Climate Change Program
For more information about CIEL's Climate Change Program, contact Niranjali Amerasinghe.
Climate Change Current Activities - Forests and Climate Change
Forests and land use changes account for 10-20% of global carbon dioxide emissions every year. If designed well, international efforts to reduce deforestation provide important benefits for forest ecosystems and the peoples dependent upon them. If designed poorly, there could be irreversible damage to the earth’s forests and the peoples whose livelihoods depend upon them.
CIEL’s work on forests and climate change aims to ensure that ecosystems are protected and indigenous peoples' and local communities' rights are secured in the emerging international framework for forest conservation. Our work focuses on three principal areas: (1) design and operationalize policies and mechanisms to safeguard rights, (2) enhance support for indigenous peoples and local communities interested in asserting their rights to lands, territories, and resources, and (3) promote coherence among international treaties and bodies with competence in the area of forests and indigenous peoples.
As the international community works to on policies to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD), CIEL works with key decision makers and influencers--including indigenous leaders, government negotiators, influential nonprofits, and staff of intergovernmental organizations such as the World Bank Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), Forest Investment Program (FIP) and UN-REDD to identify and work through sticking points related to the full realization of rights.
CIEL works to support REDD policies that include the necessary provisions to safeguard rights and ensure the equitable distribution of benefits and full engagement of indigenous peoples and other local communities. We promote policies consistent with a rights-based approach to development and endorse the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), including the application of free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) and rights to lands, territories, and resources.
In addition to offering in-depth legal and policy analysis to prepare for REDD discussions— including those involving the UNFCCC, FCPF, FIP, UN-REDD, and CBD--we attend negotiating sessions and collaborate with diverse constituencies to help improve laws, policies, and decisions in order to better support forest ecosystems and the peoples that depend upon them.
Our approach regarding forests and climate is three-fold:
1. Provide technical support to others:
In collaboration with others, provide technical support and cultivate partnerships to protect traditional, livelihood-critical resources and assert rights.
2. Engage in direct advocacy:
Design and operationalize policies and mechanisms spanning the scope of REDD activities to safeguard assert the rights of indigenous peoples and other local communities to the lands, territories, and resources essential to maintaining traditional livelihoods.
3. Improve linkages across institutions:
Facilitate coherence within the international system by strengthening linkages among the various treaties and institutions to reinforce protections for forests and indigenous peoples and other local communities. Work to ensure coherence among the various international treaties or bodies with competence in the area of forests and indigenous peoples and other local communities, particularly in view of the upcoming 2012 Earth Summit.
- Select international agreements relevant to rights and REDD (November 2011)
- Are Safeguards REDD-Ready? World Bank CSO Panel for 2011 Spring Meetings (April 2011).
- Safeguards, Gender, and REDD," for Oxfam's Gender, REDD, and Social Safeguards Workshop (March 2011)
- Safeguards and REDD+, Rights and Resources Initiative Ninth Dialogue of Forests, Governance, and Climate Change (London, February 2011).
- Free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) and recourse," UN-REDD regional consultation with Indigenous Peoples organizations in Africa (January 2011).
- Towards a rights-based approach to conservation, Governance and Rights: What works? Towards effective and equitable conservation for biodiversity and livelihoods, 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (October 2010).
- "The legal foundations of free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) and recourse," UN-REDD regional consultation with Indigenous Peoples organizations in Latin America (October 2010).
- "FPIC in the current international context," Yale Tropical Forest Dialogue (October 2010).
- "Background and legal context for free, prior, and informed consent in the United Nations system," UN-REDD regional consultation with Indigenous Peoples organizations in Asia (June 2010).
- "Safeguards and REDD: A Primer," Rights and Resources Initiative, Safeguards workshop (April 2010).
- "Considerations for a UNFCCC Complaint Mechanism," presented during negotiations held under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Nov. 2009).
- U.S. endorses UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
- CIEL comments on UNDRIP (July 2010)
- Implementing a rights-based approach to REDD (June 2009)
- Ensuring integrity of safeguards for the FCPF: letter to the facility management team (June 2010)
- Considerations for a UNFCCC complaint mechanism ( video presentation ) (Nov 2009)
- Safeguards and REDD (May 2010)