SBSTA Working Group on REDD+

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Closing Statement
International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC)
SBSTA Working Group on REDD+
25th May 2012, Bonn, Germany
Thank you chair for the opportunity to present Indigenous Peoples’ views. Indigenous Peoples live from the forests and forests depend on us. Our traditional forest management, conservation and livelihood practices such as shifting cultivation and pastoralism must therefore be recognized and respected. They are not drivers of deforestation but rather adaptive strategies which are being placed at risk by climate change.
Drivers of deforestation are those actions and policies that pose a threat to our survival. Unrestricted demand and consumption of natural resources cause deforestation and undue pressure on indigenous lands and livelihoods and should be dealt with at both the national and international levels. Any activity, program, or action that may be implemented to address drivers must respect our rights to land, territories, resources, traditional knowledge and customary agricultural practices.
MRV- systems must capture the broad range of forest and agricultural values, multiple functions, and ecosystem services and must comply with all safeguards. Indigenous Peoples’ full and effective participation in designing and implementing MRV-schemes must be promoted and recognized, and such schemes are subject to our FPIC. We have the right to conduct our own MRV based on our traditional knowledge. Technical assistance and capacity building must be prioritized and supported.
We call for Safeguard Information Systems that recognize our rights and the multiple values of forests. Reports from such systems should reflect how national laws are aligned with international obligations and instruments such as UNDRIP and ILO Convention169. Additionally, our internationally recognized rights must be respected and secured within all national REDD+ programs, policies and strategies. Independent recourse or complaint mechanisms must be available at all levels.

There is a difference between industrial and indigenous agriculture practices on both forested and non-forest lands. We insist that adaptation be the primary focus of any UNFCCC discussion on agriculture. Security of land and territories, including collective rights, and the recognition and integration of indigenous knowledge systems and practices, must be implemented in any adaptation and mitigation efforts concerning agriculture, and must also include our Free, Prior, and Informed Consent. Finally, emissions from industrial agriculture must be addressed. The expansion of industrial agriculture onto degraded lands requires safeguards, because all too often, Indigenous Peoples are living on these degraded lands, such as the grasslands of pastoralism in Africa.

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