Indigenous Leaders boost improvements towards REDD+ implementation along with the World Bank
Indigenous leaders from Latin America and the Caribbean took part in a productive round-table along with the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), recently held in Lima, Peru. The purpose was to share and analyze the indigenous peoples’ concerns and proposals to improve the implementation of mechanisms for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+).
“Indigenous peoples are key stakeholders for this mechanism’s implementation; we -and the government- need them. Opening a wide space for dialogue is essential to increase the potential of REDD+’s success” said Benoit Bosquet, representative of FCPF.
During the meetings, a priority was the search for a solution to critical issues identified by indigenous peoples, such as the presence of the so called “carbon pirates” as well as the implementation of the right to free, prior, and informed and consent law, the legal protection of their territories, and the need to actively incorporate them in the dialogue and making of these mechanisms.
In this regard, proposals by indigenous peoples from regions such as Mesoamerica and the Amazon were discussed. The COICA (Coordination of Amazon Indigenous Peoples Organizations) shared its Amazon Indigenous REDD+ proposal, which aims towards the implementation of REDD+ as a holistic mechanism for ecosystem conservation, and which has been developed with WWF Peru’s and WWF Living Amazon Initiative’s (LAI) technical support.
“We must not think of REDD+ only as a way to conserve our trees; to us, everything relies on our territories, of which we have taken good care ancestrally, and many of these are not legally protected” said Edwin Vásquez, General Coordinator of COICA.
To LAI specialist, Andre Silva Dias, this is important progress towards the inclusive construction of a REDD+ mechanism. “There is great understanding between the parties. There will be no REDD+ if there is no participation of indigenous peoples, not only due to their ancestral rights but to the knowledge they have” he said.
At the end of the event, the indigenous delegations highlighted the need to design an international protocol to orient the institutional relation between FCPF and indigenous peoples for the implementation of REDD+ through all its phases.
“There has been a productive discussion regarding how one party can collaborate with the other’s objectives, and we are certain that this protocol will eventually come out as a productive working plan” concluded Silvia Dias.
Dialogues will continue on November in the framework of Doha Climate Change Conference, COP18.