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Features & Commentary

The Oslo Forest and Climate Conference: A REDD+ partnership agreement beyond state partners

In last month’s newsletter, Civil Society representative to the UN-REDD Programme Policy Board, Pacifique Mukumba Isumbisho, called on the Oslo process to stay squarely focused on the rights of forest communities.

This month, Pacifique Mukumba Isumbisho shares his views on the outcomes of the conference and argues that monitoring of stakeholder engagement and fair participation is key to set up a transparent organizational framework.

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On 27 May, the Oslo Climate and Forest Conference gave new impetus to the partnership to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. Fifty states drew up an agreement describing the intent of their governments to establish a platform with a view to scale up REDD+ operations. Among other things, the agreement stresses the need to engage stakeholders and to develop an organizational framework.

REDD+ pilot countries in Africa, specifically the DRC, Zambia and Tanzania, participated in this partnership under the auspices of the UN-REDD Programme and the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF). Constant monitoring is necessary at every step to reassure stakeholders, although negotiations on REDD+ are carried out under the UNFCCC.

Local communities, Indigenous Peoples and civil society have theoretically been stakeholders in the process since the African pilot countries were involved in negotiations on climate change. During discussions under the auspices of the UN-REDD Programme and FCPF, these governments have often reiterated that all stakeholders were duly involved in the drafting of all documents before their submission.

A pygmy from the Ituri district in the Oriental Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

According to some observers, efforts made by those governments for the inclusion of such stakeholders should be reinforced. It is felt that due to the large size of some countries, the strategies implemented in the consultation process and limited material and financial resources, most Indigenous Peoples and other communities are sometimes prevented from participating effectively in the REDD+ process.

It appears that the opinion and consent of those local and Indigenous communities are not sought. Everything here suggests that communities are poorly informed and consulted, if at all, as compared to other stakeholders, whose endorsement is part of the process, including the government, the private sector, bilateral partners and donors.

Engaging stakeholders
Some argue that the engagement of communities and civil society in the REDD+ partnership should be based on fair participation, and ensure that everyone has the right to appeal human rights violations suffered during the course of the REDD+ process. For example, a legal process of forest title conversion was underway in DRC, but communities had no right of appeal whereas other stakeholders (the private sector) did. Initiatives taken within the REDD+ partnership must absolutely involve the promotion of human rights.

Implementing an organizational framework

A pygmy from Eringeti, Beni, in the Province of Nord-Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A transparent, international and decentralized organizational framework must be developed at the national level to implement agreements coming from the REDD+ partnership. Databases should be made available to the public and funds allocated.  Operations and results obtained by various partners should be widely disseminated. Partners should be accountable to the parties, and should report and share operations and output with communities. Civil society should use this organizational framework as a basis to monitor and follow up with the REDD+ partnership process. The key issue here is how it can carry out its operations without the necessary resources.

The REDD+ partnership creates real opportunities to ensure the sustainable protection of forests. Without strict monitoring of the engagement and fair participation of stakeholders, and without a transparent organizational framework, the partnership will face serious difficulties.

Pacifique Mukumba Isumbisho

Pacifique Mukumba Isumbisho is the Executive Director of the Support Center for Vulnerable Indigenous Pygmy and Minority Indigenous Peoples (CAMV) in Democratic Republic of Congo and is also the Civil Society Representative from Africa on the UN-REDD Programme Policy Board.   



In this issue


UN-REDD at the Bonn Climate Change Talks

Monitoring Governance Safeguards for REDD+

MRV Workshop in Mexico

UN-REDD at World Environment Day

UN-REDD Indonesia website launch
Features & Commentary

Supporting REDD+ Readiness in UN-REDD Partner Countries By: Josep Gari & Tim Boyle

The Oslo Forest and Climate Conference: A REDD+ partnership agreement beyond state partners By: Pacifique Mukumba Isumbisho
Reports & Analysis

UN-REDD Supports National Governance Systems for REDD+

Expert Report on REDD+ and Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Looking ahead

Measurement‚ Reporting and Verification (MRV) Joint Workshop with UN-REDD‚ GEO & CONAFOR
22 -24 June 2010‚ Guadalajara‚ Jalisco‚ Mexico

18th Commonwealth Forestry Conference
28 June - 2 July 2010‚ Edinburgh‚ Scotland
Previous Issue

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

Dec 2009 / Jan 2010

February 2010

March/ April 2010

May 2010
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