Working with Local People Key to Protecting Forests

Written by Sarene Marshall on . Posted in Learn


In this video, Sarene Marshall, climate change program director at The Nature Conservancy, discusses the importance of working closely on forest issues with indigenous peoples.

Often discussed in the international climate negotiations over the past few years is the relationship between the rights of indigenous peoples and the development of an international plan to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, called REDD+ by insiders.

Here in Cancún, indigenous peoples are participating in a variety of ways – through their own organizations, as well as through non-profit organizations and governments that represent their interests.

You might get the impression from media coverage of this issue that most indigenous peoples are opposed to REDD+, but many are very supportive – provided the conditions are right.  Today, at a side event hosted by Tebtebba Foundation, representatives of indigenous peoples in Kenya, Indonesia, and Nicaragua joined Victoria Tauli-Corpus, chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, to share their perspectives.

Joseph, from Kenya, said, “Indigenous peoples are … not only first victims of negative impacts of climate change, but they are also part of the solution. A REDD+ regime that incorporates principles of human-rights approaches, full and effective participation including full, prior, and informed consent, would be a win-win solution for both indigenous peoples and the global community.”

Abdon, who spoke on behalf of AMAN, an organization that represents 1,163 indigenous communities across Indonesia, added, “We believe, if there are effective legal and institutional arrangements to involve indigenous peoples, indigenous peoples will be a main actor to mitigate emissions from forests in our country.”

Video by: Paul Mackie/The Nature Conservancy

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Planet Change is a Nature Conservancy blog site designed to share stories about actions the Conservancy and others around the world are taking to fight carbon pollution and the impacts of climate change, and to help people feel the connections between climate change and their daily lives and understand actions they can take.

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