Engagement of Indigenous Peoples and Other Forest Dependent Communities

Approximately 70 million indigenous peoples depend on forests for their livelihoods and another 350 million rural people reside in or near them. Many of these communities have long-standing relationships with forested land and have customary rights that are legally recognized. 

The active involvement of indigenous peoples and other forest-dependent communities in forest management produces positive results, such as lower rates of deforestation.

However, indigenous peoples and other forest-dependent communities are often disproportionately impacted by ecosystem degradation, and these groups, despite being rights holders, often lack political power and voice.

In order to uphold basic human rights and to increase the success of REDD+, it is imperative to enable these groups to participate in REDD+ decision-making at the local, national and international levels. The UN-REDD Programme has a specific focus on indigenous peoples and other forest-dependent communities, while also encouraging broader multi-stakeholder processes.

The UN-REDD Programme supports a number of different activity areas in support of this goal at the Global level and the National level. The UN-REDD Programme also works closely with the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) to ensure harmonization of approaches in this area.

Read more on: free, prior and informed consent (FPIC)

Watch an interview from June 2010 of the UN-REDD team explaining FPIC 

 

  • The regional consultation between Indigenous Peoples and Forest-Dependent Communities from Africa and the UN-REDD Programme on Free, Prior and Informed Consent Processes and Recourse Mechanisms took place in Arusha, Tanzania on 24 – 27 January 2011. The agenda, working documents, background materials and final report can be found here.

One of key recommendations of the conference on Rights, Forests, and Climate Change, held in Oslo in October 2008, was that there was an urgent need for credible and independent advice on REDD+.

In response to this need, the UN-REDD Programme facilitated the creation of the Independent Advisory Group on Forests, Rights and Climate Change (IAG), the objective of which was to: (i) offer formal advice to the UN-REDD Programme, Forest Carbon Partnership Facility and other groups, as invited; (ii) respond to ad hoc requests and demands from international actors, and (iii) design and organize meetings to review and share global experiences on forests, livelihoods, and climate change.

IAG is an independent and voluntary membership-based body that receives no core funding from the UN-REDD Programme. Membership of the IAG is only open to non-profit, non-governmental organizations. Current members include a mix of international and national CSOs and indigenous peoples’ organizations (see box to the right).

The IAG is very engaged with the work of the UN-REDD Programme and contributes regularly in a number of ways, for example: conducting the self-selection process to determine CSO representatives to the UN-REDD Programme Policy board; providing independent reviews of key documents, such as the Guidelines on Stakeholder Engagement in REDD+ Readiness; and through contributing to UN-REDD Programme workshops and meetings, including regularly presenting to the Policy Board and the participation of IAG members in the UN-REDD Programme’s regional consultations on free, prior and informed consent.

For more information on the structure, function and work of the IAG, please visit their website here.

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