350 Indian Villages Earn Forest Rights:
The Latest From The Community Forum

This edition includes news of community forest rights for villagers in India as well as Ugandan farmers receive their first payment for a PES project.  Also included is information on a PES conference in Brazil as well as case studies on climate change adaptation and mitigation in Asia.

This edition includes news of community forest rights for villagers in India as well as Ugandan farmers receive their first payment for a PES project.   Also included is information on a PES conference in Brazil as well as case studies on climate change adaptation and mitigation in Asia.

26 September 2012 Welcome to another edition of the Community Forum! This edition brings good news from India where 350 villages were granted forest rights and Uganda where farmers participating in a PES project received their first payments!

Many new publications are included in the Resources and Tools section, including a guide to Community Forest Management in agroforestry systems and case studies on climate change adaptation and mitigation in Asia.

A few opportunities to attend conferences and for employment are included at the end of the newsletter, including information to register for an international PES conference to be held in Brazil in November.

We hope you enjoy this edition!

— The Community Forum Team

For comments or questions, please email: [email protected]

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Around the World

Community Forest Rights for 350 Villages in Gondia, India


Roughly 350 villages in the Gondia district in central India have been granted community forest rights (CFRs) under the Forest Conservation Act (FRA) 2006 recently. The FRA empowers community of tenure rights through CFRs over forest, water and biologically significant areas. The CFRs allow villagers to harvest and sell non-timber forest products as a means to earn their livelihoods.


Read the full article.

Ugandan Farmers Receive First PES Payments


The four year Payment for Ecosystem project that started in 2010 has made its first cash payments to 39 Private Forest Owners (PFOs) in Kyabigambire sub-county. This was done on 10th August at a ceremony presided over by the Local Council Chairperson.


‘I am thrilled by this. This is going to attract more people to conserve the natural resources since there is a tangible benefit to do so,’ said Lillian Tinkasimire, a PFO.


This PES project, led by the Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust (CSWCT), the Ugandan National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), the United Nations Environment Program’s Global Environment Facility (UNEP-GEF), and others, seeks to reward farmers for conserving forested areas, thereby protecting critical chimpanzee habitat.


These voluntary contracts are unique to each farmer. The farmers discuss the contract elements with project partners and CSWCT, and then it is finalized in a participatory process with landowners through focus groups and community organizations. The farmer receives a payment based on forest area conserved and number of hectares reforested. The current upper limit is 35 USD per hectare per year with seedlings for reforestation of the degraded forests or deforested areas.


Learn more about CSWCT’s project.
Contact CSWCT.

Restoring Mangroves May Prove Cheaper Way to Cool Climate


Mangroves absorb carbon dioxide, the most prevalent greenhouse gas, from the atmosphere at an impressive rate. Protecting them, a recent study says, could yield climate benefits, biodiversity conservation, and protection for local economies for a nominal cost — between $4 and $10 per ton of carbon dioxide.


Shrimp aquaculture, fishing, and rice growing — especially in Southeast Asia — are slowly degrading mangroves, ecosystems located where freshwater rivers meet with salty seas. Research on mangroves is less advanced than that of terrestrial ecosystems, yet preliminary results show that mangroves can hold about 2.5 times as much carbon dioxide as humans produce globally each year.


In addition to the “blue” carbon storage, mangroves also provide biodiversity protection, shoreline protection during storm events (http://news.mongabay.com/2012/0907-mangroves-wave-protection.html#), and many other benefits to local communities.


Read the full article.

Indigenous groups in Panama wait for UN REDD to meet promises


By: Jeremy Hance

August 30, 2012


A dispute over the implementation of REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) in Panama has pitted the United Nations (UN) against the nation’s diverse and large indigenous groups. Represented by the National Coordinator of Indigenous Peoples in Panama (COONAPIP), indigenous groups claim that the UN has failed to meet several pledges related to kick-starting REDD+ with their support, including delaying a $1.79 million payment to the group to begin REDD+-related activities. The on-going dispute highlights the perils and complexities of implementing REDD+, especially concerns that the program might disenfranchise indigenous groups who have long been the stewards of their forest territories.


Read the full article.

Amazon deforestation could trigger drop in rainfall across South America


Rhett A. Butler

September 06, 2012


Deforestation could cause rainfall across the Amazon rainforest to drop precipitously, warns a new study published in the journal Nature.


The shift would primarily result from disrupting the forest’s water cycle. Trees absorb water from rain and then release moisture back into the air via the process of evapotranspiration. That moisture fuels further rainfall. When forests are cleared, evapotranspiration and more water runs off into rivers leaving less moisture for the formation of rain.


Using a computer model that accounts for forest cover and rainfall patterns, Dominick Spracklen of the University of Leeds and colleagues estimate that large-scale deforestation in the Amazon could reduce basin-wide rainfall 12 percent during the wet season and 21 percent in the dry season by 2050. Localized swings would be greater. Forest clearing in the Congo Basin would produce similar results.


Read the full article.

Nuevos Observadores Seleccionados para ONU-REDD

Durante el mes de agosto, organizaciones de la sociedad civil tení­an la oportunidad de votar para organizaciones que les representarí¡n en la Junta Normativa de ONU-REDD, el programa de las Naciones Unidas para la Reduccií³n de Emisiones de la Deforestacií³n y Degradacií³n forestal.


Ut’z Che’ , una organizacií³n comunitaria sombrilla, que agrupa 36 organizaciones comunitarias indí­genas y campesinas con alrededor de 30 mil miembros, fue elegido para representar a América Latina.


Para í¡frica, la nueva organizacií³n seleccionada como observador es la Coalicií³n de ONG Ambientales (NGOCE), una red de ONGs y organizaciones comunitarias con unos 48 miembros en Nigeria.


Para Asia, la nueva organizacií³n seleccionada como observadora es el Instituto de Polí­ticas de Desarrollo Sustentable (SPDI), una organizacií³n de la sociedad civil, independiente y sin fines de lucro basado en Pakistí¡n.


Para los paí­ses desarrollados la nueva organizacií³n observadora es el Fondo de Defensa Ambiental (EDF) , basado en los Estados Unidos. EDF trabaja sobre las amenazas ambientales mí¡s urgentes a los océanos, los ecosistemas y la salud humana.

Lea el comunicado de prensa.

New Observers Chosen for ONU-REDD


During the month of August, civil society organizations had the opportunity to vote for organizations to represent them on the UN-REDD Policy Board. UN-REDD is the United Nations’ Program for Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation.


Ut’z Che’ , a Guatemalan umbrella organization of 36 community-based indigenous and farmers’ organizations representing some 30,000 members, was selected to represent Latin America.


For Africa, the new organization selected as an observer is the NGO Coalition for Environment (NGOCE), a network of NGOs and community-based organizations with approximately 48 members in Nigeria.


The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SPDI) was selected as the observer for Asia. SDPI is an independent non-profit civil society organization based in Pakistan that serves as a source of expertise for policy analysis and development, policy intervention, and policy and program advisory services.


For the developed countries the winner is the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), based in the USA. EDF works on the most urgent environmental threats to the climate, oceans, ecosystems and people’s health.


Read the full press release.

Resources and Tools

The Context of REDD+ in Indonesia: Drivers, Agents and Institutions


This country profile reviews the drivers of REDD+ in Indonesia, sets out the institutional, political and economic environment within which it is being implemented, and documents policy development from 2007 through early 2012. While Indonesia is committed to addressing climate change through the forestry sector, there are clearly contextual challenges that need to be addressed to create the enabling conditions for REDD+.


The issue of indigenous rights to land and resources in state forests remains unresolved. Although the rights of indigenous communities are legally recognized, in reality state control of forests negates such rights. The Government of Indonesia limits recognition of indigenous rights, particularly those relating to self-determination; Indonesia has not ratified International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention No. 169, but has ratified the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), a non-binding document that requests parties to show moral and political commitment to respecting the principles in the declaration.


Download the publication.

Sustainable Community Forest Management: A Practical Guide to FSC Group Certification for Smallholder Agroforestry Systems


The Forest Trust’s new guide to working with smallholder agroforestry system managers is aimed at empowering communities to successfully launch sustainable forest businesses. Simply written, complete with illustrations and graphics, the handbook is a comprehensive guide for non-profits, businesses, government agencies, and community organizations who want to develop an FSC group certificate for smallholder agroforestry systems.


Download the handbook.

Multipurpose Agroforestry as a Climate Change Resiliency Option for Farmers: An Example of Local Adaptation in Vietnam


Increasing frequency, intensity, and duration of severe weather events are posing major challenges to global food security and livelihoods of rural people. This study shows that local experiences of responding to severe weather conditions, accumulated over generations and centuries, is valuable for developing adaptation options to current climate change. This study was aimed at: (i) identifying tree species that reduce vulnerability of cropping systems under climate variability; and (ii) developing a method for rapidly assessing vulnerability and exploring strategies of smallholder farmers in rural areas exposed to climate variability.


Download the study.

Factsheets on Sustainable Forest Management


The Collaborative Partnership on Forests released a set of eight fact sheets on relevant SFM aspects: multiple functions of forests, primary forests, food security and livelihoods, indigenous peoples, REDD-plus, biodiversity, gender and adaptation to climate change.


Available in French, Spanish and English.


Download publications (see right-hand column).

Indigenous Peoples and the Green Climate Fund – A technical briefing for Indigenous Peoples, policy makers and support groups


This new report from Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) and Jaringan Orang Asal Se-Malaysia (JOAS) summarizes some key issues relevant for indigenous peoples, building on statements and policy platforms adopted by Indigenous Peoples’ Caucuses. In particular, the report draws attention to the need for the GCF to improve indigenous peoples’ participation in governance, adopt stronger safeguards, and facilitate direct access to financing for climate change response actions developed and implemented by indigenous peoples.


This report also provides a detailed overview and analysis of the process that led to the setting up of the Green Climate Fund and is meant to be an informative tool for indigenous peoples and other actors interested in the Fund’s activities. In addition, the report identifies a number of key areas in which the GCF must act to better support the participation of indigenous peoples.


Download the full report.

Linking Adaptation and Mitigation through Community Forestry: Case Studies from Asia


In a new RECOFTC publication, editor Regan Suzuki says climate change adaptation and mitigation have often been treated as two separate and independent approaches. The five case studies explored here show that this is not only counterproductive, but also present a strong argument for why the adaptation and mitigation should be integrated. Covering five countries – Cambodia, Indonesia, Nepal, Thailand, and Vietnam – the studies illustrate the significant synergies between mitigation activities such as reducing rates of deforestation and supporting adaptive capacities of rural communities (i.e. forest-based sources of livelihoods, strengthening food security, and investing in agriculture-supporting ecosystems). But the links are not automatically mutually enhancing. Trade-offs exist and must be incorporated and addressed in project design.


Download the publication.
Read the RECOFTC blog.

Opportunities: Conferences, Events and Projects

International FPIC Training


RECOFTC, 5-9 November 2012, Bangkok, Thailand

Application Deadline: 12 October 2012


This training course is designed to develop a basic understanding of FPIC among government officers, field facilitators, and project officers who are directly or indirectly involved in the design and implementation of REDD+ projects.


Learn more about the training.

Mitigation and Adaptation: Managing Forest Conflicts in the Context of Climate Change


RECOFTC, 5-9 November 2012, Bangkok, Thailand

Application Deadline: 20 October 2012


The course helps participants to understand the risks of context of conflict in community forestry in Southeast Asia, including adaptation and mitigation; development of alternative approaches to conflict management; and increasing capacity in negotiation and mediation. A wide range of methods will be used, including case studies, group discussions, role-play, expert inputs, and a field visit.


Learn more about the training.

IV Congreso Internacional de Pagamentos por Serviços Ambientales

Devido í  importí¢ncia estratégica no desenvolvimento de iniciativas e polí­ticas píºblicas relacionadas ao PSA na regií£o e no paí­s, o Estado de Sí£o Paulo foi escolhido como palco para o IV Congresso Internacional de Pagamentos de Serviços Ambientais (PSA) que serí¡ realizado entre os dias 26 a 29 de novembro de 2012, na cidade de Sí£o Paulo.


O Congresso tem como tema central “Avaliaçí£o de impacto e monitoramento socioeconí´mico ambiental”. Durante as diversas sessíµes temí¡ticas que serí£o realizadas durante o Congresso, serí£o enfocados temas como: comunicaçí£o, mobilizaçí£o e capacitaçí£o de atores em iniciativas de PSA; aspectos legais, arranjos institucionais e financiamento para o desenho e implementaçí£o de esquemas de PSA e, procedimentos e metodologias para a avaliaçí£o e monitoramento de serviços ambientais e impactos socioeconí´micos e ambientais de iniciativas PSAs.

Saiba mais e se cadastrar.

IV International Conference on Payments for Ecosystem Services


Due to its strategic importance in the development of initiatives and public policies related to PES in the region and the country, the State of Sí£o Paulo (Brazil) was chosen to host the IV International Conference on Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) which will be held from November 26 – 29, 2012 in the city of Sí£o Paulo.


The central theme of the Conference is “Impact assessment and socioeconomic and environmental monitoring.” During the diverse thematic sessions which will be held during the Conference, themes such as: communication, mobilization and training of stakeholders in PES initiatives, legal aspects, institutional and financial arrangements for the design and implementation of PES schemes, and procedures and methodologies for the evaluation and monitoring of ecosystem services and socioeconomic and environmental impacts of PES initiatives will be key.


Learn more about the Conference and register here (in Portuguese).

Opportunities: Employment

Executive Director, Forest Peoples Program (FPP)


Location: Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire

Application Deadline: 12 October, 2012


Forest Peoples Programme is an international NGO based in the UK, which aids forest peoples to secure their rights and determine their own futures. FPP works to support and strengthen forest peoples’ organizations in South and Central America, Africa, and Asia.


FPP is now seeking an experienced person to take on the directorship of the organization in coordination with the FPP’s Executive Committee and Board members.


The position requires an experienced and dynamic person committed to the continued and successful development of FPP and its values, strategic goals and thematic programs. It requires someone who has the necessary skills and ability to work with FPP’s team of 32 highly dedicated and skilled staff, working with forest peoples across the world. The culturally and geographically diverse FPP staff are managed by FPP’s Executive Committee and led by the Director. The working culture of FPP’s management combines teamwork and consensus-building with focused, strategic direction. Involvement in fieldwork with partners and policy advocacy at the local, national and international levels is also an essential part of the Director’s role.


Learn more about the position.

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