Accelarating Inclusion and Mitigating Emissions (AIME)
January 30, 2017

2016 brought many challenges, but also many advances for both the environment and for indigenous and traditional communities. The AIME Forest Based Livelihoods Consortium (FBLC) participated in COP22 in Marrakech as well as the Governors' Climate and Forests Task Force (GCF), bringing the indigenous self-determination agenda to the forefront by making the case for strategies that will increase benefits to indigenous peoples and traditional communities. Important publications on indigenous values, such as indigenous economy and governance, are now ready to be disseminated after a year’s worth of in-depth exchanges with communities themselves. The Cultural Mediators program is taking off and being adapted to the cultural realities of the Inga from Colombia. A number of 2016 advances highlighted below help lay the groundwork for a productive 2017 for the FBLC.


  • Beto Borges, AIME Chief of Party
"This newsletter is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of Forest Trends and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government."


Indigenous Economy Workshops Yield Publications

According to the values of indigenous peoples and traditional communities, there are two spheres that relate to the economy: their own economy and the market. These communities decide which they prioritize and how best to participate. These reflections were obtained from the Indigenous Economy discussion group, which held meetings from 2015 to 2016 with community leaders. These exchanges now live in this dynamic text, which can be used as an educational tool. Help us to share these lessons!

An Inclusive Tool: Acre’s System of Incentives for Environmental Services 

Launched in 2010, Acre’s System of Incentives for Environmental Services (Sistema de Incetivos de Serviços Ambientais “SISA”) creates a platform where forest dependent communities can benefit from economic incentives for conserving their traditional forest homelands. SISA is a leading example of a jurisdictional program designed to lower emissions and promote sustainable development, while promoting direct support to forest communities, by bolstering traditional methods of farming and forest management that are more suitable for the rainforest. SISA sets an important precedent in valuing traditional environmental knowledge in the preservation of soils and biodiversity. Acre is being considered as a partner in the California Cap and Trade program, since the Brazilian state is on track to match California’s emissions reduction by 2020. Watch the “The Story of SISA” to learn more.

Pronatura Sur Achievements

Pronatura Sur designed and implemented a social strategy that included Life Plan workshops throughout 2016 to improve decision-making processes in six communities between Chiapas and Oaxaca. Here are three crucial results of Pronatura Sur’s work:

  • Working directly with Conquista Campesina community to create a management plan for PES where revenue will go towards education and health.
  • Creating participatory spaces for women to engage in the decision making process.
  • Organizing youth in Guadalupe Oaxaca to begin apiculture work, due to the lack of new fishing permits.

Pronatura Sur is working to strengthen leadership, local economy and territorial management through these initiatives. They have also designed public policy tools, such as the Chiapas REDD+ Strategy and a dialogue process that facilitates inter-sectoral synergies. The process has used a bottom-up approach, beginning at the local level with pilot experiences from community forest management projects that involve subnational and national actors working on the National Strategy for REDD+.

III Amazon Summit 

The Amazon Summit is a high-level annual political event organized by COICA, where indigenous peoples, government actors, and international organizations create and analyze proposals on forest conservation and climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts. At this year’s event, more than 50 indigenous leaders from 14 Latin American countries met with representatives of the World Bank, USAID, DFID, and civil society members in Lima to discuss overall regional progress towards meeting national climate commitments. The Summit concluded with the approval of an Action Mandate that proposes to maintain 80% of fossil fuels in the soil, cease large oil palm plantations, establish protected areas in indigenous territories, and ensure indigenous participation in dialogues with multilateral banks and the United Nations, including their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 Agenda.

Muskitia Territorial Governance Research

With the aim of creating strategies to combat deforestation through territorial governance, PRISMA concluded research on territorial dynamics in the Honduran Moskitia. The study highlights the dynamic relationships between social processes and biophysical events, acknowledging the multi-scale linkages. MASTA, as part of their governance strategy, aims to develop a jurisdictional REDD+ approach that prioritizes productive activities, indigenous peoples’ rights and the simplification of finance mechanisms such as REDD+ under a jurisdictional approach tailored to the region. 

 Interethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Rainforest at COP22

Since 2011, AIDESEP has participated in the annual COP meeting, continually promoting the indigenous self-determination agenda. Each year, AIDESEP participation has been stronger and at COP22 in Marrakesh they took four strong proposals to the discussion table:

  • Intended National Determined Contributions (INDCs) will not happen unless there is support from the states for indigenous peoples’ rights and partnerships are established.
  • Indigenous Economy and Life Plans are powerful strategies to combat climate change.
  • Adaptation plans by watersheds, with indigenous women, play a key role in climate change adaptation strategies
  • The expansion of Indigenous REDD in the Amazons (RIA) to 2 million hectares in 12 territories inside Peru.

During COP22, two possible partnerships emerged: 1) AgroBanco from Peru, to push forward Indigenous Economy to reach el Buen vivir as a key climate alternative; and 2) a collaboration with the German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation (GIZ) to establish RIA in 12 territories, which is critical as the expansion of RIA is now part of the Peruvian INDC.

Earth Innovation Institute Launches Report on REDD and Communities

During an event at the Indigenous Pavilion Global Panel hosted by EII, AMPOB and COICA at COP22, EII scientist Maria DiGiano presented findings from the organizations’ latest report. The report presents research by five organizations, including members of AIME’s FBLC, and was supported by Forest Trends, NORAD and USAID. The study focuses on the potential to deliver benefits to communities and enhance their efforts to protect forests through a jurisdictional REDD+ approach. The study notably includes local stakeholder input, and examples of sustainability plans that ensure equitable financial returns for forest protection efforts via funding or carbon credits sales.

Cultural Mediators Meeting in Caquetá, Colombia

Deep inside the Colombian Amazon, leaders of the Educational Institute of Inga Yachaicury, are crafting a mitigation and adaptation program that relies on both ancient knowledge and modern practices. OPIAC and Forest Trends facilitated necessary preparatory meetings, visits to educational establishments and workshops that took place from October 2- 5. Throughout the process, teachers were positioned as Cultural Mediators, a role defined by the Inga as intermediaries between the climate change educational community and ancestral practices and knowledge.

Learning by Doing: Brazilian Case Studies

As part of the inventory for the Atlas of Indigenous Enterprises with Canopy Bridge and EDF finished a set of Brazilian case studies– the Babassu Nut Collecting Cooperative; the Jupau Cassava Flour; and the Xingu Seed network. These case studies demonstrated how these cooperatives have difficulty overcoming bureaucratic licensing obstacles. However, there are also successful accounts of how indigenous and community enterprises connected with government programs, secured women’s participation and found the right allies to overcome some of these obstacles. The Xingu Seed Network provides an example, where women led the collection groups and opened an important space within their communities. In the Ikpeng village, female nut collectors have created the Yarang women empowerment movement. EDF plans to continue working with these community enterprises throughout the Amazon to scale up their business, and increase their positive impacts. To learn more about this project check out EDF’s blog.

AIME Participation in the Governors' Climate and Forests Task Force in Jalisco

AIME partners EII, AMPB, and Forest Trends organized the side event “Indigenous and traditional communities at the GCF” which took place in Guadalajara, Jalisco during the GCF annual meeting. The event featured a panel of speakers including Michael Jenkins of Forest Trends, Candido Mezua of AMPB; and government representatives from three Brazilian states leading subnational innovation: Acre, Rondônia and Mato Grosso. During the event, the priorities of indigenous peoples and traditional communities were discussed as well as the subnational advances. This session laid the groundwork for increased involvement from indigenous communities in the GCF, including the potential creation of an indigenous peoples working group dedicated to the GCF.


Publications and Articles

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