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Features & Commentary

Indigenous Peoples in Asia-Pacific Call for a Strengthened Role in REDD+

At a recent dialogue event in Bangkok, indigenous peoples from across Asia-Pacific made valuable recommendations on how to increase collaboration and stakeholder engagement in REDD+.
By: The Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact

The Indigenous Peoples’ Dialogue, held on 31 August 2012 in Bangkok, Thailand in parallel with the UNFCCC and REDD+ Partnership meetings, brought together a diverse range of participants to discuss indigenous peoples' effective engagement in REDD+. Participants included representatives of Indigenous Peoples organizations, government representatives and civil society organizations from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Island, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as representatives from the UN-REDD Programme. Participants came out with substantive and concrete recommendations to strengthen collaboration and cooperation between the UN-REDD Programme and indigenous peoples on REDD+. The Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) and UN-REDD Programme organized this dialogue.

UN-REDD Programme presents its work on safeguards.

Ms. Joan Carling, Secretary General of AIPP, shared the objectives of the dialogue: to inform participants on the UN-REDD Programme’s Asia-Pacific regional and global activities; discuss the views, concerns and priorities of indigenous peoples regarding the UN-REDD Programme’s work in the region; and discuss and plan activities and mechanisms to improve the engagement of indigenous peoples in UN-REDD Programme activities. The UN-REDD Programme presented its framework for safeguards, and provided updates on the global and regional programmes and activities in countries in Asia- Pacific.

Key points that emerged from the plenary sessions were concerns about land grabbing in the name of conservation, the need for policy reforms at the national level, the central role of communities and the need to engage rather than sideline them, and the urgency to develop appropriate and customized information materials based on local conditions. The UN-REDD Programme was also requested to share their experience in the conduct of FPIC, including FPIC validation processes. Tim Boyle, Regional Coordinator of the UN-REDD Programme, emphasized the value of FPIC for country governments, noting that countries planning for REDD+ should not view FPIC as a problem for them but instead recognize that the implementation of FPIC enhances their authority in terms of state engagement with the communities resulting in enhanced ownership.

A series of working groups looked at a range of issues such as stakeholder engagement and safeguards.  Almost all the groups emphasized the lack of proper recognition of the rich knowledge and capacities of indigenous peoples in managing their forest resources. The need to empower indigenous peoples to effectively engage in advocacy and lobbying at all levels was stressed, including with the UN-REDD Programme in relation to stakeholders' engagement. It was also recommended that the UN-REDD Programme place more attention on the capacity building and strengthening of indigenous peoples towards the recognition and exercise of their rights to their land, territories and resources, and FPIC.

On awareness-raising and information dissemination, it was recommended that key actors across the region should produce information materials for indigenous communities by collaborating to optimize resources and harmonize their activities. Such awareness-raising activities must also be customized to suit the circumstances of target communities (e.g., language, level of literacy etc.). It was noted that community radios have been very effective in raising awareness among indigenous communities.

Participants of the recent Indigenous Peoples Dialogue in Bangkok, hosted by AIPP and the UN-REDD Programme.

On the engagement and participation of indigenous peoples in REDD+ processes at the local and national levels, it was noted that this varies from country to country. Indigenous peoples in Nepal and Indonesia are represented in the national REDD+ working groups and the UN-REDD Programme has undertaken FPIC processes in a number of REDD+ pilot communities in Vietnam and Indonesia. However, there is a need to conduct specific consultations with indigenous peoples in most countries. Indigenous participants urged the UN-REDD Programme to ensure specific consultations with indigenous peoples at the local and national levels, not just in multi-stakeholder consultations.

Discussions on the implementation of safeguards were also conducted through a working group. There was a recommendation to the UN-REDD Programme to designate a focal person to engage with indigenous peoples in countries where they have National Programmes and for AIPP to help identify national indigenous peoples’ focal points. These focal points could work together and facilitate better coordination and engagement with relevant government bodies and other key actors for the implementation of safeguards, especially in relation to the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples in REDD+ processes and the respect for their rights and traditional knowledge. Participants also requested that the UN-REDD Programme build a community of practitioners on safeguards.

Participants expressed their appreciation of the initiatives of the UN-REDD Programme in conducting exchange workshops and work on FPIC and good governance. To further enhance information dissemination for indigenous peoples especially on key developments and lessons learned, they requested the UN-REDD Programme produce a quarterly digest on key REDD+ issues that is very simple to translate in different languages.





In this issue


New Civil Society, Indigenous Peoples Observers Selected for UN-REDD Policy Board

Zambia Strengthens its Monitoring and MRV Systems with New Assessment

Viet Nam Shares REDD+ Lessons with Myanmar and Cambodia

DRC Advances Work on REDD+ Safeguards and Multiple Benefits

UN-REDD Workshop Round-Up

Features & Commentary

Nigeria Engages Further in Forest Conservation and Green Development
By: Josep A. Garí 

Indigenous Peoples in Asia-Pacific Call for a Strengthened Role in REDD+
By: The Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact

Designing Meaningful Participation for REDD+ in Ecuador
By: Danae Issa 

Reports & Analysis

Viet Nam Releases New REDD+ Reports on Phase 1 and Awareness Raising

Two New Go-REDD+ Issues from UN-REDD in Asia-Pacific

Looking ahead

World Forest Week
24-28 September, 2012: Rome, Italy

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