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8 April 2010
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Fourth Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) Dialogue on Forests, Governance and Climate Change

6 April 2010 | London, England

The fourth RRI Dialogue on Forests, Governance and Climate Change opened in the Stationers’ Hall, London, UK.

The fourth Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) Dialogue on Forests Governance and Climate Change opened on Tuesday, 6 April 2010 in London, UK, attended by representatives of more than 20 countries. Two sessions took place in the morning, addressing: (1) perspectives on the reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, plus conservation (REDD+) process, architecture, standards and role of non‐governmental actors; and (2) issues, options and recommended principles and criteria for proposed interim and global REDD+ architectures.

During the first session, participants heard reports from representatives of the French and Norwegian governments on the results of the International Conference on the Major Forests Basins, held on 11 March 2010, in Paris, France (the Paris Meeting) and the process and proposed outcomes for follow-up meeting in Oslo, Norway (the Oslo Meeting), respectively. Representatives of indigenous peoples and civil society then gave their perspectives on the Paris-Oslo Initiative, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process and other REDD+ issues. During the second session, RRI introduced principles and criteria for effectiveness in emerging REDD+ arrangements, followed by the panel discussion on proposals from civil society, communities and indigenous peoples on the architecture of REDD+.

Download the IISD RS summary of the Dialogue in HTML or PDF format.

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Climate Change Policy & Practice
Andy White, Coordinator, RRI, welcomed participants from more than 20 countries and outlined the day’s programme.
Marcus Colchester, Director, Forest Peoples Programme (FPP), expressed concern that indigenous peoples were not allowed to participate in the Paris meeting.

Session One

From Copenhagen to COP 16 Cancun

Session One Panel (L-R): Chair Andy White, RRI; Rosalind Reeve, Forest Campaign Manager, Global Witness and civil society observer to the UN Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD) Programme; Hans Brattskar, Government of Norway’s Climate and Forest Initiative; Estebancio Castro Diaz, Kuna Yala Nation and indigenous observer to the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF); Paul Watkinson, Head climate negotiator, Ministry of Ecology, Energy and Sustainable Development, France.
Hans Brattskar expressed hope that an interim REDD+ partnership arrangement could be established in Oslo, and emphasized that Norway is fully committed to engaging civil society in the process leading to the meeting.
Paul Watkinson reported on the results of the International Conference on Major Forest Basins in January in Paris, emphasizing France’s commitment to transparency.
Estebancio Castro Diaz emphasized the importance as well as difficulties for indigenous peoples to participate in international processes.
Rosalind Reeve gave the Paris Meeting “one out of ten” and UN-REDD “eight out of ten” for stakeholder engagement.
Dialogue participants mingled in the coffee break.

Session Two

Proposed Interim and Global REDD+ Architectures

Session Two Panel (L-R): Chair Frances Seymour, Director General, Center for International Forestry Research; Jean-Aubéric Charles, President, Fedération des Organisations Autochtones de Guyane; Nabaraj Dahal, Federation of Community Forestry Users, Nepal; Francesco Martone, Policy Advisor, Responsible Finance Programme, FPP; Dan Nepstad, Senior Scientist, The Woods Hole research Center, Insituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazônia.

Francesco Martone said a REDD+ architecture must be the outcome of a truly participatory process and questioned whether the current time-scale of the Paris-Oslo process would allow for this.
Dan Nepstad focused on how to achieve the goal of the interim REDD+ partnership intention to move ahead to secure progress towards “increasing compliance-grade nationwide REDD+ programmes on a global scale”.
Introducing Session Two, Chair Frances Seymour urged participants to provide specific examples of how the Paris-Oslo process could be made more transparent.
Chair Seymour asked participants to consider the need for an interim REDD+ partnership.
Jeff Hatcher, RRI, Independent Advisory Group on Forests, Livelihoods and Climate Change, presented on the state of play on proposed interim and global REDD+ architectures.
Jean-Aubéric Charles stressed the need for legal protection for indigenous peoples’ rights.
Nabaraj Dahal emphasized the benefits of multi-stakeholder ownership, and the need to enable people to feel ownership of REDD+.

Participants held a lively discussion on proposed interim REDD+ architectures.
Simon Counsell, Executive Director, The Rainforest Foundation
Ian Redmond, UN Environment Programme - Great Apes Survival Partnership
Per F.I. Pharo, the Government of Norway's International Climate and Forest Initiative
Lidiane Melo, Brazilian Forest Service, Ministry of the Environment

Participants enjoyed lunch in the beautiful surroundings of the Stationers’ Hall.

In the first afternoon session, participants discussed implications of the proposed architectures on adoption and implementation of standards, safeguards, and recourse mechanisms. The Dialogue concluded with a final session on the way forward, including a panel discussion which summarised the day’s work towards identifying critical issues to be addressed and next steps to be taken in Oslo, Bonn and Cancun. Some of the key issues included: increasing participation of civil society and indigenous peoples’ organizations in decision-making at the national and international levels, the appropriate pace for developing the REDD+ architecture, and the need for incentives to reward protection of forests, and for building trust among participants.

Session Three

Ensuring Social Protections, Progress and Accountability – Implications of the proposed architectures on adoption and implementation of standards, safeguards and recourse mechanisms.

Session Three Panel (L-R): Session Chair Michael Jenkins, President, Forest Trends; Jim Penman, Department of Energy and Climate Change, UK; Madhu Sarin, Campaign for Survival and Dignity; Edilberto Dogirama, Coordinadora Nacional de Pueblos Indigenas de Panamá; Peter DeWees, Lead Environment Specialist and Programme on Forests’ Manager, World Bank; and Abyd Karmali, Managing Director, Global Head of Carbon Markets, Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Session Chair Michael Jenkins, opened the afternoon’s dialogue.

Jim Penman expressed “a considerable hope” for Cancun, noting that REDD+ can provide a positive example of sectoral engagement.

Madhu Sarin underlined the importance of the robustness of the enforcement mechanism for the rights of communities and called for the transparency of the discussions.

Peter DeWees provided an overview of the proposed safeguards approach, and emphasized the importance of beginning to consider indigenous peoples from a development, rather than a safeguard, perspective.

Edilberto Dogirama provided an overview of the experience of indigenous peoples of Panama with REDD.

Abyd Karmali stressed that the private sector would like to have high standards of performance in place which would discourage “carbon cowboys”.

Session Four

The Way Forward

Christina Voigt, Senior Advisor, Government of Norway’s Climate and Forest Initiative, emphasized the importance of finding a balance between inclusiveness and effectiveness, saying that time is of the essence and the price of inaction will be much higher than action. 

Joji Cariño, Tebtebba Foundation, expressed concern about the UNFCCC’s understanding of multi-stakeholder processes and partnerships, and suggested it needs to learn from other processes.

Juan Manuel Torres Rojo, Director General, National Forestry Commission, Mexico, highlighted the participatory issues associated with the REDD process, emphasizing the need for a well-organized mechanism for communication, and noting that Mexico will be hosting six REDD-related events this year, to which all are invited.

Lilian Yeng, Tapumu Community, Ghana, and civil society observer to the Forest Investment Programme, underscored the importance of educating people in indigenous communities about REDD, and suggested taking time to analyze issues carefully instead of pushing forward only to return to the same issues in the future.
Kyeretwie Opoku, Coordinator, Civic Response, expressed hope for the future, noting that we are in a historical moment, but called for more attention to the fundamental issues of peoples’ rights and development.

Nathaniel Dyer, Policy Advisor on Climate Change and Forests, Rainforest Foundation UK, asked about the influence of the Paris-Oslo initiative on the UNFCCC process and noted some good ideas on how to increase transparency emerged at this meeting, such as submissions, increasing timelines, workshops and meetings.

David Ritter, Greenpeace UK, suggested considering what civil society can do to help Norway to pursue the agenda.

Jose Carlos Fernandez, Head of International Affairs, Government of Mexico, described the goal of a proposed interim partnership as improving existing mechanisms and not creating new ones and said that the Cancun conference needs to be a trust-building exercise.

At the end of the day’s dialogue, participants continued their discussions at a reception.
Related Links

RRI Resources
Meeting web site
Previous RRI Dialogues

General resources
International Conference on the Major Forest Basins, 11 March 2010, Paris, France

UN Forum on Forests (UNFF)

IISD RS resources
IISD RS coverage of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, 7-19 December 2009, Copenhagen, Denmark
IISD RS coverage of the Forty-fifth Session of the International Tropical Timber Council & Associated Sessions of the Committees, 9-14 November 2009, Yokohama, Japan
IISD RS coverage of the Eighth session of the UNFF, 20 April - 1 May 2009, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America
IISD RS coverage of the Nineteenth Session of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Committee on Forestry, 16-20 March 2009, FAO Headquarters, Rome, Italy
IISD RS archive of forestry meetings and backgrounder
IISD RS archive of climate change meetings and backgrounder
Climate-L - A mailing list for news on climate change policy issues
Forests-L - A news and announcement list on forest policy issues
Linkages Update - Bi-weekly international environment and sustainable development news
MEA Bulletin - Newsletter on key MEAs and their secretariats
Climate Change Policy & Practice - News and information on the actions of international organizations in responding to the problem of global climate change
African Regional Coverage

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