Kamis, 04 Agustus 2011

Letter: REDD+ and local rights

At the conclusion of the International Conference on Forest Tenure, Governance and Enterprise: Experiences and Opportunities for Asia in a Changing Context, in Lombok earlier this month, the Indonesian government agreed to work closely with civil society and Indigenous Peoples (IPs) to develop and implement a new national strategy to recognize the land rights of the communities who live in and around the archipelago’s estimated 130 million hectares of remaining forest.

The declaration coming out of the conference — a historic joint statement between government and CSOs in the region — proposes urgent steps by governments, international organizations and private companies to recognize the rights of the world’s forest dwellers and highlights the fundamental role of local control in alleviating poverty, expanding legal, sustainable forestry, and reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD).

The central role that granting land rights to local communities and IPs has on REDD must be recognized before REDD+ can truly become the “pathway to prosperity”. Experience on the ground, as in Brazil, supports and confirms the effectiveness of conservation by IPs and other forest communities and the key role their tenure reforms have played in bringing justice to the forests, and providing a relatively inexpensive way to prevent significant emissions.

While the global demand for forest products continues to increase, the pressure for conversion of natural forests remains great, and REDD cannot work if protection in one place leads to increased exploitation in another.

It is now becoming widely recognized that government policies promoting industrial logging and agricultural conversion are the greatest cause and instigator of deforestation and, conversely, local communities and IPs are the ones that keep their lands forested when their tenure rights are secured.

Andy White
Coordinator Rights and Resources Initiative
Washington, DC

source: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/08/04/letter-redd-and-local-rights.html

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