TK & Forests (REDD)

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Home » Thematic Areas » TK & Biological Resources » TK & Natural Resources » TK & Forests (including REDD+)

TK & Forests (including REDD+)


Preserving and applying traditional knowledge is increasingly recognised by researchers as a key to sustainable forest management. Forest management systems based on traditional forest-related knowledge are not sufficiently recognized by researchers, managers, and policy makers. Policies, projects and programmes to create synergies between traditional forest-related knowledge and modern scientific knowledge are needed for exploring solutions to common problems. Although there have been some successes in integrating traditional forest-related knowledge into formal forest management planning, several constraints have also been encountered. These include: inability to access traditional forest-related knowledge efficiently and effectively; lack of methods for integrating the two and insufficient use of existing methods, such as adaptive management; and insufficient communication between the holders of traditional forest-related knowledge and potential users of traditional forest-related knowledge.

Efforts in directly involving holders of traditional forest-related knowledge in management decisions through community-based, adaptive approaches need to be promoted. The incorporation of traditional forest-related knowledge and the participation of holders of traditional forest-related knowledge in monitoring, assessment and reporting on forests will improve forest management information, help guide management decisions, and enhance benefit-sharing.

The TKI initiated a pilot project on Promoting the effective participation of indigenous peoples in REDD processes in July 2008. 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.

The REDD Bulletin - Indigenous Information Bulletin


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.

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.

The TKI is currently running The REDD Bulletin, a dedicated information bulletin with 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.

As of August 2009, the REDD Bulletin has expanded to include original articles and commentaries each month provided by a panel of indigenous and REDD experts from around the world.

Visit The REDD Bulletin website...


Recent Events and Meeting Reports



The TKI has brought together indigenous leaders to review the current level of involvement of indigenous communities in the global debate on REDD, to compile views on related challenges and opportunities, and to consider strategies for indigenous coalitions to effectively engage in international REDD processes. Recent events have included:

Publications, Guides and Strategies


Future Activities


Other specific activities being considered under this programme element include:

  • Supporting the development non-timber forest products markets for indigenous communities in Northern Queensland and Australia and the Pacific;
  • Supporting the development of small/medium/community-based enterprises by carrying out case studies to document enterprises, opportunities and constraints of small and medium scale forest-based enterprises, focusing on tropical timber value-added products and niche markets, and communicate the results of these case studies to an international audience;
  • Conducting a new round of analyses of Community Forestry Enterprises (CFEs) in each region (Australia and Asia-Pacific) to understand the range of business models, products, enterprise organization, constraints, and enabling conditions to inform producer countries and share learning among entrepreneurs (in collaboration with community voices in conjunction with the International Tropical Timber Organization);
  • Undertaking a mapping of tropical forest tenure in Australia and the Pacific Region to submit to an international conference on Tropical Forest Tenure and Business Models in 2009;
  • Exploring the possibility of replicating successful cases of payment for environmental services, in particular schemes from Latin America, in Australia and Asia, and initiate two pilot projects if feasible;
  • Building Capacity to Develop and Implement Afforestation and Reforestation Projects under Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol in Tropical Forestry Sector; and
  • Working with the ITTO to prepare a study to review the technical and environment standards relating to tropical timber products in major international markets to enhance market access.

See also:

Exa Business Technology