Human Rights, Corporate Responsibility in Forest Programmes/Projects EGM on Indigenous Peoples and Forests, UNPFII, New York, 12-14 Jan. 2011 Victoria Tauli-Corpuz Executive Director, Tebtebba
Outline • History of indigenous peoples’ rights to forests • Forests and Climate Change (REDD Plus) • Recommendations on the following • Measures to incorporate human rights based approach and compliance with international human rights law • Measures to strengthen corporate accountability • Enforcement of laws and policies
History of indigenous peoples’ rights to forest/forest resources • Customary rights as pre-existing order • State appropriation of forests and introduction of statutory tenure undermining customary tenure systems- • Systematic undermining of indigenous knowledge systems and forest management and governance ( contestation) • Reasons for appropriation: • Forests as strategic frontier-timber/minerals/oil/gas • Privileged access to resources: patronage politics • Cultural hegemony (terra nullius, scientific forestry) • Traditional uses and management of forests criminalized
History of Indigenous Peoples’ rights to forests • Centralized control of states over forests (20th and 21st century) • Highly unequal power relations • Settlers brought into forests (transmigrants, colonists,etc.) • Effects of exclusion/criminalization • Trespassers in own home/squatters in own forests • Threats to cultural survival • Livelihoods & wellbeing undermined • Forest tenure transition: • Partial recognition of claims/usufruct rights, titling • Latin America > Asia > Africa • But ineffective rights of exclusion
History… • Forest dwelling and forest dependent indigenous peoples found in most remote and isolated areas • Popular protests against centralization (l970s)- rubber tappers (Acre) Chipkoandolan (India), Philippines,etc. • Devolution of forest management to local governments, communities, NGOs, Community Forests, Adaptive Collaborative Management (ACM) – mixed results (good, bad, ugly), • Some conclusions on work and studies of devolution, community forests , ACM • In some tropical forests the only element of sustainability in forest management is the indigenous system. • indigenous peoples/ local communities represent an underutilized resource in forest management/have biggest stake in managing forests well.
History… • Government and industry have done badly managing many forests • Indigenous peoples have been managing forests for millenia. • Forests and forest resources treated as the domain of “public interest” that fundamental rights of people living in forests or using them have been traded in the name of the greater social good. • Poverty alleviation for forest peoples framed in terms of meeting national objectives of economic development not in protecting right to self-determination of peoples. • Devolution processes were not IP nor gender-sensitive.
Forest tenure transition 2002-2008in 25 of 30 most forested countries Source: Sunderlin et al. 2008
Forest Tenure: Regional Differences Source: Sunderlin, et al. 2008.
Where is Extensive Poverty and Slow or No Economic Growth? • Extensive, chronic, poverty in forest areas (highest “rates”, across the world) • “Growth” located in urban, coastal areas • “Forest rich” countries, and forest regions doing significantly worse • ITTO producer countries doing even worse (poverty too is a function of privileged business model)
Where Human Rights are violated and What is the Status of Governance? • At least 15 million people lack citizenship recognition – including hill tribes of SE Asia, most Pygmies of Congo Basin • Lack of respect for property rights; when governments claim 75% of world’s forests – “myth of empty forests’ prevails resulting in illegal conservation, concessions to non-owners, dispossession and refugees • Women disproportionately disadvantaged, politically, legally, economically and culturally – not a “boutique” or “luxury” issue • Corruption, limited rule of law, limited accountability, judicial redress • Lack of basic public services, forests as “hinterland”, exploited by distant elite Forest areas: about 30% of global land area, over 1 billion of world’s poorest: socially and politically disenfranchised
In the past twenty years 30 countries in the tropical regions of the world have experienced significant conflict between armed groups in forest areas. Source: D.Kaimowitz ETFRN NEWS 43/44 Where is Conflict Taking Place? 53% of African forest area, 22% of Asian forest: over 127 million people directly affected – “land” key driver in 40-70%
Status of Governance: Is it a Function of Development/Industry Models • The ITTO producer countries score lower in all categories, and for the 3 represented above, this difference is statistically significant (.05 double tailed t-test). • This tends to show that it is not merely the presence of forest, but of a large forest industry correlated to poor governance performances.
Forests and Climate Change • Deforestation and forest degradation account for 13-17% of annual global greenhouse gas emissions • Deforestation not addressed by the Kyoto Protocol; only afforestation and reforestation in CDM (tedious procedures, so very few projects.) • Deforestation is occurring mainly in tropical forest countries which are all non-Annex I countries • Drivers are multiple and diverse
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization tables on changes in forested land by country: www.fao.org/forestry/site/32033/en/ The UN Food and Agriculture Organization tables on changes in forested land by country: www.fao.org/forestry/site/32033/en/
REDD Plus • REDD • Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation • Plus: • - Enhancement of Carbon Stocks • Conservation • Sustainable Management of Forests 16 16
Objective of REDD Plus • OBJECTIVE OF REDD PLUS • Develop and promote policy approaches and positive measures including compensation to tropical forest countries to stop deforestation,reduce forest degradation, enhance forest carbon stocks, sustainably manage forests, conserve forests and to contribute to reduction of CO2 emissions and removals or sequestration of CO2. 17 17
What are the risks? • If we do not settle the questions of rights and tenure of indigenous peoples in REDD Plus • Potential Risks of: • Expanded civil conflicts, • Further social and political marginalization of indigenous and forest peoples • Continued deforestation and increased carbon emission • Undoing of governments and “development • Forest sector: Haven’t dealt with past, not yet equipped for the future – what needs to be done? 18
What are the risks? • REDD+ can constrain forest-based livelihoods • REDD+ compensates high deforesters (perverse incentives) and not those who have protected forests. • Elite capture of benefits • Not just an ethical problem, but threat to effectiveness of REDD+ • Rich industrialized countries will not cut emissions at domestic level but buy forest carbon credits from tropical forest countriesto comply with their obligations. 19
What are the risks? • Indigenous peoples often lose out when new resource exploited • Forest carbon is a major new commodity – using the market as the main source of funding for REDD+ , instead of public funds. • If no knowledge and awareness raising, no rights improvement, and no power, indigenous peopleswill lose out again 20
Opportunities: Where is the hope? • engagement with REDD Plus processes to influence the design and architecture at global/ national/local levels. • Push for needed policy, tenure and institutional reforms on indigenous peoples’ rights (Indonesia,Kenya,etc.) forests, good forest governance (transparency/accountability) , rationalizing the “public domain” • Develop tools to Monitor,Report, Verify (MRV) • Design of mechanisms for equitable sharing of benefits • Integration of indigenous peoples' knowledge systems and practices on forest management. 21
Opportunities: Where is the hope? • Agreement reached in Cancun on REDD Plus contains language on the following: • A system for providing information on how the safeguards are being addressed and respected throughout the implementation of the activities • A robust and transparent national forest monitoring system for the monitoring and reporting REDD Plus, if appropriate, subnational monitoring and reporting as an interim measure. 22
REDD Plus Language adopted in Cancun • Need to respect the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, noted the adoption of UNDRIP • Address the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, land tenure issues, forest governance issues, gender considerations and the safeguards • Ensuring the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples and local communities; • Be consistent with the objective of environmental integrity and take into account the multiple functions of forests and other ecosystems 23
REDD Plus Language adopted in Cancun • Actions are consistent with the conservation of natural forests and biological diversity, ensure non-conversion of natural forests, • Actions to incentivize the protection and conservation of natural forests and their ecosystem services, and to enhance other social and environmental benefits; • Annex 111: SBSTA • Identify land use, land-use change and forestry activities in developing countries, in particular those that are linked to the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, 24
CHALLENGES: • Assert that rights to the forest carbon should not be separated from indigenous peoples’ land and forest rights • Attention to financial accountability and transparency in benefit sharing systems • Policy makers should better understand what is at stake in rights and REDD+ • Be proactive, not reactive • Make consultations truly inclusive and educational • Anticipate where tenure-related problems are likely to emerge and resolve ambiguities early 25
RECOMMENDATIONS • Measures to incorporate human rights based approach and ensure compliance with international human rights law. • Massive awareness raising on international standards on indigenous peoples’ rights and forests: UNDRIP/ILO Convention No. 169, Non-legally binding agreement on Forests, Forest Policy of the World Bank, etc. • HR Conventions and UN Treaty Bodies – CERD, Human Rights Committee, CESCR, Convention on the Rights of the Child, CEDAW, etc.
Measures to incorporate human rights based approach and ensure compliance with international human rights law. • Massive awareness raising on international standards on indigenous peoples’ rights and forests: UNDRIP/ILO Convention No. 169, Non-legally binding agreement on Forests, Forest Policy of the World Bank, etc. • HR Conventions and UN Treaty Bodies – CERD, Human Rights Committee, CESCR, Convention on the Rights of the Child, CEDAW, etc. • Regional HR bodies: Africa Commission on Peoples and Human Rights, IACHR, AseanCHR, etc. • Training-Workshops on how to use the Treaty Bodies and development of reports for these bodies.
Measures to incorporate human rights based approach and compliance with international human rights law. • Awareness raising and training on other multilateral and bilateral policies on indigenous peoples and forests –e.g. WB policies on IPs, Forests; UNDP Policy of Engagement with IPs, IFAD Policy, FAO Policy, etc. • Training on how to use grievance or complaints mechanisms: e.g. WB Inspection Panel, IFC CAO (Ombudsman), ADB Inspection Panel, IADB, etc. • Trainings on how to operationalize the HRBA in planning, implementation, evaluation of development policies and programmes for government officials, indigenous peoples, NGOs,etc.
Measures to incorporate human rights based approach and compliance with international human rights law. • Understanding national laws and policies related to indigenous peoples’ rights, forests, land, natural resource management and analysing coherence of these with international human rights law and instruments (UNDRIP, etc.) • Monitoring and reporting on human rights situations of IPs in forests • Develop and use initiatives to promote transparency and governance on forests including; FLEGT, Report Card developed by Global Witness, Governance of Forests Initiatives (WRI), PROFOR (WB), etc.
Issues to examine under transparency,accountability and governance in forests • Transparency norms: Official mechanisms, policies, laws, etc. that permit public access to information: e.g. Freedom of Information Act • Legal standing of indigenous peoples: do they have legal standing and laws recognizing their rights? • Forest Legal Framework –existence or not of policies on forest tenures, are forest lands under clear ownership titles • Access to decision making – IP Participation in public decision making on forest issues; Forest Forums, etc. • Allocation of permits / user rights: transparent
Measures to incorporate human rights based approach and compliance with international human rights law. • Logging operations: When an area of forest is identified for allocation to any sort of concessionaire, is this publicly advertised so that the opportunity for new permits / user rights is open to anyone? • Is there transparent independent verification (due diligence) of the eligibility of any applicants for forest permits? Is information on locations for other forest products given to the public? • Do permits exist for all uses / services? In addition to logging permits, are there any permits for conservation-activities, environmental services (e.g. water conservation, or carbon storage), or eco-tourism services in forests?
Measures to incorporate human rights based approach and compliance with international human rights law. • Is there a strategic process to assessing priorities between development options? • Is there a Strategic Environmental Assessment to identify and resolve conflicting land uses between forests, mining, large-scale agriculture and infrastructure development? Does the National Forest Policy document seek to address this? Do any policy documents from the other sectors? • Fiscal regime: tax collection and redistribution To what extent does the law provide for taxes, royalties, or any other benefits to be collected from permit holders and given to affected communities? Are any laws or regulations regarding this implemented effectively?
Measures for corporate accountability • If there are legal frameworks, FPIC policies and laws are there well-defined and clear enforcement mechanisms? • Corporations say their accountability depends a lot on State laws and policies.