Historic Meeting of Governors to Support Sub-National Action on Global Warming
Last October, Earth Innovation Institute (EII)—with support from Forest Trends, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and Governor’s Climate and Forest Task Force (GCF)—hosted a state government delegation from Acre, Brazil to California. The delegation included the Governor of Acre, Tião Viana and other government and industry leaders. The visit involved a high-level meeting between Governor Viana and Governor Brown, which helped solidify California’s support for the proposed international offset program which would link California to the state of Acre and provide critical financial support for forest communities. Both Governors discussed their shared vision for environmental sustainability and social inclusion, how both states can influence the direction of sustainable development, and the potential of platforms such as the GCF and the Under 2-degree Subnational Global Climate Leadership Memorandum of Understanding (U2MOU), to help facilitate such progress. Other events included a multi-stakeholder dialogue led by Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency, Matt Rodriguez, a public lecture and launch of the film “The Story of SISA” highlighting Acre’s innovative jurisdictional program for climate change mitigation, and meeting with potential investors in Acre’s low carbon enterprises.
Chiapas´ Cashew Nut in the Market
Pronatura Sur assisted in the first sales of cashew nut from ejidos, farming cooperatives, in Chiapas, Mexico. This is the first time that these producers have engaged directly with buyers and this will help lay the groundwork for further market growth. Although these ejidos have already established quotas and fair trade practices, monthly sales do not exceed 200 kilos per month. With the goal of increasing this number, Pronatura Sur successfully created an alliance with the organic product marketer Green Corner, thus allowing commercialization of the product at the national level. Mexico’s National Commission on Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) is overseeing the regulations of the sales process, which implies the establishment of a micro-company inside each ejido that favors good agricultural practices and management. The next step will be the creation of a product system that guarantees collaboration between regional producers, distributors and vendors, overseen by the Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development (SAGARPA). This system will facilitate regional regulations and foreign and or private investment.
Life Plans Move Ahead in Chiapas
A Life Plan is a valuable instrument that empowers communities to govern their territories while upholding their cultural norms and their vision of a good life. In Chiapas, Mexico AIME directly supports coastal communities so that they can benefit from climate change mitigation efforts that are aligned with their Life Plans. AIME Partner Pronatura Sur is now positioned to close the Life Plan process with three coastal communities: the Aztlan of Huixtla, Brisas del Huayate and the Guadalupe Victoria fishing community in San Pedro Tapanatepec. Pronatura Sur will begin strategic management according to these communities’ priorities and values, and focus on linking youth from different cultures through their respective enterprises. These enterprises have been responsible for reforesting and restoring 140 hectares of the Federal Maritime Zone (ZOFEMAT), and they are in the process of becoming a registered civil reserve, which will lead to legal tenure and the fulfillment of these communities’ Life Plans. By June, alliances will be formed between assemblies and local government to allow for extra support in reaching community wellbeing.
Indigenous Territorial Governance Training Program Workshop
Following the finalization of the Indigenous Territorial Governance Training Program (PFGTI) in mid-2016, and with the participation of AIME Partners, local organizations and governance experts, Forest Trends conducted several workshops in Bogota in early 2017 to focus on the implementation of the PFGTI. The Bogota workshops also reviewed possible mechanisms by which climate funding proposals can be submitted by indigenous and local communities, which specific funding mechanisms will be important to promote, and discussed the necessary components to be monitored during implementation. PFGTI will increase the capacity of indigenous organizations to manage their territories sustainably and strengthen their local economies. The program will be implemented in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, and Peru.
Climate Change Opportunities Workshop in Colombia
Last February, EDF, along with the Organization of Indigenous Peoples of the Colombian Amazon (OPIAC), Ecodecision and Gaia Amazonas Foundation – hosted a workshop about climate finance opportunities and sustainable indigenous enterprises in Bogota, Colombia. During the workshop indigenous people, companies, Colombian government representatives, UN-REDD program, NGOs – such as Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), TNC and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) - and representatives of the Amazon Indigenous Roundtable on Environment and Climate Change (MIAAC), analyzed and discussed subjects such as indigenous companies, climate change funds, policies and national programs and REDD+. Indigenous leaders discussed the National REDD+ Strategy and created a work plan for an indigenous REDD+ approach, which is included in the MIACC and is part of the Vision Amazonia initiative.
Rondônia Advances in the Creation of a State Law on Climate Governance
The Brazilian state of Rondônia became an official member of the GCF in 2015, thanks to a joint effort by Metareila Association and Forest Trends. Last year, the State Secretary for Development and the Environment (SEDAM)—along with other Secretaries—created the Rondônia working group in order to draft state law titled Climate Change, Governance, Payment for Environmental Services and REDD. SEDAM collected contributions on the text that served as the basis for the law, and they are consolidating the final draft that will be presented to the public in mid-April for consultation. In addition, SEDAM and Metareila have also been actively coordinating with traditional populations and indigenous peoples so that their perspectives can be included in the state law.
Indigenous Perspectives on REDD Policies in Brazil
The Institute for Amazon Research (IPAM) 10-year partnership with Coordination of the Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon (COIAB) and Brazil´s Indigenous Peoples Articulation (APIB) has seen the fruit of its labor through the successful creation of REDD jurisdictional programs and national strategies to protect the Brazilian Amazon. This partnership recently created the Indigenous Technical Committee on Climate Change, composed of five indigenous representatives from each region of Brazil. IPAM will facilitate the technical committee’s discussion at the national level, ensuring that climate change politics surrounding REDD strategies and adaptation will include indigenous peoples’ voices and perspectives. The Ministry of Environment is currently developing and enforcing the REDD National Strategy, which will include guidelines for all state policies. IPAM is accompanying the indigenous peoples’ involvement in advisory councils related to REDD, including safeguards and the distribution of benefits. IPAM will offer technical resources on these subjects to empower indigenous peoples through an upcoming workshop.
Understanding the Miskitu Territory
The development of the Miskitu Territory’s governance analysis by the Salvadorian Environmental Research Program (PRISMA) is moving forward, as the organization is advancing dialogues with Miskitu Asla Takanka (MASTA) in Honduras. The analysis includes carrying out workshops on territorial governance, validating and socializing the results of the study which will contribute to understanding the drivers of deforestation. The workshops will be carried out from April 23-29 in two MASTA territories: Brus Laguna, for which PRISMA will gather input to develop a Governance Plan and Biosphere Administration; and in Tipi, to obtain feedback on developing a local sanitation proposal.
UNESCO Mayan Biosphere Reserve Celebrates 25 Years
Last December, the Association of Forest Communities of Petén (ACOFOP) celebrated its 20th anniversary since the Guatemalan government signed a 25-year forest concession agreement with local communities in Petén. PRISMA joined this celebration by allocating financial (USD$5,000 annually) and technical support for the organization in its process to renew their concession contract which was about to expire. During this celebration, the forest communities also reaffirmed their commitment to the Mayan Biosphere Reserve by signing and publishing the Petén Declaration, presenting a valuable opportunity for Guatemala to meet its climate change commitments from the Paris Agreement.