Those are but some of the conclusions in this third Accra Caucus Report, launched during the latest round of the UNFCCC June talks in Bonn.
Based on case studies from Guyana, Nepal, Indonesia, Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the report argues for the need for policy and legislative reforms that embrace social as well as environmental issues.
It follows that measures designed to improve forest governance, in particular securing the tenure rights of forest dependent peoples, must be at the forefront of future efforts to halt forest loss.
Strong safeguards as a prerequisite
There is already compelling evidence that greenhouse gas emissions reductions will occur as a co-benefit of public policies and laws, delivering a broad range of social, economic, environmental and cultural benefits to people on the ground.
In other words, the implementation of strong safeguards should not be seen as a burden, but rather as a prerequisite for the ability of REDD+ to address forest loss, including the protection of the rights and livelihoods of forest peoples, biodiversity and the ecosystem services of natural forests.
International declarations far from practice
The case studies in the third Accra Caucus Report illustrate the risks which threaten to undermine the success of REDD+. Parties to the UNFCCC as well as other international REDD+ institutions must ensure that the international framework and incentives do warrant truly sustainable forest protection, and respect the human rights of forest dependent communities.
REDD+ Safeguards: More than Good Intentions? Case studies from the Accra Caucus
The third Accra Caucus Report was launched by the Accra Caucus on Forests and Climate Change at a well attended meeting in Bonn on June 11 2013.
Speaking at the lauch were
- Pasang Dolma Sherpa from the Indigenous Peoples Network (NEFIN) in Nepal.
- Adrien Sinafasi of the indigenous Peoples Dynamic Group (DGPA) in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- Benardus Steni of HuMa, Indonesia.
- Eric Parfait Essomba of the Centre for Environment and Development (CED) in Cameroon.
The Accra Caucus has followed the international REDD+ negotiations since 2008, and its members are heavily involved in advocating for a rights-based approach, to ensure that the rights of forest peoples are respected and form an integral part of efforts to tackle forest loss. Indigenous peoples and other forest-dependent communities have generally been the main defenders of tropical forests.