Accelarating Inclusion and Mitigating Emissions (AIME)

Dear Colleagues,

This quarter was filled with important achievements in governance, market access opportunities for communities, and the launch of innovative funding mechanisms. Some AIME partners are now gearing up for COP23, and others are preparing for important workshops that offer a space for dialogue for indigenous leaders, civil society, and governments. In the final year of the AIME program, we will consolidate the past four years of successes to increase communities’ inclusion in efforts to combat emissions.


"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."


Colombian traditional communities find new opportunities through cocoa exports

Colombian indigenous peoples of the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta (Caribbean coast) and afro-descendent communities of Tumaco (Pacific coast), have secured a partnership with Uncommon Cacao. Ecodecision, through the initiative Canopy Bridge, and the Environmental Defense Fund enabled the conditions necessary to establish export contracts which totaled $75,000 worth of cocoa sourced directly from these communities, which represents a threefold increase in payments. The largest share of Uncommon Cacao’s shipment comes from Tumaco, one of the regions most affected by the Colombian armed conflict.  Recognizing this, agencies such as USAID have provided support in sustainable forestry practices that empower communities by engaging in livelihoods that provide a future that could help break the cycle of violent conflict. The responsible management of these forests for one community in particular in Tumaco, yields 50 tons of cocoa annually. These beans are then used to create sumptuous premium chocolate, resulting in higher incomes for producers (and happy conscientious consumers).

Central America takes part in climate change solutions

Many AIME partners are actively preparing for upcoming international events, where they will represent the interests of indigenous and traditional communities in Latin America. Partners: Programa Regional de Investigación sobre Desarrollo y Medio Ambiente (PRISMA), and Alianza Mesoamericana de Pueblos y Bosques (AMPB), are preparing for their side event in the COP23 in Bonn, where they will launch the Mesoamerican Territorial Fund (FTM, Fondo Territorial Mesoamericano), a first-of-its-kind funding mechanism for the region. Working with global experts as well as with AMPB, the FTM will identify viable models to channel finance in support of low-emissions rural development that puts forest-dependent communities first. The FTM is focused connecting performance-linked finance directly to subnational forest and agroforestry landscapes. Mesoamerica stands in contrast to Asia and Africa, since 65% of its approximately 83 million hectares of forests is recognized community or indigenous lands. Hence, the FTM could catapult Mesoamerica as a global player in finding solutions to climate change.

The Miskitu Biocultural Protocol: A living document

The Muskitia region, the largest wilderness area in Central America, has long been a home for ethnic and indigenous peoples in Honduras and Nicaragua. Today, PRISMA and Miskitu Asla Takanka (MASTA) are helping to secure these fragile ecosystems for future generations, through initiatives such as the Miskitu Biocultural Protocol. The protocol represents an ongoing process with the Miskitu, which serves not only as a guideline for social organization (guiding key decisions related to livelihoods and governance), creating partnerships, and as a historical and cultural source.

Mexico’s forestry law becomes more inclusive

Thanks to Red Mexicana De Organizaciones Campesinas Forestales (Red-MOCAF) and AMPB, civil society alliances have been created to safeguard a sustainable forestry law in Mexico. This coalition supports forest communities in exercising their right to free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) and in participating in policy reform. Recently, a media campaign successfully stopped the congressional reform on the Law of Sustainable Forest Development, which had not previously conducted a consultation process with these traditional forest stewards.

Recent Events

Third Indigenous Economy Workshop

How can forest dependent communities participate in the market and protect their way of life? This topic has been at the crux of the Indigenous Economy workshops. This year the third workshop was organized by Forest Trends in collaboration with Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazônia (IPAM), ­­EcoDecision, Instituto Socioambiental (ISA), Associação dos Moradores do Rio Iriri (AMORIRI), and the Rio Novo Community in the Rio Iriri extractivist reserve (RESEX) in the state of Pará. This workshop involved a close study of a small scale producer’s network (comprised of forest dependent communities) of non-timber forest products in the Xingu River region. Besides the participation of the local leaders from RESEX, other indigenous leaders throughout Latin America came together to share their experiences. Developing spaces such as these are important for a rich exchange of strategies for reaching the wellbeing of traditional and forest dependent communities in their territories.

Surui women build their artisanal enterprise

Metareilá and Forest Trends organized a workshop for the Surui women led artisan enterprise, Arte Paiter. The objective was to discuss production and commercialization potential of the Surui artisanal products. TUCUM, an organization that works with Brazilian indigenous communities to promote native art in national and international markets, was invited to discuss the production, management and commercialization of the Surui artisanal work. The partnership between TUCUM and the Surui will lead to more visibility of their work in national hotels and airports, as well as the creation of visual promotional material.

Governors’ Climate and Forest Taskforce in California

In August 2017, over 30 indigenous and community leaders, subnational government representatives and civil society members convened in Northern California to discuss how partnerships between indigenous and community authorities and subnational governments can help mitigate climate change, strengthen rights recognition and enhance participation in decision-making processes in tropical forest regions. 

The gathering was the inaugural meeting of the Governors’ Climate and Forest Taskforce, Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Working Group. Participants drafted a preliminary strategy for collective action as well as advanced a set of guiding principles for collaboration between subnational governments, indigenous peoples and local communities. The preliminary strategy and global principles was presented at the annual meeting of the GCF in Balikpapan, Indonesia in September.

The meeting was organized by Earth Innovation Institute and the Governors’ Climate and Forest Taskforce secretariat, with support from USAID, Forest Trends, EDF, the Moore Foundation, Germany’s International Climate Initiative (IKI) and Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad). Several AIME partners participated in the meeting, including Pronatura Sur, PRISMA, AMPB, Metareila, as well as government representatives from Brazil, Colombia and Peru.

The group was hosted by the Yurok Tribe in Klamath, California, the first Native American tribe to participate in California’s forestry offset program. The Yurok Tribe has reacquired ancestral lands and cultural artifacts through the sale of carbon credits generated through the tribe’s forest management program.

Upcoming Events

Workshop on minimal or zero deforestation

Forest Trends, along WWF, IPAM and Organizacion Nacional de los Pueblos Indigenas de la Amazonia Colombiana (OPIAC), is organizing a workshop that will be an exchange of Amazonian experiences on minimal or zero deforestation in Leticia, Colombia in October. The objective is to define public policy and financial mechanisms that will help communities whose territories cannot benefit from a classic REDD model and other payments for ecosystem services approaches.  

Publications and Articles

Four chefs one enormous fish

Specialty chocolate companies create new opportunities for indigenous and forest communities in Colombia

Amazonian Tribe Shares the Secret of Treating Snake Bites

Data Compiled To Track Deforestation Also Tracks Tainted Meat From Brazil´s “Carne Fraca” Scandal

Brazil´s Indigenous Leaders Convene To Shore Up Eroding Rights

Message From Tashka Yawanawa on Importance of Indigenous Life Plans

As Green Climate Fund Considers Results- Based Payments for Forest, Two Lessons from Earlier Initiatives

New State of Voluntary Carbon Markets Report Set To Launch At Innovate4Climate

Indigenous Leaders Find Voice in Global Climate Talks

As Number of Carbon Pricing Initiatives Doubles, New Portal Will Track Prices

Where Money And Mysticism Meet, Ecotourism And Sustainable Farming Follow – Al Least In This Part Of Peru

Tribu amazónica comparte secreto para tratar mordidas de serpientes venenosas.

Compilación de datos de deforestación también rastrea carne contaminada del escándalo Carne Fraca en Brasil.

Líderes indígenas de Brasil se reúnen para luchar por sus derechos

Mensaje de Tashka Yawanawa sobre la importancia de los Planes de Vida indígena

Conforme el Fondo Verde Climático considera los pagos por resultados para los bosques, dos lecciones de iniciativas anteriores.

El Nuevo Informe del Estado de los Mercados de Carbono Voluntario listo para ser lanzado en Innovate4Climate

El Jefe Climático del Banco Mundial quiere “Activar las inversiones billonarias” bajo el Acuerdo de París.

Plantaciones de pino no ayudan a superar sequías, las empeoran: SUNASS

Líderes Indígenas encuentran voz en las conversaciones sobre el clima mundial

El Gobierno de los Países Bajo conduce Programa de Carbono Voluntario, y no está solo

Donde se encuentran el dinero y el misticismo, el ecoturismo y la agricultura sostenible continúan, al menos en esta parte del Perú


Photo Credits: Header photo: © Rodrigo Duran; Sidebar photos licenses through