FBL CONSORTIUM IN ACTION
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.
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.
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.
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