The failures in land diversity ambitions

| 2nd September 2021 |
Logging and agribusiness projects have contributed to Sabah's high rates of forest loss and degradation. Photo: Sophie Chao.

Logging and agribusiness projects have contributed to high rates of forest loss and degradation. Photo: Sophie Chao.

Indigenous peoples, shifting cultivators and rural women lose out under the UN REDD+ programmes.

A significant number of studies show that REDD+ schemes promote land grabs and human rights abuses. 

The rights of affected Indigenous and local communities to Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) are rarely carried out under the United Nations "reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing" (REDD+) countries schemes.

And a wealth of evidence shows that Indigenous peoples, shifting cultivators and rural women lose out in particular.

Based on my reading of REDD+ carbon offset schemes over the last 10 years or so, I am alarmed by the impacts of REDD+ on the rights of Indigenous and local communities on the ground. 

This series of articles has been published in partnership with Dalia Gebrial and Harpreet Kaur Paul and the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung in London. It first appeared in a collection titled Perspectives on a Global Green New Deal.

Discrimination

I’m increasingly dubious that they work in carbon terms, and can deliver zero deforestation and the necessary forest finance at the speed and scale that we need for a 1.5C world.

Global peasants movements, community-based (CBOs) and civil society organisations (CSOs) see REDD+ as another form of commodification and privatization of the commons and point to first-hand and extensive documented evidence that pilot REDD+ forest carbon schemes are simply not working – for local forest-dependent communities or in climate change terms.

A significant number of studies show that REDD+ schemes promote land grabs and human rights abuses, cause conflict over Indigenous and customary land rights, create disputes over carbon rights, carbon credits, carbon leakage and community compensation payments.

They are riddled by weak governance, weak participation and ‘elite capture’, and increase discrimination against rural women, tribal and Indigenous peoples.

This Author

Alex Wijeratna is a campaign director for Mighty Earth, based in UK.

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