Ecosystems

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We have undertaken field work in Indonesia on the Australian-funded Kalimantan Forest and Climate Partnership pilot REDD+ project. Australia has discontinued the project – reinforcing the need for independent analysis such as ours. We have carried out legal analysis of international law developments and opportunities for national and international dispute resolution mechanisms.

We have taken a central role in joint efforts by civil society on the REDD+ negotiations, including in the generation of discussion papers. Our efforts saw the issue of Non-Carbon Benefits (NCBs) taken up at Doha CoP in 2012.

Background

A rare opportunity has emerged from the agreement reached on REDD+ at the UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP 16) in Cancun which has the potential to transform the forest sector, preserve forests, contribute to mitigating and adapting to climate change, protect biodiversity rich areas, and secure the livelihoods of millions of people who depend upon forests. However, if safeguards integral to the REDD+ agreement are not implemented, there are risks that REDD+ could provide perverse incentives which accelerate deforestation, violate human rights and have a negative impact on livelihoods, encourage corrupt regimes and lead to the loss of irreplaceable species.

The engagement of civil society is critical to the development of strong, transparent and robust mechanisms for REDD+ governance, including financial governance and conflict resolution, as well as effective systems for monitoring and MRV to ensure compliance with safeguards. Despite a general recognition of the importance of these issues, not least to ensure investor confidence, only a few civil society organisations are focusing on them, while more emphasis is being placed on social and environmental safeguards. Moreover, the development of mechanisms for conflict resolution has been relatively neglected.

Our work is focused on engagemBlue macaws in the Amazon areaent in the ongoing international climate negotiations backed up by advocacy and work on the ground with the aim of ensuring REDD+ stays on track to become a force for positive change. Our emphasis is on governance, law reform and an ecosystems justice and legal approach to social equity.

There are two parts to the work we are undertaking: international and national advocacy focusing on safeguards, particularly with respect to governance and monitoring systems, and a case study to examine safeguards implementation at local level and develop recommendations on conflict resolution.

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