First initiative to develop REDD standards through global public consultation process
Copenhagen, Denmark – Failing to put the interests and
rights of people first will undermine efforts to reduce carbon emissions from
deforestation and squander the real opportunity that exists for these efforts to
also contribute to poverty reduction and forest conservation goals. A new set of
global standards released at the Copenhagen climate change conference today
directly tackles this concern.
Framed around eight fundamental principles, these standards provide countries
with a way of demonstrating the social and environmental benefits of their REDD
programs to both their own citizens and the wider international community. At
the same time they provide safeguards against the potential negative social and
environmental impacts of REDD that are of such great concern to Indigenous
Peoples and other forest-dependent peoples.
This REDD+ Social and Environmental Standards Initiative is unique in the way
that it is developing global standards that can be applied across all countries
implementing REDD, in using a global public consultation process, and in the way
that the governments and civil societies of REDD countries are at the forefront
of the initiative.
In the case of Ecuador, after over a year of implementing a domestic policy
oriented to provide an incentive to land owners who voluntarily decide to
protect their forest, ensuring social benefits is of paramount importance for
the Ministry of Environment. One of the main aims of this policy, called Socio
Bosque, is to deliver direct economic benefits to Indigenous Peoples and other
local communities who participate in Socio Bosque.
"In addition to providing the economic incentive, it is important for the
Ministry of Environment to ensure that other social benefits are met," says
Marco Chiu Advisor to the Undersecretary of Natural Patrimony in the Ministry of
Environment - Ecuador. "Therefore, the REDD+ Social & Environmental
Standards represent probably the best opportunity at the moment not only to
influence future policies on REDD but also to check the actual delivery of other
social benefits through the implementation of Socio Bosque."
The REDD+ Social and Environmental Standards can be used by a wide range of
agencies involved in implementation of national REDD programs including
government agencies, NGOs, grass roots organisations of Indigenous Peoples and
other forest-dependent peoples and financing agencies.
Mr. Bhola Bhattarai, General Secretary of Federation Of Community Forestry
Users, Nepal (FECOFUN) said that "REDD should focus on social and environmental
issues so the initiative on standards is at the heart of sustainable and
equitable community forestry. It is important to strengthen governance,
environmental justice and payment for environmental services in REDD and
forestry. It is also critical to support safeguarding the rights of Indigenous
Peoples and local communities in REDD implementation process at national to
This global initiative is facilitated by CARE International and the Climate,
Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA).
Joanna Durbin of CCBA said: "Protecting forests to prevent climate change
needs the support of the delegates here in Copenhagen, but it also needs to have
the support of the people who depend on these forests to survive. These
standards have been created through a very inclusive process listening to the
concerns of the people at the front-line of REDD in developing countries."
Phil Franks of CARE said: "many forest peoples have high expectations for
REDD – that their crucial role as stewards of much of the world’s natural forest
will at last be fully recognised. But there is also real concern that REDD will
finance ill-conceived protection measures that will seriously undermine the
livelihoods and rights of forest peoples. These risks are particularly
significant for Indigenous Peoples, women and other marginalised groups. These
standards are a key element of a global effort to minimise these risks and make
their hopes a reality."
Based on input from the first round of public consultation, this newly
released version of the standards has been prepared by representatives of
diverse stakeholder groups including Indigenous Peoples, community associations,
social and environmental NGOs, the private sector and governments from countries
where REDD will be implemented. It will go into a second public comment round in
January. After this, the standards will be tested in pilot countries, such as
Nepal, Ecuador, Tanzania, Brazil and Indonesia starting in 2010.
The standards can be reviewed at www.climate-standards/REDD+
For more information or interviews, contact:
Sandra Bulling, firstname.lastname@example.org , Mobile#: +45 5311 2644
email@example.com , Mobile#: +1 202 549 3953
firstname.lastname@example.org , Mobile#: +1 571 232 0455
Or visit our websites:
Federation of Community Forestry Users, Nepal (FECOFUN): www.fecofun.org/
Ministry of Environment – Ecuador: www.ambiente.gov.ec