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Non-Carbon Benefits in REDD+: Indigenous Peoples Perspectives and Recommendations

The Nineteenth Conference of Parties (COP 19) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) recognized the importance of incentivizing Non-Carbon Benefits (NCB) for the long-term sustainability of the implementation of REDD+ activities1. This decision has long-term implications for indigenous peoples in Asia especially in relation to the recognition and exercise of their collective rights over their forests.

Asia is home to two-thirds of the world’s estimated 350-400 million indigenous peoples. More than 150 million of them are found in the 12 REDD+ countries in Asia namely Indonesia, Nepal, Vietnam, Lao PDR, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Malaysia and Bangladesh. These countries are implementing REDD+ in partnership with the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility and Forest Investment Programme of the World Bank and the UN-REDD Programme through support for their national REDD+ Programmes. All these REDD+ countries, except for Bhutan and Bangladesh, have adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Despite this, most states in Asia do not recognize indigenous peoples and their collective rights, especially to their land, territories and resources.

Download this file (Briefing Paper for NCBs for web.pdf)English[ ]888 kB
Download this file (Briefing Paper for NCBs-Viet.pdf)Vietnamese[ ]2728 kB

Safeguards Information System (SIS) in REDD+: What Should It Deliver for Indigenous Peoples

The decision of the Nineteenth Conference of Parties (COP 19) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) requires that the Parties submit the most recent summary of information on how all social and environmental safeguards have been addressed and respected in order to be able to access results-based finance. However, it does not provide clarity on how effectively and to what extent these safeguards should be addressed. It also lacks information on ways to redress potential violation of indigenous peoples’ rights resulting from REDD+ activities. In the upcoming 41st session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Techno- logical Advice (SBSTA) at COP 20 in Lima, Peru, it is therefore vital that the Parties strengthen the global requirements on protecting the rights of indigenous peoples by anchoring the Safeguards Information System (SIS) to the international standards on human rights and indigenous peoples’ rights, such as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and conventions relevant to indigenous peoples. Further, the 41st session of SBSTA should come out with a rights-based global guidance for REDD+ countries to design Safeguard Information Systems and to implement, monitor and report on REDD+ safeguards, with the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples and local communities.



Download this file (Briefing_Paper_SIS for web.pdf)English[ ]560 kB
Download this file (Briefing_Paper_SIS-Viet.pdf)Vietnamese[ ]1446 kB

Indigenous Peoples’ Effective Engagement in REDD+ Processes in Philippines and Cambodia

The lessons learnt and the recommendations that came out from the study are highlighted below:

Lessons Learnt:

  • Early actions from government and NGOs can address negative and discriminating policies and mechanisms relating to the effective participation in the management of forest areas and in the benefit- sharing from the utilization of resources therein without waiting for a complete safeguards framework and guidelines to be approved.
  • There is heightened demand for information/orientation at all levels, thus creating the need for more Information Education Campaigns (IEC) to reach out to indigenous communities and various stakeholders. These include relevant government agencies
  • Capacity building is necessary in REDD+ national strategy and will only be effective if coupled with clear good governance measures for its implementation with the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples and forest-dependent communities.
  • Partnerships are best delivered through a transparent and inclusive multi-stakeholders and multi-level participatory processes and these are stronger if built on partnerships and processes that have been proven to be effective.
  • Governments are not monolithic. Champions and allies in the promotion of the rights of indigenous peoples for REDD+ can be developed from their ranks.
  • There is a need to understand and enhance the linkages between the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Sustainable Forest Management (SFM), forest governance frameworks in strengthening REDD+ relating to indigenous peoples, sustainable forest management, biodiversity enhancement and benefit-sharing.

Read more: Indigenous Peoples’ Effective Engagement in REDD+ Processes in Philippines and Cambodia

Indigenous Peoples' Heroes and Martyrs in Asia

Asia is home to 2/3 of the world’s 370 million indigenous peoples. They share a common situation with other indigenous peoples in other parts of the world –they are part of the most marginalized and discriminated. Based on Human Development index (HDI), indigenous peoples are overrepresented among the poor,illiterate, malnourished and stunted. This is largely due to historical injustices committed to indigenous peoples especially by states, and the continuing violation of their collective rights to their lands, territories and resources, the right to self-determination including on development concerns, and to their cultural diversity and dignity as distinct peoples.

Read more: Indigenous Peoples' Heroes and Martyrs in Asia

Briefing paper on Shifting Cultivation, Livelihood and Food Security: New and Old Challenges for Indigenous Peoples in Asia

Indigenous peoples across South and Southeast Asia depend fully and partly on shifting cultivation for their livelihood and food security.  2/3 of the estimated 370 million indigenous peoples are in Asia. These peoples are also known as ethnic minorities, tribal people, hill tribes, Adivasis, Janajati and aboriginal people. Shifting cultivation or rotational/ swidden farming is more than a century old sustainable land-use practice of indigenous peoples.

Shifting cultivation is probably one of the most misunderstood and thus controversial forms of land use. This is also know as rotational agriculture or swidden farming. What has been overstressed is the “ slash and burn” component, and the cultivation and fallow period are not fully acknowledge as good practices for biodiversity enhancement, food security and sustainable livelihoods for millions of indigenous peoples. Indigenous shifting cultivators are still widely neglected, criminalized and discriminated by policies and programmes of governments in most countries, and their land and resource rights are not recognized and protected. Likewise, rapid socio-economic and demographic  changes  are now taking place in indigenous territories, which are impacting on the practice of shifting cultivation, as well as to the food security and livelihoods of indigenous peoples.

Download this file (Briefing papper Shifting cultivation  2014.pdf)Briefing Paper on Shifting Cultivation[ ]17929 kB

Read more: Briefing paper on Shifting Cultivation, Livelihood and Food Security: New and Old Challenges for...

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