable of generating resources to promote the maintenance of the standing forest, improvement of socioeconomic and environmental conditions of stakeholders, with emphasis on traditional communities, family farmers and indigenous peoples. Its implementation in tropical countries should be conducted with full participation of stakeholders to avoid perverse incentives and possible violations of their rights.For this purpose, it should be a condition for participation in any REDD policy or program that the Party implementing this mechanism recognizes and enforces the territorial rights of indigenous peoples, traditional and local communities, and to the evidence that their land tenure situation is legalized or in process of legalization. Therefore, we recommend that there is an UN body responsible for (i) verifying the fulfillment of these conditions in the country that intends to access the REDD resources; (ii) report if the REDD resources are reaching the communities at the local level.

If this participation and access of REDD resources by the local communities are not ensured, effect results in achieving reduction of deforestation will hardly take place in the necessary scale and maintained in the long term, considering that indigenous peoples, traditional and local communities, are responsible for maintaining nearly one third of the whole standing forest of the Brazilian Amazon.

(1) Costs and Benefits of Reducing Carbon Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) in the Brazilian Amazon.
(2) Specifically those groups recognized by developing activities based on familiar agriculture, which is characterized by: properties smaller than 100 ha, labor work exclusively from their family and household income generated by productive activities mainly related to the related property (Definition summarized as per Article 3 of Law No. 11,326 of July 24th, 2006)
(3) The Amazon Fund aims to raise donations for non-reimbursable investments in actions to prevent, monitor and combat deforestation and to promote the conservation and sustainable use of forests in the Amazon.
(4) Climate Analysis Indicators Tool (CAIT) Version 6.0. (Washington, DC: World Resources Institute, 2009).
(5) Reduction of Carbon Emissions Associated with Deforestation in Brazil: The Role of the Amazon Region Protected Areas Program (ARPA).

*Paula Franco Moreira is a lawyer with a Masters degree of International Socio-Environmental Law from the London School of Economics. She coordinates the area of inclusion and empowerment of indigenous peoples and traditional communities in the process of defining public policies on global climate change at the Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM) and is a representative of the Latin American and Caribbean civil society at the UN-REDD Programme’s Policy Board. Read more…

CARE International and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) will present their draft REDD + Social and Environmental Standards (REDD + SE) at a side event during COP-15 hosted by the government of Nepal. REDD + SE aims to help governments institute equitable REDD programs on a national level. The joint CARE/CCBA initiative has also been consulting with a few national governments on testing the standards on a national scale and aims to finalize the new standards in March, 2010.

This initiative is developing standards that can be used by governments, NGOs, financing agencies and other stakeholders to design and implement REDD and other forest carbon programs that respect the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities and generate significant social and biodiversity co-benefits. These standards will be designed to work for the new global REDD+ regime expected to emerge out of ongoing UNFCCC negotiations, that is for government-led programs implemented at national or state/provincial/regional level and for all forms of fund-based or market-based financing. The standards will consist of principles, criteria and indicators that define the issues of concern and the
required levels of social and environmental performance.

Draft Principles:

  1. Rights to land, territories and resources are recognized and respected.
  2. The benefits of the REDD+ program are shared equitably among all stakeholders and
    rights holders.
  3. The REDD+ program contributes to sustainable livelihoods and poverty alleviation for
    forest-dependent peoples.
  4. The REDD+ program contributes to broader sustainable development and good
    governance objectives.
  5. Biodiversity and ecosystem services are maintained and enhanced.
  6. All relevant stakeholders and rights holders are able to participate fully and effectively in
    the REDD+ program.
  7. All stakeholders and rights holders have timely access to appropriate and accurate
    information to enable good governance of the REDD+ program.
  8. The REDD+ program complies with applicable local22 and national laws and international
    treaties and agreements.

Download the draft REDD + Social and Environmental Standards [pdf]…

German Development Cooperation (GTZ) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat has launched a new guide on Biodiversity and Livelihoods: REDD Benefits.

This brochure provides a wide array of tools and examples on how measures and policies can be shaped to simultaneously address climate change, biodiversity loss and poverty. It provides a basic introduction to biodiversity and livelihoods aspects, including identifying opportunities for synergies and mutual enhancement of the objectives of international agreements, and background information on the linkages between ecosystem-based adaptation and mitigation measures.

The brochure also describes concrete measures to achieve long-term success and the multiple benefits of mitigation and adaptation measures. These include participatory approaches and pro-poor policies, improving the adaptation capacity of forests to climate changes, maintaining species migration routes, and avoiding self-enforcing negative impacts of climate change.

“Forest ecosystems that have the ability to adapt to climate change can provide for the livelihoods of forest-dependent people and communities who are partners in safeguarding forests and supporting the mitigation of climate change. To sustain this partnership, these people should actively participate in decision-making, and financial compensation for their efforts is needed.” – Extract from the Good Practice Guide

Chapter 5 specifically focuses on indigenous and local communities as partners and beneficiaries of REDD efforts.

Download Biodiversity and Livelihoods: REDD Benefits [pdf]….

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) have launched a new Good Practice Guide on Sustainable Forest Management: Biodiversity and Livelihoods. This booklet is part of a series of Good Practice Guides produced by the CBD. It provides a range of case studies and other materials to make the forest sector more biodiversity-friendly, and socially beneficial. It addresses the linkages between forestry, biodiversity, and development / poverty reduction. The summaries and examples included in this booklet show how biodiversity and sustainable economic development can go hand in hand. The primary target audiences for the guide are government officers and decision-makers in the various government agencies related to forestry (at global, regional, national and local levels), as well as development practitioners. A CD-ROM is also available.

Chapter II.c of the guide focuses specifically on the role of indigenous and local communities. Indigenous case studies include one from the Congo (on the use of GPS and community radio by Pygmy communities to protect cultural sites) and Malaysia (on biodiversity in production forests).

“Recent developments for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) have the potential to provide benefits to local and indigenous communities. However, a number of conditions would need to be met for these co-benefits to be achieved. Indigenous peoples are unlikely to benefit from REDD where they have no secure land tenure; if there is no principle of free, prior and informed consent concerning the use of their lands and resources; and if their identities are not recognized or they have no space to participate in policy-making processes and/or lack the capacity to engage on an equal footing.” – Extract from Sustainable Forest Management: Biodiversity and Livelihoods

Download the Good Practice Guide on Sustainable Forest Management: Biodiversity and Livelihoods [pdf]…