The REDD Bulletin, a special project which ran from 2008-2010, provides a periodic review of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation & Degradation (REDD) issues relevant to indigenous people.
A large number of indigenous people live in and benefit from forested areas: the Rainforest Foundation estimates that tropical rainforests are home to 50 million indigenous forest peoples, while the World Bank estimates that around 60 million Indigenous people are ‘almost wholly dependent on forests’.
In the context of the increasing global focus on climate change, attention is being paid to the role of the forestry sector in contributing to and fighting against climate change. In particular, this includes a recent focus on opportunities for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries – known as ‘REDD’.
Like most climate mitigation tools, REDD-related activities pose risks and opportunities for Indigenous peoples. The creation of a successful REDD mechanism will require significant progress on methodological, political, and implementation issues. Some of these are outlined in Tropical Forest Carbon Grantmaking Strategy: A Strategy for Collaborative Philanthropic Support for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD).
The views of indigenous peoples that actually live in the world’s tropical forest regions have been largely absent from REDD policy discussions. Knowledge of REDD initiatives is limited among representatives of indigenous and traditional forest peoples, and knowledge of what these stakeholders might expect from REDD is limited as well. Among the issues that need to be addressed are concerns that REDD could:
a) further entrench government control over forests and marginalize the role of forest peoples in governance;
b) increase violations of customary land-use rights;
c) lead to increased land speculation around degraded forests; and
d) exacerbate, or create, community conflicts.
A pilot project on Promoting the effective participation of indigenous peoples in REDD processes was initiated in July 2008 by the Traditional Knowledge Initiative of the United Nations University – Institute of Advanced Studies (now United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability). The overall aim of this project is to assist with current efforts to raise awareness about REDD issues amongst indigenous people. A secondary aim of the project is to assist indigenous peoples to develop long term strategy to empower themselves and support the development of a strong voice and platform for their views in the development of REDD activities.
This website has a specific focus on the ongoing development of an international REDD mechanism and its implications for indigenous peoples, as well as highlighting REDD projects and resources relevant to their particular needs. International fora being covered include: the UNFCCC, the General Assembly, ECOSOC, the United Nations Permanent Forum for Indigenous Peoples, the United Nations Inter-Agency Support Group on Indigenous Issues, CBD, UNCCD, UNESCO, processes of the World Bank and regional development banks, the UN-REDD programme, initiatives such as the Indigenous Peoples Global Summit on Climate Change and any other relevant processes or meetings.
Local indigenous organisations with an interest in participating in this project should contact the Traditional Knowledge Initiative.