CBD Executive Secretary Highlights Indigenous Peoples’ Opportunities to Contribute to Climate Change Solutions

United Nations University - Institute of Advanced Studies 12 November 2008: In

an address to the Global Indigenous Peoples Consultation on Reducing Emissions

from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), taking place from 12-14

November 2008, in Baguio City, the Philippines, Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the Convention

on Biological Diversity (CBD), highlighted the opportunity for indigenous and

local communities to contribute to the formation and implementation of possible

solutions to climate change, such as REDD schemes, to ensure that their

traditional knowledge, rights and biological diversity are protected and

enhanced in the process.

He further noted that REDD efforts have the potential

to contribute significantly to achieving the CBD objectives. He also warned

that these may also be harmful, giving the example of some afforestation

projects that involve the planting of monocultures of invasive species, such as

eucalyptus, at the expense of native species in grasslands and agricultural

landscapes. The consultation is organized by Tebtebba

(Indigenous Peoples' International Centre for Policy Research and Education),

the UN University Institute of Advanced Studies, the UN REDD Programme and the

CBD Secretariat.

The event seeks to bring together around 30 international

indigenous leaders to: review the current level of involvement of indigenous

communities in the global debate on REDD, and compile views on related

challenges and opportunities; consider strategies for indigenous coalitions to

effectively engage in international REDD processes; develop a capacity-building

strategy for indigenous peoples; and consider the need for additional tools for

influencing the development of REDD schemes. [The Statement] [Consultation Website]