OPINION: Indigenous peoples are key to a healthier planet - News.trust
Indigenous peoples hold unique experience and world views that can help us combat our crises on climate, nature and global health
David Kaimowitz is the senior forestry officer at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and manager of the Forest and Farm Facility
On 17 February this year, Aruká Juma, the last elder of the Juma people in Brazil’s Amazonian rainforest, died of COVID-19. According to NGO Instituto Socioambiental, he is one of more than a thousand indigenous people to have died from the virus in Brazil, where COVID-19 has affected more than 150 native groups.
The death of an individual has a huge impact on the small indigenous societies in the Amazon, which sometimes count only a handful of families. But with their passing, we all lose ancient systems of knowledge and practices to live sustainably from, and to protect, our forests and wildlife.
As we mark the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples on 9 August, we need to recognize that indigenous peoples are a key to confronting our current planetary emergency. Although they constitute just 6 percent of the global population, indigenous peoples hold unique experience and worldviews that can help us combat our crises on climate, nature and global health.
One step in the right direction this year was the launch of the first major report by a United Nations agency that recognizes and rigorously documents that indigenous peoples are the best guardians of our forests. The report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Fund for Development of Indigenous Peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean presented indisputable evidence that indigenous peoples and African-descendant forest communities in Latin America address deforestation and biodiversity loss better than anyone else.
By doing so, they also fight climate change. In fact, titled indigenous territories in the Bolivian, Brazilian and Colombian Amazon avoid between 42.8 million and 59.7 million metric tons of CO2 emissions per year. That’s the equivalent of taking between 9 million and 12.6 million vehicles out of circulation for a year.
The Latin America findings have been reinforced at a global scale in a recent study by the World Wide Fund For Nature, which states unequivocally that biodiversity goals are unattainable without the full inclusion of indigenous peoples and local communities, whose lands cover around 32% of the world’s land surface.
However, for indigenous peoples to be able to continue to protect the forest effectively, they need everyone’s support. Countries will have to invest in projects that strengthen the role of Indigenous and tribal peoples in forest governance and bolster and recognize communal territorial rights. We need to compensate indigenous and tribal communities for all the environmental benefits their forests provide and facilitate indigenous forest management. Funding for climate and biodiversity needs to be specifically allocated for these purposes. And finally, we need to ensure that indigenous peoples have a seat at the table. This year there will be four major global meetings at which indigenous voices must be heard.
For the first time, indigenous peoples will have their own category of membership at the World Conservation Congress in September, reflecting the increasing recognition of their central role in conservation. The United Nations Food Systems Summit in September will also highlight indigenous peoples’ role in global food systems. Not only are many indigenous food systems more diverse, sustainable, and nutritious, the rainforests these groups manage help to sustain rainfall, lower local temperatures and serve as carbon sinks, with huge benefits for agriculture elsewhere.
At the United Nations Biodiversity Conference in October, world leaders will be asked to commit to the “30x30” plan, which would protect at least 30 percent of land areas by 2030. This target – less than nine years away – can only be achieved by working together with indigenous peoples and respecting indigenous land rights.
The Climate Chance Summit Africa 2023 will bring together on the 23rd, 24th and 2th of October 2023 at the Palais des Congrès in Yaounde 1,500 African actors from the "climate community": high-level personalities, experts, actors in the field, representatives of local governments, businesses and organised civil society.
Celebrations for World Environment Day 2023 kicked off in host-country Cote d’Ivoire, as millions of people prepare for similar activities across the world. Venues across the capital city, Abidjan – from its historic lagoon to its first modern art museum - shone the spotlight on this year’s theme #Beat Plastic Pollution.
Congo Basin Carbon brings together information on various research and education projects in the Yangambi and Luki MAB Reserves in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Through this website we hope to strengthen research networks and improve project visibility, specifically for carbon research. Tropical rainforests such as the forests of the Congo Basin comprise nearly half of the world’s vegetation carbon. Intact tropical forests represent a carbon sink at a level that is higher than other vegetation types. The issues of carbon stocks, sinks and sources in tropical forests are therefore a central topic in international policy debates on climate changes.
At last year’s United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP26), 141 leaders committed to halt and reverse forest loss and degradation by 2030. Forests, particularly tropical ones, are known to play a crucial role in removing carbon from the atmosphere, partially offsetting the effect of greenhouse gas emissions. This is a highly valuable service to the global climate, meaning the world should be willing to pay to ensure it happens. In this policy note, we look at just how valuable that service is, and put that in the context of aid efforts to protect forests.
During the process of photosynthesis, trees naturally absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Rainforests act as important 'carbon sinks' stemming global heating. The Congo rainforest is the planet’s most important “lung,” new data has revealed. The world’s rainforests absorb huge amounts of carbon dioxide, slowing down global warming.
The world is getting a better understanding of just how important forests are in the global fight against climate change. New research, published in Nature Climate Change and available on Global Forest Watch, found that the world’s forests sequestered about twice as much carbon dioxide as they emitted between 2001 and 2019. In other words, forests provide a “carbon sink” that absorbs a net 7.6 billion metric tonnes of CO2 per year, 1.5 times more carbon than the United States emits annually.
This brief describes the first efforts to integrate agroforestry with charcoal production in the Yangambi tropical forest landscape. Activities resulted in both increased food crop production and reforestation, as well as the establishment of producer-led local associations and greater collaboration between communities and local authorities.
The GEF Secretariat prepared this document to summarize the GEF’s potential role in a financial mechanism for the internationally legally binding instrument under negotiation under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity of Areas beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ). The document is prepared to help inform deliberations. It also includes questions and answers to key issues raised thus far by countries. GEF’s role as Convention Financial Mechanism: The GEF serves as a/the financial mechanism for five Conventions, namely the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Minamata Convention on Mercury, Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Chemicals, UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), and UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
On May 8, 2023, in the BOUN'S Hotel conference, in Yaoundé, a workshop was held to launch the process of drawing up the Cameroon Country Investment Plan (CIP) on the nexus of transboundary transhumance, protected areas, peace and security, and development. Please download the final communiqué of the workshop...
Geneva and Yaoundé, 26 May 2023. The Ministry of Economy, Planning and Land Planning of Cameroon (MINEPAT) and CAFI are launching two Calls for Expressions of Interest today to all relevant implementing organisations concerned, representing a maximum of 60 million US$.
WWF is supporting the Government of Cameroon in her effort to restore more than 12 million hectares of degraded landscapes in the country. In 2017, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife committed, on behalf of the Government of Cameroon, to restore 12,062,768 ha of degraded landscapes under AFR100 and the Bonn Challenge by 2030. Of these, 80% are in the three northern regions of Adamaoua, North and Far North; with the remainder in the high plateau, Centre region, vast forest and coastal areas (Mangroves).
As part of our ongoing commitment to promoting transparent and accountable governance of climate and environmental funds, we are pleased to invite you to two upcoming online sessions. These sessions will offer valuable insights, strategies, and best practices for combating corruption, and reinforce our collective efforts to create a more sustainable future. We hope you will join us for these important discussions.
International Day for Biological Diversity, celebrated each year on 22 May, is an opportunity to not only acknowledge the crucial role healthy biodiversity plays in the survival of the planet but also to assess the nature crisis. With the theme ‘From Agreement to Action: Build Back Biodiversity,’ this year’s Day follows the historic adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework by 196 nations at the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties in Montreal, Canada, in December 2022.
Bukavu, May 10, 2023 – The Kahuzi-Biega National Park (PNKB) is deeply saddened to announce the death of its ecoguard Alain Lukinga, born in Kakongya on June 12, 1989, who sacrificed his life for the protection of the PNKB in an armed clash in Cibumbiro between the villages of Kajeje and Lukananda in the Mudaka groupement, in Kabare territory in South Kivu.
From April 19 to 20, 2023 a workshop for the development of a national investment plan for Nigeria on transhumance and related topics was held in Abuja, NIGERIA. This workshop, funded by the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) Facilitation of the Federal Republic of Germany, aimed to...
The SWM Programme is the first international initiative to tackle the wild meat challenge by addressing both wildlife conservation and food security. It is an initiative from the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), funded by the European Union with co-funding from the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM) and the French Development Agency (AFD).
In a bid to boost indigenous people and local communities’ (IPLC) engagement in wildlife protection around Lobéké National Park in Southeast Cameroon, Lobéké Management has signed social pacts with 34 Bantu and Baka communities in the Park. Thirty-four social pacts were signed between the communities and the Lobeke Management in December 2022, with each pact corresponding to a community project worth FCFA 300,000.
This report highlights the impacts of direct as well as indirect deforestation through mining. It presents for the first time ever the deforestation embodied in the consumption of products and showcases the extensive deforestation potential that artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) can have on forest ecosystems.
A new toll road in Indonesia’s East Kalimantan province is under construction to improve access to the interior of Borneo, including to the nation’s new capital city, Nusantara. Construction of the road, however, poses immediate environmental risks, as the route cuts through a forested area with high conservation value that connects the Sungai Wain protected forest, coastal mangroves, and Balikpapan Bay. Prior to road construction, the integrated forest and coastal ecosystem supported populations of orangutans, sun bears, proboscis monkeys and Irrawaddy dolphins. Conservationists say the construction of this toll road belies the Indonesian government’s claims that the development of the new capital will be green and sustainable.
The tobacco industry causes a fifth of Zimbabwe’s forest loss. What is being done to minimise this? At the beginning of this century, the Zimbabwean government embarked on an audacious land reform programme, ostensibly to correct the injustices suffered by local people when the land was colonised. The controversial programme saw an estimated 170,000 black Zimbabwean families – mostly small-scale farmers – taking over agricultural production from about 3,000 white-owned farms.
SAN MARTÍN, Peru (AP) — The Cordillera Azul National Park on the eastern flank of the Peruvian Andes takes in a sweep of Amazon rainforest, mountains and waterfalls in a territory about the size of Connecticut, so precious that tens of millions of dollars in carbon credits have been sold in a program that supporters said would protect its trees.
To fight climate change and biodiversity loss, the new law obliges companies to ensure products sold in the EU have not led to deforestation and forest degradation. While no country or commodity will be banned, companies will only be allowed to sell products in the EU if the supplier of the product has issued a so-called “due diligence” statement confirming that the product does not come from deforested land or has led to forest degradation, including of irreplaceable primary forests, after 31 December 2020.
A number of reports have found that an Indonesian government program to establish large-scale agricultural plantations across the country has led to deforestation. More than 1,500 hectares (3,700 acres) of forests, including carbon-rich peatlands, have been cleared in Central Kalimantan province for the so-called food estate program, according to a spatial analysis by the NGO Pantau Gambut. Last year, the NGO Kaoem Telapak detected 100 hectares (250 acres) of deforestation in food estate areas in North Sumatra. Villagers whose lands have been included in the program have also reported an increase in the severity of floods since their forests were cleared to make way for the food estates.
Press release 3 May 2023 | The German government will make two billion euros available for the Green Climate Fund (GCF). German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced the commitment at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin today. This makes Germany the first major donor to announce its contribution for the upcoming pledging conference for the Green Climate Fund. The conference will take place in Bonn on 5 October and will be chaired by Development Minister Svenja Schulze. The Green Climate Fund is one of the largest climate action funds of the world. The creation of the fund was an important objective of the developing countries, which have an equal say in how funds are spent on climate mitigation and adaptation projects in developing countries.
With GEF and LDCF support, Nespresso, IUCN, and TechnoServe are working together to promote more sustainable and resilient coffee farming practices in South Kivu. Antoinette Shabanyere’s 1,800-tree coffee farm in the South Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is at the forefront of efforts by local communities to adapt to climate change.
The Second Consultation Meeting (CM-2) for GCF’s second replenishment (GCF-2) was held on 27-28 April. Hosted by GCF and moderated by Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, the replenishment facilitator, the two-day virtual meeting convened over 100 current and prospective contributors where they received updates on GCF and discussed matters related to the replenishment process.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Country Representative, Suze Percy-Filippini is impressed with the progress made by the department of Forestry in the implementation of the Forest Farm Facility –FFF Program in the Choma District of Southern Province.
This case study forms part of a series of six case studies on mobilizing internal finance within Forest and Farm Producer Organization (FFPOs) prepared by forest and farm FFPOs for the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF). It describes the Jwa Ngwaane Community Cooperative Credit Union, established by the Kassena Nankana Baobab Cooperative Union (KANBAOCU) through the mobilization of 96 Village Savings and Loans Associations.
The African Regional Exchange, a three-day workshop co-organized with CIFOR-ICRAF, the Kenya Forestry Research Institute and the Kenya Forest Service, brought together farmers, bankers, governments, and development partners from across Africa to discuss ways to ensure smallholder farmers have access to the finance they need to improve and scale up sustainable forest and farm management practices.
This agrobiodiversity case study (No.6) from Zambia is the sixth of six case studies prepared by forest and farm producer organisations (FFPOs) for the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF). It describes the actions of the Choma District Tree Nursery and Growers Association (CDTNA). CDTNA represents 111 members, either individual nursery growers or collective enterprises that furnish diverse tree seedlings for forest and agroforestry restoration projects across Southern Zambia.
Oyéoussi Charles Balogoun is the Africa Representative of the NGO Panel under the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). The Civil Society Panel (CSO Panel) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) represents nearly 500 organisations accredited to the Convention. Charles Balogoun is also the Global President and Chairman of the Board of the non-governmental organisation (NGO) Afrique Espérance. He answers ENVIRONNEMENTALES’s questions on the state of desertification in Africa.
A common vision of sustainable finance is being developed in Central Africa. The project is at the heart of an international forum scheduled for 8 and 9 May 2023 in Douala, Cameroon, under the theme « Trajectories towards sustainable finance ». An initiative of the Bank of Central African States (BEAC), in partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Sustainable Banking and Finance Network (SBFN).
Delegates to the Sixth Meeting of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development emphasized the need for forward-looking, high-impact initiatives involving all relevant actors, to enable the structural transformations Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) needs to “resume and sustain the path to 2030.”
Kenya loses 2–2.4 percent of its gross domestic product annually due to the effects of climate change, such as drought and floods according to according to a 2018 Kenya National Bureau of Statistics study. Droughts alone cost the country 8 percent of GDP every five years. Arid and semi-arid rangelands (ASALs) occupy over 80 percent of Kenya’s landscape, and are home to about 36 percent of the total human population, and seventy per cent of the nation’s livestock and 90% of wildlife. Livestock's contributions account for 80 percent of household incomes in arid lands, and 65 percent in semi-arid lands.
Sitting at the forefront of the climate crisis, forest and farm producer organizations (FFPOs) have a vital role in supporting smallholder resilience and attaining climate change and biodiversity goals. Together, their members have a transformative potential to achieve sustainable development and respond to climate change at scale.