Indigenous people have been developing Life Plans, the long-term sustainable methods to revive and support their way of life, for years. But as they seek funding for implementation, these forest peoples are finding their plans have a lot in common with the carbon finance mechanism that protects forests.
This article was originally posted in the Forest Carbon newsletter. Click here to read the original.
5 March 2015 | Even in the Amazon, you can’t escape PowerPoint. Last month, 80 members of the Gavií£o people met in their territory (called Igarapé Lourdes) in the state of Rondí´nia, Brazil to discuss their “Life Plan.” Dressed in a combination of traditional and western clothes feathered headdresses, ceremonial beads, and jeans the group hung shrouds around the open-air structure to block out sunlight for the presentations.
Life Plans for indigenous peoples have been proliferating across the Amazon for the last 20 years, starting in Colombia in 1992. The plans are shared visions for the future, often built around spatial maps that identify important hunting and harvesting areas, sacred sites, and forested areas, detailed with the quality of cover and species. The Gavií£o’s Life Plan is based on low-impact agriculture and the sale of native crafts and non-timber forest products such as nuts and copaiba oil. It lays out a strategy for preventing unwanted logging by building monitoring stations and strengthening cooperation with police and government agencies.
As they knock up against funding challenges, one question that many Amazonian indigenous groups are now asking is this: Are Life Plans a version of REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation of forests), the carbon finance mechanism that pays for forest protection?
At first glance, Life Plans and the project documentation required around REDD projects seems very different. REDD requires reference levels of deforestation and measurement of carbon stocks technical aspects not found in Life Plans. But the basic principle of fighting the threats to forests by creating long-term economic alternatives is analagous.
During the climate change negotiations in Lima last December, leaders from COICA (Coordinadora de las Organizaciones Indígenas de la Cuenca Amazí³nica), a federation of indigenous organizations across Latin America, discussed the idea of REDD+ Indigena Amazí³nico (RIA), or indigenous REDD.
“We’ve been working on our Life Plan since the 1990s,” said Fermín Chimantani, co-president of Peru’s Amaracaeri Reserve. “We’ve created governance structures, we’ve valued our ecosystem services such as water filtration, biodiversity conservation, and evapotranspiration and we’ve shown that we can use our indigenous vision to save and manage our forest.”
The Gavií£o and the Arara, a neighboring tribe, are exploring the possibility of using carbon finance not at the project but at the jurisdictional level, as has been done in the state of Acre, Brazil. There, the state handles the carbon accounting and earns payments for reducing emissions but then distributes income based on its own criteria and some of it flows to indigenous peoples. Juan Carlos Jintiach, former head of COICA, says most indigenous people will likely bypass project-level REDD which is more directly tied to the carbon markets and go the jurisdictional route.
“Think about all the mega projects that are going to be developed,” said Jintiach. “We know what´s going to happen: islands of deforestation, contamination, and criminal activities but we, the indigenous people of the Amazon, have an answer.”
Read the full story on Life Plans and Indigenous REDD from Ecosystem Marketplace.
And if your organization is developing or transacting offsets from forest carbon projects, be sure to respond to our annual survey&nnbsp;here. The survey informs our State of the Forest Carbon Markets report and is used to understand market dynamics and shape policy around avoided deforestation. The deadline for filling it out is today, March 4 but please get in touch with Allie (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you’d like to provide information.
More stories from the forest carbon market are summarized below, so keep reading.
Ã¢â‚¬â€The Ecosystem Marketplace Team
If you have comments or would like to submit news stories, write to us at email@example.com.
The Forest Carbon Portal provides relevant daily news, a bi-weekly news brief, feature articles, a calendar of events, a searchable member directory, a jobs board, a library of tools and resources. The Portal also includes the Forest Carbon Project Inventory, an international database of projects including those in the pipeline. Projects are described with consistent ‘nutrition labels’ and allow viewers to contact project developers.
|ABOUT THE ECOSYSTEM MARKETPLACE|
Ecosystem Marketplace is a project of Forest Trends, a tax-exempt corporation under Section 501(c)3. This newsletter and other dimensions of our voluntary carbon markets program are funded by a series of international development agencies, philanthropic foundations, and private sector organizations. For more information on donating to Ecosystem Marketplace, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please see our Reprint Guidelines for details on republishing our articles.