IISD: Sixteenth Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) Dialogue on Forests, Governance, and Climate Change – “Investments, Communities and Climate Change – Risks and Opportunities”
On 30 October 2014 the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) hosted its 16th Dialogue on Forests, Governance and Climate Change in Lima, Peru, in partnership with the Instituto del Bien Comun (IBC). Over 100 participants took part in four separate panel-led discussions, featuring key representatives from governmental, non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations. In addition, proceedings were made available via live webcast.
The Dialogue was focused around the theme of "Investments, Communities and Climate Change: Risks and Opportunities." In the morning, participants took part in a panel-led discussion on challenges associated with overlapping rights, drivers of deforestation, and investments. The Munden Project released a new report that determined that indigenous and local communities inhabit over 90% of resource concessions issued in key tropical countries.
The second panel addressed safeguards, standards and climate change, including World Bank programmes related to reducing deforestation. A presentation on the rising influence of Chinese investment in Latin American land and resources was followed by extensive discussion regarding associated regulations and impact. Another panelist highlighted successes and challenges experienced by Afro-Colombian communities in securing land rights.
In the afternoon, panelists discussed possible solutions to protecting land rights in the context of climate change, and lessons learned that could inform future efforts to secure land rights in the context of REDD+. They highlighted government programmes encouraging the conservation and sustainable use of tenured forest areas; the need for including the principle of free, prior and informed consent in policies related to indigenous communities and their land; and inclusive participatory processes when formulating policy. Participants also called for indigenous communities to be granted a higher level of engagement within the UNFCCC COP, to be held in Lima, 1-12 December 2014.
In concluding remarks, Andy White, RRI, thanked participants for taking part in the Dialogue, and urged greater engagement from governments and the private sector in the future. Margarita Benavides, IBC, noted the important role that indigenous peoples play, due to their special relationship with the land and the natural world.