14 March 2013
UN-REDD Programme Statement Regarding Recent Communications with
COONAPIP (the National Coordinating Body of Indigenous Peoples in Panama)
The UN-REDD Programme acknowledges with concern the receipt of the letter from COONAPIP
dated 27 February 2013 in which the organization withdraws from the UN-REDD Programme in
Panama. The reason COONAPIP provided for this withdrawal is that the Programme did not
guarantee respect for the rights of indigenous peoples nor for the full and effective
participation of indigenous peoples in its activities in Panama.
The UN-REDD Programme is taking immediate action to respond to the concerns raised by
COONAPIP; this will include a proposal for independent mediation as well as the immediate
implementation of the planned independent mid-term evaluation to assess the National
Programme in Panama.
From its inception, the UN-REDD Programme has prioritized stakeholder engagement and in
particular, engagement with indigenous peoples and forest-dependent communities. The
Programme has made great efforts to promote and respect the rights of indigenous peoples
through a number of activities, including ensuring indigenous peoples are represented on the
UN-REDD Policy Board and in key decision making processes in the 16 partner countries that
have active National Programmes.
The UN-REDD Programme is committed to ensuring adherence to a human-rights based
approach and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and has
developed the following Guidelines and Principles to support National Programmes on this:
the Guidelines on Stakeholder Engagement in REDD+ Readiness with a focus on Indigenous
Peoples and Forest Dependent Communities; the UN-REDD Programme Guidelines on Free,
Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC); and the Social and Environmental Principles and Criteria (SEPC).
The UN-REDD Programme considers the concerns of its stakeholders to be of the highest importance and will do everything it can to demonstrate to COONAPIP and others its continued commitment to recognizing and respecting the rights of indigenous peoples.