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UN-REDD FPIC Workshop in Panama

The UN-REDD Programme held a consultation with Indigenous Peoples from Latin America and the Caribbean to facilitate the development of guidelines on how to apply the principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) and develop recourse mechanisms for UN-REDD Programme activities during the REDD+ Readiness process.

The UN-REDD Programme convened a four-day workshop between 4-7 October in Panama to advance the development of guidelines for free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) and recourse mechanisms for the UN-REDD Programme. This was the second step of a four-step process that was initiated with a regional consultation on FPIC and recourse mechanisms for the Asia and Pacific region held in Hanoi in June of this year. Draft guidelines developed in Hanoi were reviewed and elaborated by participants during the consultation in Panama. A third regional consultation will be held for the Africa region in January 2011 to receive input from Indigenous Peoples and civil society organizations from this region. Following the Africa consultation, the fourth step of the process will be to open the guidelines to a public comment and input process. The resulting guidelines, reflecting inputs from all three regions, will be added as an annex to the UN-REDD Programme Operational Guidance on the Engagement of Indigenous Peoples and other Forest Dependent Communities.

Participants discuss the practical application of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) at the UN-REDD Programme's recent FPIC workshop in Panama.

This body of work is a crucial component of the UN-REDD Programme’s objectives in the area of stakeholder engagement. As outlined in the Operational Guidance, the UN-REDD Programme is mandated under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) to support the implementation of the Declaration’s provisions. A key guiding principle of the UN-REDD Programme is to adhere to the principle of free, prior and informed consent as essential to ensure full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples and other forest dependent communities in policy and decision-making processes within UN-REDD Programme activities.

The workshop brought together 54 participants from Indigenous Peoples’ organizations, civil society organizations (e.g. the Bank Information Center, ClientEarth, the Forest Peoples Programme, the Center for International Environmental Law, the Rainforest Foundation Norway), representing UN-REDD Programme pilot and partner countries such as Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama, Paraguay, and others, along with participants from UN agencies and the World Bank. Indigenous Peoples and civil society representatives to the UN-REDD Programme Policy Board for Latin America and the Caribbean, and the President of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues also participated.

The opening address was given by Chris Briggs, Team Leader of the Energy and Environment Group of the UNDP Regional Centre for Latin America and the Caribbean, along with Heraclio Herrera from the National Indigenous Peoples Coordinating Body of Panama, COONAPIP (Coordinadora Nacional De Los Pueblos Indígenas De Panama). A special welcome speech was given in the evening by Don Gilberto, Vice President of COONAPIP and Chief of the Kuna from south-eastern Panama, who related a traditional story,  underscoring that solutions to the dire challenge of climate change can only be found with the full participation of Indigenous Peoples.

On the first day of the workshop, presentations by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the UN-REDD Programme set the stage by providing a review of the history and recent local and global developments in REDD+. Representatives from UNDP, UNEP and the World Bank for the region then reported on current UN-REDD Programme and FCPF activities and the main issues of interest in Latin America and the Caribbean. On day two, there were reviews of the legal basis for FPIC under international law, as well as from the perspective of Indigenous Peoples, followed by presentations on current FPIC and stakeholder engagement initiatives under the UN-REDD Programme. Representatives from Indigenous Peoples’ organizations shared experiences on specific country-level approaches to REDD+ stakeholder engagement in Bolivia, Panama, and Paraguay. The UN-REDD Programme’s Regional Coordinator for the Asia and Pacific region gave a detailed presentation on an eight-step pilot FPIC process that was carried out by the UN-REDD Programme in Vietnam in Lam Dong Province. A short documentary on this process is also available online.

During the second half of the workshop, participants formed five working groups tasked with examining different aspects of FPIC and recourse implementation. The groups reviewed key terms and issues to form guidelines for effective consultation processes as well as FPIC and recourse. Two groups also provided an analysis of what specific UN REDD activities FPIC should be applied to. Each group reported on their initial conclusions on day three, allowing for further input and discussion with the broader group.

Some of the 54 participants who attended the UN-REDD Programme FPIC workshop in Panama pose for a picture on the closing day.

There were a number of important issues that emerged, such as the need to make the process appropriate to the regional, national, and local community context where necessary. As the legal frameworks and the historical context of Indigenous Peoples in Latin America and the Caribbean may be quite distinct from other regions, participants stressed that the guidelines should be able to accommodate these differences. The challenges related to providing adequate information on REDD+ at the community level and defining meaningful representation and consent were also raised.

The final guidelines for each topic area were presented on the afternoon of the last day of the workshop. The outputs were a set of strong, practical recommendations for applying FPIC to UN-REDD Programme activities that will be used to update the present draft guidelines. The President of COONAPIP, Betanio Chiquidama, gave the closing address and thanked the participants for their presence in Panama.

A full report on the workshop and a set of draft guidelines for the Latin America and Caribbean region will be developed after this meeting, and will be posted on the UN-REDD Programme’s workspace, which also holds important background documents and copies of all the presentations and working group reports. Please also refer to the UN-REDD blog for posts on the workshop and future updates on UN-REDD Programme activities.

In this issue


New Carbon Maps Contribute to Wider Conservation

UN-REDD-INPE Training on National Forest Monitoring Systems

2 New Countries Join the UN-REDD Programme

New Info on Multiple Benefits for REDD+

REDD+ Partnership Launches New Website
Features & Commentary

Paraguay's National Programme for REDD+ By: Santiago Carrizosa

Biodiversity Benefits of REDD+ Elifuraha Isaya Laltaika
Reports & Analysis

UN-REDD FPIC Workshop in Panama

Looking ahead

FCPF Participants Committee Meeting
1 - 3 November 2010, Washington, D.C., USA

UN-REDD Programme 5th Policy Board Meeting
4-5 November 2010, Washington, D.C., USA

FIP Sub-Committee Meeting
8 November 2010, Washington, D.C., USA

14th International Anti-Corruption Conference
10-13 November 2010, Bangkok, Thailand

UN-REDD/Chatham House Monitoring Governance Workshop
18-19 November 2010, Rome, Italy

29 Nov- 10 Dec 2010, Cancun, Mexico

Forest Day 4, "After Copenhagen: Maintaining the Momentum"
5 December 2010, Cancun, Mexico
For more information and registration click here
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