CBD/UNU Global Indigenous Peoples Consultation Adopts Strategy on REDD

20 November 2008: Organized by Tebtebba (Indigenous Peoples' International Centre for Policy Research and Education), the UN University (UNU) Institute of Advanced Studies Traditional Knowledge Initiative, the UN REDD Programme and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat, the Global Indigenous Peoples Consultation on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) was held from 12-14 November 2008, in Baguio City, the Philippines. Participants adopted a global indigenous peoples strategy on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

The strategy makes reference to a number of overarching principles,

including a human-rights approach to all REDD activities on the basis

of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and

International Labour Organization Convention no. 169 on indigenous and

tribal peoples, and the free, prior and informed consent of indigenous

peoples in REDD activities.

With regard to international processes and

organizations, recommendations address: coordinating and sharing

information with UN agencies, specialized bodies and initiatives that

are considered relevant for implementing action on climate change and

indigenous peoples; recognizing the close links between traditional

knowledge, biodiversity and climate change, and ensuring close

cooperation and enhanced synergy between the CBD and the UNFCCC on

traditional knowledge and climate change; supporting the establishment

of a working group on local-level adaptation with the full and

effective participation of indigenous peoples; and establishing a

working group/expert body on traditional knowledge and climate change

under the joint liaison group of the CBD/UNFCCC/UN Convention to Combat

Desertification. It is also recommended that the UN-REDD programme and

other funders develop compliance guidelines, as well as a grievance and

recourse mechanism to ensure that indigenous peoples' rights are

observed at the national and international levels.

Other recommendations include: engaging indigenous peoples and

forest-dependent communities in all UN processes relevant to tackling

climate change; strengthening the existing indigenous organizations and

networks to address REDD issues; undertaking case studies, field

research and developing information packages to influence discussions

on REDD; establishing an indigenous peoples global coordinating body on

climate change; developing a legal framework and consultation

mechanisms for indigenous peoples at the national level; requiring each

REDD pilot country to report on the legal situation of indigenous

territories, lands and resources and rights of forest-dependent

communities; empowering indigenous peoples and forest-dependent

communities by raising awareness on REDD issues; promoting subnational

processes that decentralize REDD; and subjecting all REDD and climate

change mitigation activities to environmental impact assessments and

social/cultural impact assessments. [Report of the Consultation]