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Guidelines on Stakeholder Engagement in REDD+ Readiness with a focus on the Participation of Indigenous Peoples and Other Forest-Dependent Communities

April 20, 2012 (revision of March 25thversion)

These Guidelines are designed to support effective stakeholder engagement in the context of REDD+ readiness for the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility and the UN-REDD Programme, with an emphasis onthe participation of Indigenous Peoples and other Forest-Dependent Communities.

The Guidelines contain 1) Relevant policies on indigenous peoples and other forest-dependent communities; 2) Principles and guidance for effective stakeholder engagement; and 3) Practical “how-to” steps on planning and implementing effective consultations.


1. The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) and the United Nations Collaborative Programmeon Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD Programme) assist developing countries in their efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+)1by building national capacity for REDD+ activities, and testing a program of performance-based incentive payments in certain pilot countries. The two programs are supporting a REDD+ readiness mechanism to assist countries to put in place a number of building blocks (measurement, reporting and verification systems; reference scenarios; a REDD+ strategy and national management arrangements for REDD+) that will enable them to participate in future systems of positive incentives for REDD+.


2. REDD+ has the potential to deliver several benefits to indigenous peoples and other forestdependent communities, including the sustainable management of biodiversity, the provision of alternative livelihoods, equitable sharing of revenues generated from emissions reductions, etc. However, if not done appropriately, it also presents risks to rights, livelihoods, culture, biodiversity, etc. For REDD+ programs to succeed, these risks have to be identified, reduced and mitigated, and stakeholders have to be involved at the project/program formulation as well as the preparation and implementation stages in order to ensure that REDD+ programs respect indigenous peoples’ rights and comply with relevant international obligations.

3. Stakeholders are defined as those groups that have a stake/interest/right in the forest and those that will be affected either negatively or positively by REDD+ activities. They include relevant government agencies, formal and informal forest users, private sector entities, indigenous peoples and other forest-dependent communities. 

4. These Guidelines focus on a particular category of stakeholders, who are often legal and/or customary rights holders: indigenous peoples and other forest-dependent communities. These stakeholders are often not engaged in public decision-making processes, yet they both contribute to forest protection and depend on forests for their social and economic livelihoods as well as for cultural and spiritual well-being. As such they are often more vulnerable than other stakeholders in the context of formulation and implementation of REDD+ activities. Hence a clear commitment will have to be made to ensure that their rights are fully respected throughout the REDD+ program cycle. At the same time, indigenous peoples and other forest-dependent communities have a special role to play in REDD+ given their traditional knowledge of and relationship to the forest and their presence on the ground.

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