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Imperatives for REDD+ Sustainability: Non-Carbon Benefits, local and indigenous peoples

By Søren Hvalkof
This paper focuses on the importance of Non-Carbon Benefits in REDD+ delivered by indigenous peoples and forest dependent communities.

Through three case studies it exemplifies how indigenous peoples and local communities contribute to REDD+ by delivering specific Non-Carbon Benefits. The cases show that the performance of indigenous peoples and local communities is an essential and indispensible part of the sustainability of REDD+.

Titling of indigenous territories protects and increases tropical forest cover
The first case presents evidence from a study measuring land use over a 50-year period in the Peruvian Amazon and shows how demarcation and titling of indigenous community territories has led to increased forest cover, due to the sustainability of the indigenous production system. This is compared with non-indigenous cattle raisers’ production in the same location over the same time span, which has led to high deforestation rates and a self-destructive and stagnating economy.

The study illustrates the importance of NCBs to REDD+, and particularly the effects of land demarcation and titling of indigenous communities, its impact on governance and democracy, on social structures and livelihoods, and on environment and forest cover. The case shows that NCBs are both land tenure rights as well as subsistence and coffee production, illustrating the synergy between rights, carbon and economic benefits for the indigenous population.

Introducing indigenous and community-based monitoring systems for monitoring biodiversity
The second and third case study focus on the capacity of local communities to monitor biodiversity and resources in Madagascar, Nicaragua, Philippines and Tanzania (Case 2) and in Indonesia, China, Laos and Vietnam (Case 3).

Both studies make a controlled comparison between local community monitoring and trained scientists’ monitoring and conclude that local and indigenous communities generate similar and equally good outputs as the trained scientists, and are much more cost efficient.

The cases suggest that it is fully possible to build a cheap and effective MRV system based on community monitoring of NCBs.


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Editorial: IBIS, CARE, IWGIA and Forests of the World

Diciembre 2013
Main editor: Stine Krøijer
27 páginas