Panamanians Reject UN Forest Plan

Panamanians Reject UN Forest Plan

Indigenous people in Panama are asking the United Nations to close down its global forestry programme, REDD, in their country.

REDD – Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation – is designed to slow climate change by preventing the destruction of the world’s most vulnerable forests. It is a key part of the UN’s attempts to tackle a warming climate, and failure in Panama will have impacts much further afield.

The demand, by the National Coordinating Body of Indigenous Peoples in Panama (Coonapip), will test a provision of the 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which says they have the right to refuse projects and investments which affect their natural resources.

“When it comes to the forests of Panama, we are not mere stakeholders to be consulted”, said Betanio Chiquidama, president of Coonapip and cacique (chief) of a reserve that is home to more than 33,000 people in the east of the country.

“More than half the country’s forests are on the lands of indigenous people. How can an effective plan to save these forests be negotiated if the indigenous leaders are not at the table?

“The pressure on the forests has never been greater – for food, fuel, fibre and mineral exploration. But we also know that there are other lands that could be used for these purposes; the answer is not to kill our forests.”
Mistrust

Instead of safeguarding the forests for the indigenous people of Panama, the chief argues, the UN scheme is being used to wrest control of the forests from them for exploitation by outsiders.

Coonapip says plans to apply REDD in Panama were turning into an attempt to weaken indigenous people’s control over their land and to wear down resistance to the possible exploitation of natural resources.

It accuses the REDD programme of sidelining indigenous leaders, preventing them from playing a full part in REDD planning activities, and failing to guarantee respect for their rights.

Chiquidama was quoted by the London Guardian as saying: “We thought REDD was going to help us strengthen our rights over our territories because no one looks after the forests like we do. It sought to do the opposite, and we have lost all trust in the UN.”

For its part, the UN says it thinks the dispute is about money and the control of projects, and that it is complicated by relations between the indigenous groups and the Panamanian Government.

Canadian researchers have found that slightly more than half of Panama’s mature forests lie in indigenous areas, where forest cover averages 70-80%.  A 2010 estimate found nearly 60%, or 4,294,000 hectares, of Panama to be forested.

Christine Halvorson, of the Rainforest Foundation US, said the Canadian researchers’ work reinforced other studies which showed that indigenous peoples were significantly more able than any other public or private land-owner to protect biologically valuable forests.
Prime example

She said: “Any plan aimed at reducing climate change should strengthen the rights of the indigenous people to the forests that are central to their lives and livelihoods. Without the participation of those most likely to be impacted, efforts to save the world’s forests likely will fail.”

Panama was one of the first countries to implement REDD and has been praised as a success story for the programme and as an example of the benefits of strong land rights for indigenous people.

“In theory, implementing REDD readiness in Panama should have been easier than most, given the strength of its indigenous peoples and their success in forest management,” said Andrew Davis of the Salvadoran Program for Research on Development and Environment (PRISMA), a Central American NGO.

“It should be a red flag that REDD has run into such serious problems related to the participation of indigenous peoples.”

Hector Huertas Gutierrez, a lawyer who works with Coonapip, said the group understood REDD’s value and had tried to negotiate with the Government of Panama for a more meaningful role in the negotiations over it.

“We were not being heard,” Huertas said. “But now that we are here, we feel as if a door may be opening. Our people are ready to listen.” REDD officials have commissioned an evaluation responding to the group’s concerns. – Climate News Network

enafarzh-CNzh-TWdanltlfifrdeiwhihuiditjakomsnofaplptruesswsvthtrukurvi

follow InnerSelf on

facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconinstagram iconpintrest iconrss icon

 Get The Latest By Email

Weekly Magazine Daily Inspiration

LATEST VIDEOS

The Great Climate Migration Has Begun
The Great Climate Migration Has Begun
by Super User
The climate crisis is forcing thousands around the world to flee as their homes become increasingly uninhabitable.
The Last Ice Age Tells Us Why We Need To Care About A 2℃ Change In Temperature
The Last Ice Age Tells Us Why We Need To Care About A 2℃ Change In Temperature
by Alan N Williams, et al
The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that without a substantial decrease…
Earth Has Stayed Habitable For Billions Of Years – Exactly How Lucky Did We Get?
Earth Has Stayed Habitable For Billions Of Years – Exactly How Lucky Did We Get?
by Toby Tyrrell
It took evolution 3 or 4 billion years to produce Homo sapiens. If the climate had completely failed just once in that…
How Mapping The Weather 12,000 Years Ago Can Help Predict Future Climate Change
How Mapping The Weather 12,000 Years Ago Can Help Predict Future Climate Change
by Brice Rea
The end of the last ice age, around 12,000 years ago, was characterised by a final cold phase called the Younger Dryas.…
The Caspian Sea Is Set To Fall By 9 Metres Or More This Century
The Caspian Sea Is Set To Fall By 9 Metres Or More This Century
by Frank Wesselingh and Matteo Lattuada
Imagine you are on the coast, looking out to sea. In front of you lies 100 metres of barren sand that looks like a…
Venus Was Once More Earth-like, But Climate Change Made It Uninhabitable
Venus Was Once More Earth-like, But Climate Change Made It Uninhabitable
by Richard Ernst
We can learn a lot about climate change from Venus, our sister planet. Venus currently has a surface temperature of…
Five Climate Disbeliefs: A Crash Course In Climate Misinformation
The Five Climate Disbeliefs: A Crash Course In Climate Misinformation
by John Cook
This video is a crash course in climate misinformation, summarizing the key arguments used to cast doubt on the reality…
The Arctic Hasn't Been This Warm For 3 Million Years and That Means Big Changes For The Planet
The Arctic Hasn't Been This Warm For 3 Million Years and That Means Big Changes For The Planet
by Julie Brigham-Grette and Steve Petsch
Every year, sea ice cover in the Arctic Ocean shrinks to a low point in mid-September. This year it measures just 1.44…

LATEST ARTICLES

green energy2 3
Four Green Hydrogen Opportunities for the Midwest
by Christian Tae
To avert a climate crisis, the Midwest, like the rest of the country, will need to fully decarbonize its economy by…
ug83qrfw
Major Barrier to Demand Response Needs to End
by John Moore, On Earth
If federal regulators do the right thing, electricity customers across the Midwest may soon be able to earn money while…
trees to plant for climate2
Plant These Trees To Improve City Life
by Mike Williams-Rice
A new study establishes live oaks and American sycamores as champions among 17 “super trees” that will help make cities…
north sea sea bed
Why We Must Understand Seabed Geology To Harness The Winds
by Natasha Barlow, Associate Professor of Quaternary Environmental Change, University of Leeds
For any country blessed with easy access to the shallow and windy North Sea, offshore wind will be key to meeting net…
3 wildfire lessons for forest towns as Dixie Fire destroys historic Greenville, California
3 wildfire lessons for forest towns as Dixie Fire destroys historic Greenville, California
by Bart Johnson, Professor of Landscape Architecture, University of Oregon
A wildfire burning in hot, dry mountain forest swept through the Gold Rush town of Greenville, California, on Aug. 4,…
China Can Meet Energy and Climate Goals Capping Coal Power
China Can Meet Energy and Climate Goals Capping Coal Power
by Alvin Lin
At the Leader’s Climate Summit in April, Xi Jinping pledged that China will “strictly control coal-fired power…
Blue water surrounded by dead white grass
Map tracks 30 years of extreme snowmelt across US
by Mikayla Mace-Arizona
A new map of extreme snowmelt events over the last 30 years clarifies the processes that drive rapid melting.
A plane drops red fire retardant on to a forest fire as firefighters parked along a road look up into the orange sky
Model predicts 10-year burst of wildfire, then gradual decline
by Hannah Hickey-U. Washington
A look at the long-term future of wildfires predicts an initial roughly decade-long burst of wildfire activity,…

 Get The Latest By Email

Weekly Magazine Daily Inspiration

New Attitudes - New Possibilities

InnerSelf.comClimateImpactNews.com | InnerPower.net
MightyNatural.com | WholisticPolitics.com | InnerSelf Market
Copyright ©1985 - 2021 InnerSelf Publications. All Rights Reserved.