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"Avoided deforestation" and the rights of Indigenous Peoples
Forest Peoples Programme has recently published a new report highlighting the potential threats to Indigenous Peoples and local communities from climate change mitigation initiatives like "Avoided Deforestation" (AD) and "Reduced Emissions from Deforestation" (RED).
All such mitigation schemes will have important implications for how forests are managed, who manages them, and what may or may not be allowed to happen in them. As such, these changes in forest governance will have huge implications for the hundreds of millions of indigenous people and other forest-dependent communities whose livelihoods, cultures and futures are bound up with forests.
Without due regard to rights, social and livelihoods issues, rapid expansion of AD schemes risk:
• renewed and even increased state and ‘expert’ control over forests
• overzealous government support for anti-people and exclusionary models of forest conservation
(evictions, expropriation) to protect lucrative forest carbon ‘reservoirs’
• unjust targeting of indigenous and marginal peoples as the ‘drivers’ of deforestation
• violations of customary land and territorial rights
• state and NGO zoning of forest lands without the informed participation of forest dwellers
• unequal imposition of the costs of forest protection on indigenous peoples and local communities
• unequal and abusive community contracts
• land speculation, land grabbing and land conflicts (competing claims on AD compensation)
• corruption and embezzlement of international funds by national elites
• increasing inequality and potential conflict between recipients and non-recipients of AD funds
• potential conflict among indigenous communities (over acceptance or rejection of AD schemes)
The report concludes that if these risks could be eliminated or reduced, then AD policies and increased funding outside carbon trading might offer opportunities for some indigenous peoples and forest-dependent communities. There is a need for more solid guarantees that the human and customary rights of forest peoples will be respected. As a first step, it is essential that indigenous peoples and other grassroots movements become fully involved int he debate about the pros and cons of avoided deforestation in the global climate policies.
Read the full report here.
Griffiths, Tom. June 2007. "Seeing 'RED'? 'Avoided Deforestation' and the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities. Forest Peoples Programme.
Posted By Megan Liddle at 12:34pm on July 09, 2007
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