SBSTA: Language on drivers putsindigenous livelihoods at risk
London, 19 June (Kate Dooley) – Concerns wereexpressed by several developing countriesincluding Bolivia, Tuvalu, the Philippines andalso by Indigenous Peoples over a draft decisiontext on addressing the drivers of deforestationand forest degradation which implicatedindigenous peoples livelihoods with the driversof deforestation. These concerns were expressed at a contactgroup set up under the Subsidiary Body onScientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) onthe issue of ‘methodological guidance foractivities relating to reducing emissions fromdeforestation and forest degradation and the roleof conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocksin developing countries (REDD+)’, as well asduring the final SBSTA plenary on 14 June. Thecontact group met several times during the Bonnsession (3 – 14 June) and one of the issues it wastasked to address relates to addressing the driversof deforestation. The text which raised concerns reads as follows:“
that livelihoods may be dependent onactivities related to drivers of deforestation andforest degradation and that addressing thesedrivers may have an economic cost andimplications for domestic resources”. At the final contact group meeting on June 13,
made an intervention related to this textin the draft decision. Bolivia noted that it wantedto echo the concerns of Indigenous Peoples withregards to the paragraph in the preamble andexpressed concern that this paragraph equally implicates indigenous peoples along with largeand small industry. It said that indigenouspeoples are engaged in the sustainablemanagement of forest, which is related to thelinkages between the conservation of forests andtraditional livelihoods, but these traditional usesare not the same as the drivers to deforestation.
Peter Graham (Canada) responded thatthe text had been intended to convey the ideathat if certain drivers were addressed, than thelivelihoods of local communities and indigenouspeoples may be indirectly gaining value fromthese activities. He said the intention was not toimply that indigenous peoples are the drivers butthat they may be gaining value from activitiesthat may drive deforestation, and in suchsituations, national strategies need to bedeveloped with consideration of the impact onindigenous peoples and local communities. The Chair than welcomed observers to the opencontact group, recalling the mandate of thiscontact group, as expressed in decision 1/CP.16 Appendix II (work programme on REDD+);decision 12/CP.17 (guidance on systems forproviding information on how safeguards areaddressed and respected and modalities relating to forest reference emission levels and forestreference levels as referred to in decision1/CP.16), and decision 1/CP.18 paragraphs 38,39 and 40 (matters relating to support forimplementation of REDD+ activities, theconsideration of how non-market-basedapproaches, such as joint mitigation andadaptation approaches for the integral andsustainable management of forests, could bedeveloped and the initiation of work onmethodological issues related to non-carbonbenefits resulting from the implementation of REDD+ activities). The Chair noted that since the last contactgroup, Parties had engaged in a number of ‘informals’ and many hours of drafting, and thatthe conclusion text had now been accepted and would be forwarded to the SBSTA plenary. Henoted that the conclusion text contained two