COP20 is expected to deliver a footprint for future negotiations that will lead to a global binding agreement on climate to be adopted at COP21 in December 2015 in Paris. Thus far, discussions and negotiations on land-based mitigation – including forests – have only paid lip service to the need to ensure respect for the rights of indigenous peoples and forest-dependent peoples and communities.
Governments and decision-makers are gathering now in Lima to adopt a series of decisions and agree on a draft paper that will inform the negotiations towards Paris 2015. Land-based mitigation such as REDD+ is one of the key elements in both the ‘Intended Nationally Determined Contributions’ and in plans toward 2020.
Human rights must be at the centre of deliberations in Lima and robust rights-based approaches must be enshrined in future agreements adopted in Paris 2015. Forest peoples everywhere are calling for a more inclusive public debate and a greater emphasis on the fact that where forest peoples’ rights are secure and respected, forests are also secured for future generations, and remain healthy and intact – a view supported by a growing body of scientific and empirical evidence.
Without securing forest peoples’ land and territorial rights in line with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and in accordance with State obligations under related human rights instruments, it is unlikely there will be any halt to the accelerating destruction of forests globally.
“Governments and companies must recognise, respect and restitute the rights of communities. Governments must also terminate and suspend permits allocated to unjust development projects that violate communities’ rights and damage and destroy the forest. Only by guaranteeing and protecting rights and recognising the communities that manage forests can deforestation truly be curbed and the wellbeing of forest peoples be secured,” said Franky Samperante, PUSAKA.
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The 9-14 March 2014 International Workshop on Deforestation and the Rights of Forest Peoples was jointly organized by the Forest Peoples Programme (FPP), PUSAKA and POKKER SHK Kalteng in Palangka Raya, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. The Workshop brought together forest peoples from South America (Peru, Colombia, Guyana, Paraguay), SE Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia) and Africa (Liberia, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo), NGO allies, governments, international agencies and forest scientists, to discuss new research-based case studies documenting the direct and indirect drivers of deforestation in specific countries, to share and update insights into the causes and consequences of deforestation, to discuss how to tackle deforestation, and to promote forest peoples’ rights and livelihoods. Click here for the Palangka Raya Declaration.