Below are highlights from the UN-REDD Programme’s second and third “REDD+ Hour” workshops which took place on 20 and 21 Oct in Nagoya at the tenth Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
REDD+ Hour #2
The second REDD+ Hour on 20 October dealt with the role of traditional knowledge and REDD+. The session clearly identified the importance of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) in assuring that the rights, interests and knowledge of indigenous and local people are assured. The session highlighted the potential of cash incentives for forest carbon benefits to divide communities against each other and have undesirable effects on livelihoods and cultures, unless communities were given sufficient time to inform themselves and consult with each other.
Speaking first, Estebancio Castro (International Alliance of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of Tropical Forests), stressed that such processes should be adequately resources and be allowed to take their time, even if this were 12 or 18 months. Presenting the perspective of a small NGO working in the realm of conservation and indigenous peoples rights in the Eastern DRC, Domonique Bikaba (Strong Roots) warned of the dangers of top-down policy making effectively dictating outcomes. Finally, Emmanuel Freudenthal (Forest Peoples Programme) presented analysis of a REDD+ process in Cameroonand identified shortfalls in the process with respect to the rights and participation of indigenous and local people. The discussion that followed supported the use of FPIC, but also that experiences related to its implementation needed to be shared more widely so as to generate insights into its operational implementation.
REDD+ Hour #3
Safeguards on biodiversity and environmental safeguards are currently under discussion at CBD COP 10 and will be in UNFCCC COP 16, so on 21 October a full room participated in an interesting, third REDD+ Hour that explored this topic in the context of REDD+. While there was clear consensus on the need for such safeguards, there was an equally firm consensus that safeguards must not constrain or overburden agreement in REDD+, as REDD+ was in itself potentially one of the most important safeguards for forests and their ecosystem services. The point was made however that while conservation of biodiversity was a safeguard for forests and consequently for forest carbon, the reverse was not necessarily true.
Mike Barrett (DEFRA, UK) presented an overview of the current state of negotiations on safeguards for REDD+ in the COPs of both CBD and UNFCCC. He emphasized their importance, the good language that is being proposed but suggested that the challenges actually lay in implementation. He asked whether targets under discussion in the CBD strategic plan, specifically Targets 5 & 7 could be used to inform implementation and the discussions under UNFCCC. Robert Nasi (CIFOR & CIRAD) presented an analysis of ten different voluntary standards currently being used or under development for forests and concluded that none of them were adequate to act comprehensively as environmental safeguards for REDD+. It would take combinations of two or more standards to provide comprehensive coverage. He suggested that a voluntary approach may be the way to move forward.
Ma Hwan Ok (ITTO) presented a landscape level project on REDD+ from Indonesiaand stressed the important role of local people and the private sector in delivering on safeguards either through changes of behaviour or in the kinds of investments that were made. The discussions that followed focused on monitoring of safeguards and their implementation and recognized the catalytic and synergistic opportunities that REDD+ presented for the conventions to deliver multiple benefits from REDD+ and forests, while working within their own mandates.