Natural Justice is attending a meeting on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD), which is being hosted by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Singapore. The objectives of the workshop are to: (a) develop relevant safeguards for biodiversity, so that REDD-plus actions are consistent with the objectives of the CBD; b) identify possible indicators to assess the contribution of REDD to achieving the objectives of the CBD; and c) contribute to capacity-building on REDD in the Asia-Pacific region.
Natural Justice is carefully watching the developments in this forum. The CBD has been slow to react to the potentially large implications of REDD for forest conservation and forest-based communities. We wonder how this initiative explores alternatives to REDD that support the CBD’s objectives, and to ensure that where REDD does take place, it supports the CBD’s biodiversity targets and is undertaken according to the rights of Indigenous peoples and local communities. This meeting coincides with the release of a manual for communities to assist them to affirm their right to free, prior and informed consent in the context of REDD, produced by RECOFTC, the Centre for People and Forests. The final meeting report can be accessed on the CBD website.