1 Tahrcountry Musings: Indigenous people demand say in conservation schemes.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Indigenous people demand say in conservation schemes.

Gone are the days when you could ride roughshod over the indigenous people. They are slowly becoming vociferous.
Indigenous rights groups are meeting in Oslo this week to voice their demands. They say discussions on Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) is doomed for failure unless they are based on respect for the rights of indigenous peoples and forest communities. In places where indigenous land rights have not been clearly defined, the whole process could be used to evict forest people from lands upon which they have been living for generations. The apprehension is that this would open floodgates of land grabs and evictions by parties seeking to capitalize on carbon payments. Indigenous peoples are concerned about how these new investments could affect their access to the forests, but here is an opportunity to create sustainable livelihoods for forest people and safeguarding biodiversity if the whole process is handled with sang-froid.
The meeting in Oslo will come up with ideas of how the rights of indigenous people can be respected under "forest carbon" schemes. The choice of Oslo for the meeting is deliberate. Norwegian government has pledged to spend up to 3 billion Norwegian kroner ($500 million) annually to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in tropical countries. Participants of Oslo conference have proposed the formation of independent bodies to advise and monitor the UN Convention on Climate Change to ensure that the rights forest people are put in place. They demand that Indigenous peoples must be accepted as full and fair participants in all parleys.

1 comment:

Indigenous Peoples Advocate said...

I agree, we need to involve indigenous peoples in any effort as it is their land and resources that we are talking about. Sadly, however, I don't think the days are gone where we can run roughshod over their rights - those days are still around. But we need to make sure that they end quickly and honor indigenous peoples rights.