Why Local People?

The 450 million people living in and around Asia-Pacific forests hold a vital stake in the success of REDD – and hold the key to healthy forests in this region. They have the closest direct stake in forest resources and will affect the outcome of any forest management strategy, including those aimed at climate change mitigation.

For carbon financing to succeed, it must learn from three decades of community forestry experience and actively engage and benefit local people. REDD schemes must:

First Do No Harm. Local people’s access, use and management rights to forests must be protected. Special care must be taken to ensure that vulnerable groups – including indigenous peoples, the poor, women, and children – are not adversely affected.

Address Local People’s Needs and Aspirations. Local communities and indigenous peoples must be fairly rewarded for the vital environmental services they provide.

Harness Local Knowledge and Skills. Local and indigenous people’s experience and skills in forest management make them indispensible partners in REDD.

To unlock their full potential, forest mitigation measures must therefore:

  • Reward responsible forest management by going beyond REDD to REDD+
  • Secure stronger access, use and management rights for local people
  • Safeguard transparent, equitable and accountable benefit sharing
  • Ensure meaningful participation and effective governance systems
  • Build necessary capacity at all levels

Read more to learn why do Local People Hold the Key to Healthy Forests?

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