Accelarating Inclusion and Mitigating Emissions (AIME)
June 2015

FROM THE CHIEF OF PARTY

We are pleased to bring you this 1st issue of the AIME Forest-Based Livelihood Consortium Newsletter where we will share some of the Consortium?s collective work. The nine organizations that form the Forest-Based Livelihoods Consortium are uniting their experiences and vision to deliver benefits to local forest communities in Latin America from climate change mitigation initiatives. Rural and indigenous peoples are key stewards of forests in Latin America and the proper engagement of these people in climate change mitigation is critical, such as in REDD+. The participation of these people should contribute to securing their land tenure rights, increase their adaptation to climate change, and improve their ability to manage their forests, harnessing initiatives and investments that truly channel benefits to local communities. Existing and emerging climate change policies and mechanisms have yet to engage and benefit local communities appropriately. Working directly with representative organizations of key communities, such as COICA, Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests, and other leading organizations, on conservation and climate change, AIME is creating opportunities for local communities to be included and directly benefited from climate change mitigation efforts.

Roberto "Beto" Borges

The Forest-Based Livelihoods Consortium (FBL), a partnership of nine environmental and indigenous organizations led by Forest Trends, is implementing a five-year program with the support of USAID to empower forest-dependent communities to more fully contribute to and directly benefit from climate change mitigation efforts. This program, called Accelerating Inclusion and Mitigating Emissions (AIME), operates in Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Central America, and Mexico. The Consortium is comprised of: Forest Trends, Coordinadora de las Organizaciones Ind?genas de la Cuenca Amaz?nica (COICA), Earth Innovation Institute (EII), EcoDecisi?n, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Gamebey ? Metareila Association of the Surui People (Metareila), Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM), Programa Salvadore?o de Investigaci?n sobre Desarrollo y Medio Ambiente (PRISMA), and Pro-Natura Sur (PNS).

AIME is building the capacity of indigenous peoples and other forest-based communities to improve the governance of their territories and forests. AIME also supports the design of natural-resource utilization activities that are REDD+ compatible and aligned with the ?Planes de Vida? (Life Plans) of indigenous people. Furthermore, AIME helps key jurisdictions across Latin America to expand processes and help institutional/policy frameworks to be more inclusive of the rights and views of forest-dependent communities. AIME also helps private-sector actors better understand and value partnerships with indigenous and traditional communities. The work of AIME begins in the forest communities themselves and strives to:

  • Support each community?s Life Plan, a roadmap for economic and social development, based on a participatory process and the culture of the community;
  • Develop training programs and processes to build capacities for territorial governance and control in indigenous organizations;
  • Ensure recognition, protection, and economic incentives for indigenous and community contributions to public good, such as forest conservation, climate change mitigation, and local benefits;
  • Create tools that help indigenous people engage with the private sector more confidently and productively on resource management in general and carbon credits in particular;
  • Improve the capacity of sub-national governments to play a critical role in community-based REDD+ programs, with a focus on developing legal, regulatory, and administrative frameworks to support fair inclusion of indigenous and Afro-descendent communities in REDD+; and
  • Bring community, local, and regional government and private-sector representatives together to develop new approaches to REDD+ projects.

AIME FBLC AT COP20

AIME Forest-Based Livelihoods Consortium (FBLC) was an active participant at the 20th session of the Conference of the Parties that took place in Lima, Peru, from 1 to 14 December. AIME partners participated in numerous meetings and workshops to discuss the agenda and development of REDD and other initiatives with a range of stakeholders.

COP20 was especially significant for COICA, which called for its concept of Indigenous REDD to be adopted within the emerging climate regime under the principle of collective action and based on indigenous understanding. COICA invited more than 300 indigenous leaders from around the world to participate in events at the Indigenous Pavilion (http://www.cop20.pe/en/voces-por-el-clima-2/pabellones/pabellon-indigena/) and other venues. This meeting provided numerous opportunities to impress on a global audience that the recognition of the territorial and human rights as well as the traditional knowledge of indigenous and forest communities is central not only to the conservation of many of the world?s remaining forests, but to the well-being of all. Indigenous and community leaders had opportunities to meet with high level officials of Colombia, Brazil, Peru and other countries to propose specific mechanisms to support Indigenous REDD, including a proposed $240 million ?Living Indigenous Amazon for Humanity Fund.? AIME resources were critical to this level of engagement.

Central to the week's events was a presentation by four AIME members at a meeting entitled "REDD+ for All: Experiences Enhancing Stakeholder Engagement in REDD+." Michael Jenkins, founding President of Forest Trends, began the presentation by introducing the overall goals of AIME. Jorge Furagaro of COICA followed, presenting COICA's vision for the Amazon Indigenous REDD (RIA, Red Ind?gena Amaz?nica). Gasoda Surui of METAREILA then spoke about the highlights of the Surui REDD+ project. Daniel Nepstad of EII closed the presentation by sharing the vision and strategy for nesting indigenous territories within jurisdictional REDD+ programs. Nepstad also discussed the need for a context in which projects like Amazon Indigenous REDD+ (RIA) and REDD+ need to be positioned, and how it is possible to work with subnational and national governments to create a framework in which these projects can be more effective and work at scale. This presentation offered an opportunity to connect the work of the FBLC with a broader international audience and to explain how the experience and tools developed through AIME can be used by others. To view the entire presentation click here (the AIME program begins at minute 24:06).

Consortium partners also participated in other side events, including one on indigenous Life Plans, CMARI and an Indigenous Amazon Fund. Throughout the week, two videos concerning RIA CMARI-Inirida, produced by Forest Trends and COICA, were shown, and 200 copies of the video were distributed.

https://vimeo.com/115520323 https://vimeo.com/116352541
Toucan
Amazonian
Lake
Farmer
Flower image

These videos show how indigenous territories with no deforestation also need to be supported in the framework of REDD+, and how that might come about.

EII, the Sustainable Tropics Alliance (STA), IPAM and PNS released a cross-cutting report on the drivers of deforestation and the opportunities and barriers to implementing low-emission rural development (LED-R) in select AIME regions. The report was presented at the Global Landscapes Forum. This document, Fostering Low-Emission Rural Development from the Ground-Up, is undergoing revision and expansion, with a second version anticipated later this year.

Of note, too, is that during an unofficial side event at COP20, IPAM and Acre?s State Institute of Climate Change (IMC) signed a two-year partnership agreement to assist in the development of Acre?s State System of Incentives for Environmental Services (SISA) through MRV tools for ISA-Carbon program. The partnership also involves the analysis of distribution of benefits and design of sectorial sub-programs to reduce emissions in the state of Acre from deforestation and forest degradation.

During an unofficial side event at COP 20, IPAM signed a cooperation agreement with Acre?s State Institute of Climate Change (IMC) to assist in the development of SISA through MRV tools. Additionally, IPAM has been working with organizations in Rond?nia, Brazil, to advance the discussion on the state policy of REDD+.

While the logistics of navigating COP20 proved somewhat challenging, especially for partners with a large contingent of attendees, the active participation the FBLC in this international event strengthened a sense of partnership among consortium members. This experience will also inform greater collaboration among AIME partners as well as with a broader range of key stakeholders.

?The AIME Team
If you have comments or would like to submit news stories, write to us atinfo@forest-trends.org.

 
?This newsletter is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of Forest Trends and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.?

FBL CONSORTIUM IN ACTION

COICA - RIA: From concept to practice. COICA has been exploring the inclusion of Vaupes and Putumayo communities of Colombia in the Amazon Indigenous REDD+. RIA is an innovative approach to REDD+ developed by the Amazon Basin Indigenous Peoples. This approach is being coordinated by COICA and seeks to boost key elements of REDD+ in the Amazon region into national and regional climate change policies focusing on environmental and human rights. In coordination with ICAA (Initiative for Conservation in the Andean Amazon, also funded by USAID), COICA held workshops around RIA, life plans, improvement of livelihoods, and territorial governance and monitoring.

With the support of COICA and OPIAC, a consultant (Arcangel Luzardo) visited three CMARI communities to better understand what are their priorities regarding territorial governance and monitoring, and the improvement of their livelihoods. The document is now in the hands of OPIAC and CMARI, and should be very helpful in the development of revenues coming from the RIA project.

RIA Pilot Igarap? Lourdes
An analysis of deforestation trends from IPAM?s SOMAI tool and Global Forest Watch show that the rate of deforestation in the Igarap? Lourdes territory over the last 13 years has been approximately 170 hectares per year. Assuming the carbon stocks before and after deforestation are comparable to those in the neighboring Surui territory, the emissions associated with this rate of deforestation are approximately 50,000 tons of CO2 per year. Reducing that deforestation rate by 50% would save 25,000 tons of carbon per year. An agreement was signed between ICCO and the Padereehj Association, which represents the Gavi?o and Arara peoples within the Territory, for ?60,000 linked to climate change mitigation efforts within the territory.

Promoting the Amazon Indigenous Fund ? Forest Trends, EDF, EII, and WWF worked with COICA to advance the Amazon Indigenous Fund proposal during meetings at the COP and by drafting a concept note for $20MM which was submitted to NORAD during the first week of January. Forest Trends, EII, and EDF contributed to several other NORAD concept notes and proposals which, if accepted, would further the general objectives of AIME.
EDF also assisted COICA in advancing the Amazon Indigenous Fund proposal through the joint publication of an academic policy article that investigated the amount of forest carbon stocks found in indigenous territories in the Amazon and the threats to it. The policy article and supporting products (popular map) received extensive media coverage and was timed to be released at the UNFCCC meeting in Lima, Peru, in order to maximize political impact.

Additionally, EDF supported COICA and its partners in developing four proposals (Global Indigenous Forest Fund, Indigenous Territories forest carbon stock measuring/lobbying, Amazon Indigenous adaptation fund, and the AIME Consortium's Amazon Indigenous Fund).

Finally, EDF collaborated with AMPB to advocate successfully in the UN-REDD program for this targeted support funding mechanism to be more inclusive of indigenous and local communities. This will potentially generate hundreds of thousands of additional dollars flowing to indigenous and local community groups in the future.

Advancing the Concept of Jurisdictional REDD+ and LED-R ? EII, with input from other FBL Consortium members, continued to develop and disseminate the concept of jurisdictional REDD+ and LED-R. EII also provided support to COICA during a meeting in Puerto Maldonado, Peru, to discuss the Fondo Ind?gena Amaz?nico, presented on jurisdictional REDD and the Governors' Climate and Forests task force to Alianza Mesoamericana de Pueblos y Bosques (AMPB, a future consortium member) and PRISMA (El Salvadorian Environmental Research Program) in Panama City, and participated in meetings and workshops with a range of partners and stakeholders at COP20 in Lima.
EII and partners hosted a technical capacity building workshop on MRV tools for State Employees in Mato Grosso, Brazil. EII also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with CIAM, to allow for increased collaboration on the development of a jurisdictional REDD+ program for the five states of the Peruvian Amazon.

In collaboration with partners from the Sustainable Tropics Alliance, IPAM and Pronatura-Sur, EII released a report on the drivers of deforestation and opportunities and barriers to implementing low-emission rural development in select AIME regions.

Forest Trends and EcoDecision continued facilitating communication with potential buyers for Surui credits, as well as discussions between the Yawanaw? and two US-based companies to develop and market a mitigation product based on jurisdictional credits to be provided by the State of Acre. This negotiation will demonstrate a pathway for jurisdictional approaches to leverage private sector finance for indigenous communities. Progress was made in determining the amount and volume of potential emissions reductions units to be allocated by the State, establishing the basic structure and relationships of key stakeholders (public, private and civil society) and beginning to identify financial needs and use of proceeds from an eventual transaction.

At a seminar in October titled ?Climate change from the perspective of indigenous peoples in Brazil,? IPAM engaged representatives from the Brazilian Environmental Ministry on the development of the national REDD+ strategy. The Brazilian Ministry of External Relations also presented on the development of Brazil?s international REDD+ mechanism (ENREDD). This was a first step in helping indigenous leaders and FUNAI collaborators better understand the jurisdictional approach.

PRISMA presented research performed largely during Year 1 on the implications and opportunities of jurisdictional REDD+ for the members of the Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests at the Jurisdictional REDD+ workshop held in November in Panama City. Leaders from every AMPB member were present at the event, along with Consortium partner Earth Innovation Institute. The workshop was a milestone in Mesoamerica?s progress toward applying Jurisdictional REDD+, and as such set the stage for ramping up Mesoamerica?s participation in REDD+ work, leading into planned activities for 2015. This work also promotes engagement between AMPB leaders and the Governor?s Climate and Forests Task Force.

Engaging Public and Private Initiatives with Forest-Based Communities ? EcoDecision, Forest Trends and other Consortium members provided support to the Yawanawa indigenous people in the ongoing development of a nested REDD project in the State of Acre, Brazil. This kind of partnership is an example of how jurisdictional approaches can leverage private-sector finance for indigenous communities.

EcoDecision and Forest Trends continued to support REDD-compatible development through Canopybridge.com, an online network for buyers and sellers of sustainable natural products. Activities emphasized identifying nearly 200 producers from Peru as well as working with a local partner organization Asociaci?n Amaz?nicos por la Amazon?a (AMPA) and Peruvian chef Miguel Schiaffino to identify promising products for ?sustainable gastronomy.? This concept seeks to expand the visibility of and market for ?Amazon cuisine? that is linked to rainforest conservation and community sourcing.

Empowering Forest-Based Communities ? Metareila continued its work to involve women in the Paiter-Surui decision-making processes of the community, through the consolidation of the women?s council, the development of a business plan for their handicrafts, an annual planning meeting for the women, and a workshop on women?s rights.

PNS conducted the first regional meeting on governance in the territory, with a second meeting on the agenda for this year. PNS? work also encompassed implementing a social strategy concerning their mangrove initiative, and strengthening local groups and women's groups. PNS also developed communications materials on issues relevant to REDD+, climate change, and LED-R to present to organizations and communities in southern Mexico, in coordination with MREDD.

PNS implemented training programs for indigenous and community leaders on climate change, LED-R and gender and REDD+ in the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas and the Yucatan Peninsula (Mexico) in coordination with MREDD. Additionally, PNS proposed amendments to the laws around sustainable forest development to the government of Chiapas.

Forest Trends began preparations for upcoming workshops on indigenous Life Plans (together with ICAA and COICA), which will take place in March.

Upcoming Events

Indigenous Economy Worshop (Grupo de Reflexi?n sobre Econom?a Ind?gena)
Bogot?, Colombia (June 8?9)

Design of Indigenous territory governance Diploma Workshop
Bogot?, Colombia (June 11?12)

GCF Catalonia Meeting
Barcelona, Spain (June 15?18)

Encuentro Internacional Hacia una Gesti?n Territorial Sostenible: Conceptos, Experiencias y Visiones de la Panamazon?a
Santa Cruz, Bolivia (June 16-18)

Online Graduate Certificate in Forest Carbon Science, Policy, and Management, Michigan State University, Scholarship opportunity
Deadline: July 10

Territorial Monitoring and Control Workshop
Panama, Panama (August 15?16)

Annual AIME FBL Consortium Planning Meeting
San Crist?bal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico (July 7?9)

Territorial governance and payment for environmental services workshop
Rond?nia, Brasil (August)

Publications and Articles

Ecosystem Marketplace Coverage

The Tolo River Community Project: The Importance Of Inclusion

Mexico Becomes First Developing Country To Post Climate Action Plan

Jurisdictional REDD: Long Deferred, Soon Delivered

What Do A Seed And A Website Have To Do With Stopping Climate Change?

Coalition of 600 Defends Paiter-Surui, Questions Reporting Of Critics

This Week In Forest Carbon: Indigenous People Explore Parallels, Possibilities of REDD

Indigenous Life Plans And Carbon Finance: Two Sides Of The Same Coin?

Surui Outline Management of Carbon Funds for Community Projects

Indigenous People Explore Many Shades Of REDD

Paiter-Surui Take Stock Of Community Fund Charged With Managing Finances

Indigenous People Explore Many Shades Of REDD

Indigenous Leaders Call Foul On Once-Revered Catholic Organization

REDD Early Movers Program Expands To Ecuador and Colombia

Thursday in Lima: Indigenous Life Plans And REDD Finance, Bringing It Together

Flood Disaster in the Amazon: A Fight Against Climate Change Gets Personal

Huffington Post Coverage

The Great Amazonian Pantry: How Eating the Products of the Rainforest Could Save the Earth

COP 20 Climate Solutions: A Small and Mighty Consortium in the Spotlight

Flood Disaster in the Amazon: A Fight Against Climate Change Gets Personal

Bead by Bead, Saving the Rainforest and Fighting Climate Change

Momentum on Climate Change: NGO Forest Trends Helping to Pave the Way

Amazon Leader Tashka Yawanaw? Highlights Indigenous Issues at Global TED Talks

BNDES destina recursos do Fundo Amaz?nia a Projeto de Ind?genas

Other Coverage

Forest Carbon in Amazonia: The Unrecognized Contribution of Indigenous Territories and Protected Natural Area


Photo Credits: Header photo: ? Rodrigo Duran; Sidebar photos licenses through Shutterstock.com