Global Forest Coalition https://globalforestcoalition.org Global Forest Coalition Tue, 17 Jul 2018 15:30:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 A heroic fighter for the rights of Indigenous peoples and local communities: Dr. Taghi Farvar https://globalforestcoalition.org/heroic-fighter-indigenous-peoples-local-communities-taghi-farvar/ https://globalforestcoalition.org/heroic-fighter-indigenous-peoples-local-communities-taghi-farvar/#respond Tue, 17 Jul 2018 03:32:09 +0000 https://globalforestcoalition.org/?p=9009 The Global Forest Coalition mourns the loss of a heroic fighter for the rights of Indigenous peoples and local communities, Dr. Taghi Farvar. Taghi was the chairperson of our member group CENESTA-Iran and the chairperson of the International Consortium on Indigenous Peoples’ and Community Conserved Territories and Areas (ICCAs). As a member of the Iranian Azerbaijan tribe, and co-founder of the Union of Indigenous Nomadic Tribes in Iran (UNINOMAD), Taghi has dedicated his life to advocating respect for the biocultural …

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The Global Forest Coalition mourns the loss of a heroic fighter for the rights of Indigenous peoples and local communities, Dr. Taghi Farvar. Taghi was the chairperson of our member group CENESTA-Iran and the chairperson of the International Consortium on Indigenous Peoples’ and Community Conserved Territories and Areas (ICCAs). As a member of the Iranian Azerbaijan tribe, and co-founder of the Union of Indigenous Nomadic Tribes in Iran (UNINOMAD), Taghi has dedicated his life to advocating respect for the biocultural approaches of pastoralist peoples and other Indigenous Peoples and local communities and their rights to govern and conserve their own territories and areas. He was a great source of inspiration to all of us: A man who combined a strong moral framework, passion, courage, and wisdom with a great sense of humour.

We will miss him sincerely as a dear friend and colleague, but his spirit and vision will be with us forever and the seeds he has sown throughout his life will continue to grow.

Photo credit: Hana Mo (via Facebook)

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Implementing SDG 15.2: GFC’s analysis in Armenia, Benin, Colombia and Paraguay https://globalforestcoalition.org/implementing-sdg-15-2/ https://globalforestcoalition.org/implementing-sdg-15-2/#respond Fri, 13 Jul 2018 14:14:58 +0000 https://globalforestcoalition.org/?p=8990 The Global Forest Coalition is launching four brief alternative country reports at this year’s United Nations High Level Political Forum (HLPF), currently ongoing in New York. The reports highlight concerns and recommendations regarding the progress made on SDG 15.2 on halting deforestation through a gender lens. The reports provide a concise and targeted analysis in Armenia by member group Armenian Forests, in Paraguay by HENOI, in Benin by Amis de l’Afrique Francophone Benin (AMAF-BENIN) and in Colombia by the Global …

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Promoting a gender-based approach to the restoration of the sacred Têdozoun forest, Benin. Photo: AMAF-Benin

The Global Forest Coalition is launching four brief alternative country reports at this year’s United Nations High Level Political Forum (HLPF), currently ongoing in New York. The reports highlight concerns and recommendations regarding the progress made on SDG 15.2 on halting deforestation through a gender lens.

The reports provide a concise and targeted analysis in Armenia by member group Armenian Forests, in Paraguay by HENOI, in Benin by Amis de l’Afrique Francophone Benin (AMAF-BENIN) and in Colombia by the Global Forest Coalition. The HLPF is the annual platform for the follow-up and review of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that brings government and non-government representatives to discuss the challenges and successes in implementation of the goals so far.

In 2018 the SDGs under review include: SDG 6 water and sanitation, SDG 7 energy, SDG 11 resilient and sustainable cities, SDG 12 sustainable consumption and production, SDG 15 forests and biodiversity and SDG 17 means of implementation. This year 47 countries will also be presenting their Voluntary National Reviews, including Armenia, Paraguay, Benin, Colombia, which are country-driven reviews on the progress made at the national and sub-national levels. With these reports, GFC aims to bring to the fore the key perspective and recommendations of forest-dependent communities and women in implementing SDG 15.2.

In Armenia, deforestation is being driven by agriculture, logging for firewood, mining and construction; the key recommendations proposed include strengthening monitoring mechanisms for forest protection and prevention of illegal logging, as well as promoting campaigns around gender equality, girls’ leadership and women’s participation in politics and community decision-making bodies.

The analysis in Paraguay found that productive practices that dominate the country’s economy have generated globally unprecedented rates of deforestation as well as poverty and migration, with a particularly severe impact on women and girls.

In Benin, agriculture, timber export and firewood-use underpin deforestation where women bear a disproportionate burden as a result. Key recommendations include involving women in decision-making, increasing access to information for the public and supporting civil society monitoring.

Lastly, the Colombia report points to the correlation between the end of the armed conflict and the increase in deforestation rates. The government also shows a lack of political will to synergise the implementation of Agenda 2030 and the implementation of the Peace Agreement, which acts as a key barrier to achieving genuine sustainable development.

Download the reports in English:

 

Armenia

Paraguay

 

 

 

 

 

Benin

Colombia

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Simone Lovera of Global Forest Coalition wins prestigious Forest Award https://globalforestcoalition.org/simone-lovera-wins-sandro-urushadze/ https://globalforestcoalition.org/simone-lovera-wins-sandro-urushadze/#respond Tue, 10 Jul 2018 13:11:50 +0000 https://globalforestcoalition.org/?p=8985 July 8: Simone Lovera, the Executive Director of the Global Forest Coalition (GFC) [1] won the 2018 Sandro Urushadze Award for her lifelong contribution to the defence of the world’s forests and forest peoples. The award was given by Andrey Laletin of Friends of the Siberian Forests of Russia at GFCs Fostering Community Conservation: Second Conference that took place from 4-8 July in Montreal, Canada [2]. The Sandro Urushadze Award was established to honour the legacy of the distinguished ecologist, …

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July 8: Simone Lovera, the Executive Director of the Global Forest Coalition (GFC) [1] won the 2018 Sandro Urushadze Award for her lifelong contribution to the defence of the world’s forests and forest peoples. The award was given by Andrey Laletin of Friends of the Siberian Forests of Russia at GFCs Fostering Community Conservation: Second Conference that took place from 4-8 July in Montreal, Canada [2].

The Sandro Urushadze Award was established to honour the legacy of the distinguished ecologist, teacher and forest campaigner from Georgia by his father, Professor Tengiz Urushadze. The award was first established in 2015 and since then has been presented to two other forest defenders- the late Wally Menne of South Africa, and Andrey Laletin of Russia.

Simone Lovera has been a lifelong fighter for international forest policies to respect the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities, and to address root causes of forest loss. Lovera was a co-founder of the Global Forest Coalition. Before GFC, Lovera worked for various international environmental organizations like Friends of the Earth International, Sobrevivencia in Paraguay, International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Lovera is a graduate in international environmental law and focused her Phd on carbon markets and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) programs.

She has been involved in many independent monitoring reports on the implementation of international agreements like the Convention on Biodiversity and coordinates joint campaigns on carbon trade, market-based conservation mechanisms, and the impacts of agro-fuels. She lives and works in Paraguay.

Notes
[1] Global Forest Coalition is a worldwide coalition of 93 NGOs and Indigenous peoples’ organizations from more than 60 different countries striving for rights-based, socially just forest conservation policies. Link: https://globalforestcoalition.org/media
[2] See: https://globalforestcoalition.org/en/fccc-2018/

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Indigenous and community leaders demand support for their own conservation efforts and a halt to people-less conservation https://globalforestcoalition.org/halt-to-people-less-conservation/ https://globalforestcoalition.org/halt-to-people-less-conservation/#respond Wed, 04 Jul 2018 23:40:52 +0000 https://globalforestcoalition.org/?p=8976 4 July 2018, Montreal: Over one hundred Indigenous Peoples, local community representatives, and forest activists from across the world have gathered in Montreal to demand an end to top-down and people-less conservation models such as exclusionary national parks at the launch of the Fostering Community Conservation II Conference [1] today. Instead, they ask for more recognition of and support for local community conservation efforts in official conservation policy and practice. The conference is being organized by the Global Forest Coalition …

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4 July 2018, Montreal: Over one hundred Indigenous Peoples, local community representatives, and forest activists from across the world have gathered in Montreal to demand an end to top-down and people-less conservation models such as exclusionary national parks at the launch of the Fostering Community Conservation II Conference [1] today. Instead, they ask for more recognition of and support for local community conservation efforts in official conservation policy and practice.

The conference is being organized by the Global Forest Coalition [2] and is taking place from 4-8 July in parallel to the latest negotiations under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) [3].

At the conference, community representatives are presenting the results of over four years of grassroots assessments in 68 communities of 22 countries [4] which detail a diversity of community conservation efforts spearheaded by Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities.

“Our assessments show that when communities self-organize to govern and manage their territories and areas, their conservation efforts can be more resilient, more effective and contribute more to local livelihoods than top-down approaches like state protected areas,” said Simone Lovera of the Global Forest Coalition. The assessments provide concrete ways in which state policy can better recognize and support such initiatives.

“Across the world, governments have used the conservation of land and wildlife as justification to remove indigenous peoples from their homes, many a times with the support of and/or silence of large international conservation groups. This violence in the name of conservation must end” said Souparna Lahiri of the All India Forum of Forest Movements, who was one of the facilitators of the Indian assessments.

“Indigenous Peoples of Kenya – like Maasai and Rendille peoples have conserved our forests for millennia and co-existed in harmony with flora and wildlife. We routinely stop poaching, logging, and illegal grazing in our territories,” said Edna Kaptoyo of the Indigenous Information Network in Kenya.

The community representatives also highlighted a large number of threats to their conservation efforts such as extractive industries like mining, which routinely compete with local communities for resources and destroy the environment.

“Most governments are giving perverse incentives and subsidies to such harmful activities in our areas- whether it is water guzzling plantations, toxic monoculture farming with genetically modified crops, or mining. These subsidies must be stopped and instead our communities should receive incentives for positive efforts related to sustainable livelihoods and conservation,” said Ines Franceschelli of Henoi Paraguay.

Notes

[1] The press kit and more information about the “Fostering Community Conservation II Conference” can be found here: https://globalforestcoalition.org/fccc-2018/media-and-news/

[2] Global Forest Coalition is a worldwide coalition of 93 NGOs and Indigenous peoples’ organizations from more than 60 different countries striving for rights-based, socially just forest conservation policies. Link: https://globalforestcoalition.org/media

[3] The UN Convention of Biological Diversity’s 22nd meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-22) is taking place in Montreal, Canada, from 2 – 7 July 2018: https://www.cbd.int/sbstta/

[4] The assessments were conducted under the Community Conservation Resilience Initiative (CCRI), a joint effort of the Global Forest Coalition with a large number of Indigenous and non-Indigenous organisations. Between 2014 and 2018 the initiative has carried out participatory assessments in over 68 local communities in 22 countries to document the resilience of community conservation initiatives and the support that should be provided to strengthen these initiatives. The CCRI aims to contribute to implementation of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity’s 2011-2020 Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and Aichi Targets. See: https://globalforestcoalition.org/resources/supporting-community-conservation/

Credit photo: PIDP/GFC

Contact info:
Ashlesha Khadse (Media Officer, GFC)
Cell (Canada):  +1 4389959605
whatsapp: +91 8600839193
Email: ashlesha@globalforestcoalition.org

Website: https://globalforestcoalition.org/media 
Social media
Facebook: bit.ly/gfc123
Instagram: global.forest
Twitter: @gfc123
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Indigenous and local communities’ conservation practices need policy support, says new global report https://globalforestcoalition.org/indigenous-and-local-communities-conservation-practices-need-policy-support/ https://globalforestcoalition.org/indigenous-and-local-communities-conservation-practices-need-policy-support/#respond Wed, 27 Jun 2018 09:03:27 +0000 https://globalforestcoalition.org/?p=8863 27 June 2018: Indigenous Peoples and local communities’ conservation practices are fundamental to biodiversity conservation, but these barely receive support or recognition from governments, argues the Global Forest Coalition [1] in a new global report launched today [2]. The report documents in-depth, participatory assessments by more than 30 communities in 12 different countries of the resilience of their own biodiversity conservation initiatives, and provides concrete proposals to governments, urging them to support such initiatives. The report is part of the …

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27 June 2018: Indigenous Peoples and local communities’ conservation practices are fundamental to biodiversity conservation, but these barely receive support or recognition from governments, argues the Global Forest Coalition [1] in a new global report launched today [2]. The report documents in-depth, participatory assessments by more than 30 communities in 12 different countries of the resilience of their own biodiversity conservation initiatives, and provides concrete proposals to governments, urging them to support such initiatives.

The report is part of the Community Conservation Resilience Initiative (CCRI) [3], a joint effort of the Global Forest Coalition with a large number of Indigenous and non-Indigenous organisations. Between 2014 and 2018 the initiative has carried out participatory assessments in over 68 local communities in 22 countries to document community conservation practices.

A key finding is that many rural communities and Indigenous Peoples actively conserve and restore the biodiversity that is found on their lands and territories, with women often taking the lead in such conservation. In Malaysia, for example, the Murut Tahol of Alutok, Ulu Tomani, a community of forest dependent hunter-gatherers, practice ‘tavol’ which prohibits hunting and resource gathering in specific areas of the forest for specific time periods.

“Conventional biodiversity conservation has too often pushed people out of their territories. This violent model must be stopped. Local communities know their lands best, they deserve the recognition and support to conserve their own lands,” said Simone Lovera, executive director of Global Forest Coalition.

The report also throws light upon the threats that undermine community conservation initiatives, like extractive industries, industrial farming, monoculture plantations and the imposition of state-controlled protected areas that displace communities. “In India, the creation of protected areas without the Free Prior and Informed Consent of local communities has resulted in their eviction from their land and loss of their legally recognized rights over forest resources” said Souparna Lahiri of the All India Forum of Forest Movements, one of the authors of the Indian country study.

“Experiences in Colombia and other countries demonstrate the viability and sustainability of self-organized territorial management initiatives that have emerged from the communities” said Diego Cardona of CENSAT Colombia, chairperson of the Global Forest Coalition “Their land rights and rights to access natural resources must be respected, and sustainable productive strategies must be supported such as agroforestry, agroecology, beekeeping and small-scale timber production”, he adds.

On this coming July 4, more than 100 Indigenous Peoples’ and community representatives will gather in Montreal to celebrate their immense contribution to biodiversity conservation at a parallel event [4] to the UNCBD, urging them to put greater emphasis on community conservation instead of top-down people-less models of conversation.

NOTES
[1] Global Forest Coalition is a worldwide coalition of 93 NGOs and Indigenous peoples’ organizations from more than 60 different countries striving for rights-based, socially just forest conservation policies. Link: https://globalforestcoalition.org/media

[2] https://globalforestcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/global-report-EN.pdf

[3] The CCRI aims to inform the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity’s 2011-2020 Strategic Plan and Aichi Targets. See: https://globalforestcoalition.org/resources/supporting-community-conservation/

[4] The press kit and more information about the “Fostering Community Conservation II Conference” can be found here: https://globalforestcoalition.org/fccc-2018/media-and-news/

Contact Info
Ashlesha Khadse (Media Officer, GFC)
Cell and whatsapp: +91 8600839193 (India)
Email: ashlesha@globalforestcoalition.org

Simone Lovera (Executive Director, GFC)
Global Forest Coalition
+595-981-407375 (Paraguay)
+31-6-47392511 (Europe)
simone@globalforestcoalition.org

Photo credit: Stemming the loss of traditional knowledge by sharing it with children is vital to the future of community conservation. BIOM/GFC

 

Social media
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Policy Recommendations for CBD SBSTTA-22 and SBI-2 https://globalforestcoalition.org/policy-recommendations-cbd-sbstta-22-and-sbi-2/ https://globalforestcoalition.org/policy-recommendations-cbd-sbstta-22-and-sbi-2/#respond Tue, 26 Jun 2018 09:24:28 +0000 https://globalforestcoalition.org/?p=8825 The 22nd meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-22) and the 2nd meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI-2) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will be held from 2-7 July and 9-13 July 2018, respectively, in Montréal, Canada. SBSTTA-22 and SBI-2 will consider issues ranging from protected areas and other conservation measures and climate change to progress in implementation of the Strategic Plan and preparation for the post-2020 biodiversity framework. Download the …

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The 22nd meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-22) and the 2nd meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI-2) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will be held from 2-7 July and 9-13 July 2018, respectively, in Montréal, Canada. SBSTTA-22 and SBI-2 will consider issues ranging from protected areas and other conservation measures and climate change to progress in implementation of the Strategic Plan and preparation for the post-2020 biodiversity framework.

Download the policy recommendations in English (web quality) and in French (web quality).

This position paper highlights key issues and identifies ways to strengthen the draft recommendations to more appropriately recognise conservation by Indigenous peoples and local communities. It draws on the recommendations and perspectives of Indigenous peoples and local communities involved in the Community Conservation Resilience Initiative (CCRI) from 2015-2017. The CCRI aims to contribute to the implementation of the CBD Aichi Targets by providing policy advice on effective and appropriate forms of support for conservation and restoration initiatives by Indigenous peoples and local communities. Coordinated by the Global Forest Coalition (GFC), the CCRI has been supporting more than 65 communities in 22 countries to assess their own conservation efforts and to identify forms of support needed to sustain and strengthen them.

For more information about this position paper and our activities at SBSTTA-22 and SBI-2, please contact:
Simone Lovera, PhD, Executive Director, GFC: simone@globalforestcoalition.org
Holly Jonas, Legal Team Coordinator, CCRI, GFC: holly@globalforestcoalition.org
Mrinalini Rai, Indigenous advisor, GFC: mrinalini.rai@globalforestcoalition.org

For general information about the Community Conservation Resilience Initiative, please visit: https://globalforestcoalition.org/resources/supporting-community-conservation/

To access the documents referenced in this position paper, please visit:
http://www.cbd.int/meetings/SBSTTA-22 and www.cbd.int/meetings/SBI-02

Cover  page  photos:  Environment  around  Los  Maklenkes  Reserve,  Colombia  (CENSAT/GFC);  Local varieties yield  a  good harvest  in Tajikistan (Noosfera/GFC); Women  from  the Bambuti Babuluko Pygmy community in DRC (PIDP-KIVU/GFC); Prayer of gratitude by Rabha women before a feast, Buxa‐Chilapata, India (Souparna Lahiri/GFC)

Infographic on page 7: Oliver Munnion (GFC)

Our activities have been made possible through generous support of the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), EU DEVCO, The Christensen Fund and the Siemenpuu Foundation. The views expressed in this document are not necessarily those of our contributors.

 

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Community Conservation Resilience Initiative (CCRI) Global Report and Case Studies https://globalforestcoalition.org/ccri-global-report/ https://globalforestcoalition.org/ccri-global-report/#respond Mon, 25 Jun 2018 16:23:22 +0000 http://globalforestcoalition.org/?p=7973 Download the full report: English (web quality | low resolution) , Spanish (web quality | low resolution), French (web quality | low resolution) , Russian (web quality | low resolution) The aim of the Community Conservation Resilience Initiative (CCRI) is to contribute to the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s 2011­-2020 Strategic Plan and Aichi Targets, by providing policy advice on effective and appropriate forms of support for community conservation. The project is documenting and reviewing the findings of bottom …

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Download the full report: English (web quality | low resolution) , Spanish (web quality | low resolution), French (web quality | low resolution) , Russian (web quality | low resolution)

The aim of the Community Conservation Resilience Initiative (CCRI) is to contribute to the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s 2011­-2020 Strategic Plan and Aichi Targets, by providing policy advice on effective and appropriate forms of support for community conservation.

The project is documenting and reviewing the findings of bottom up, participatory assessments of more than 60 communities in at least 20 different countries, assessing the resilience of community conservation initiatives and the support that should be provided to strengthen these initiatives. A number of CCRI projects are already under way, including with communities in Chile, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, India, Iran, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Nepal, Panama, Paraguay, Russia, Samoa, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Tanzania, and Uganda. This report outlines the observations and recommendations from communities in 12 of these countries.

The 2015 report can be read and downloaded here.

The CCRI’s initial findings indicate that protecting biodiversity and ecosystems could be significantly enhanced by bolstering the traditional knowledge and practices of the people that rely on those places and resources the most: indigenous peoples and local communities. This will also involve a concerted effort to mitigate the threats and challenges currently undermining communities’ resilience.

All the case studies show that local communities and indigenous peoples are highly motivated to both protect and restore biodiversity and habitats.

See below for a full list of the participating communities.

 

Cover CCRI Global Report 2018

Report CCRI
June 2018

India

Sri Lanka

 Kyrgyzstan

Colombia

 

Malaysia

Nepal

 

Georgia

 Kenya

 Ghana

Tanzania

 DR Congo

 Tajikistan

Cover

Report CCRI
Nov 2015

reports community conservation - uganda

Uganda

reports community conservation - south africa

South Africa

reports community conservation - solomon islands

Solomon

Islands

reports community conservation - samoa

Samoa

reports community conservation - russia

Russia

reports community conservation - paraguay

Paraguay

reports community conservation - panama

Panama

reports community conservation - iran

Iran

reports community conservation - ethiopia

Ethiopia

reports community conservation - chile

Chile

 

The communities involved in this report are:
· The Wiri, Sanya and Lawate communities in Siha District, and the Ngasini community in Kahe, in Moshi Rural District, all of whom are in the Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania.
· Threee indigenous Bambuti Babuluko Pygmy communitiesies in the territory of Walikale, in the province of North Kivu, in the Walikale territory in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
· The Afro-descendant communityies and peasants from La Alsacia, and the peasant communities of La Reserva Barbas de Mono and La Reserva Maklenkes, in Colombia.
· In Ghana, the communities of Kpoeta and Saviefe Gborgame in the Weto Range of the Upper Guinean Forest of West Africa; and the coastal community of Avuto bordering the Avu Lagoon.
· In India, Taungya forest villages inhabited by Rabha and Jharkhandi tribes and other local communitiescommunities living in the Buxa-Chilapata forest area in the state of Bengal, Eastern India; indigenous Gonds in the Tadoba Andhari National Park and Tiger Reserve in the state of Maharasthra, Central India; and in the Banni Grasslands in the state of Gujarat, in Western India.
· Two indigenous communities in Kenya, the Maasai from-lolgorian- Transmara, Narok County,; and the Rendille from Kargi, Kamboye, Korr and Logologo of Marsabit County.
· The communities of Sakorintlo and Okami in East Georgia, in the region of Shida Kartli of Kaspi Municipality; and the community of Merjevi in West Georgia in Sachkhere Municipality.
· In Kyrgyzstan, Shabdan village, Chuy Oblast; Zhyrgalan village near Issyk-Kol Oblast; and the village of Kashka-Suu in Dzhalal-Abad Oblast.
· Five villages in Sabah, Malaysia—Sg. Eloi is in the Pitas district, Alutok in the Tenom district, Kiau at the foot of Mount Kinabalu in the district of Kota Belud; Mengkawago in the district of Tongod; and Terian in the district of Penampang, on the mountains along the Crocker Range.
· Communities in three areas, thee Barandabhar corridor, Basanta corridor and Panchase landscape in Nepal.
· In Sri Lanka, traditional snake-bite healers and a traditional rice farming community living in the Kegalle district of the Sabaragamuwa province; and traditional kitul tappers from Central province.
· Six rural communities in Tajikistan—Jonbakht, Sarikhosor, Dektur, Mulokoni, Dashtijum and Obigarm.
· The Ustupu, Carti Tupile, and Barriada de Dagargunyala communities in Guna Yala, and the community of Ipeti­Embera in Panama;
· The Kebeles of Dinsho­02, Mio and Abakera communities in Dinsho
District, in the Bale Mountains area of Ethiopia;
· The Santa Bárbara­Quilaco­Alto Bio­Bío, Tralcao­Mapu and
Chanlelfu communities, in southern Chile;
· The Iman, Bikin and Samarga Udege communities in the Sikhote­Alin mountain range in the Russian Far East;
· The Toamua, Saina and Vaiusu communities, in Samoa;
· Pedi people, specifically the Mapulane tribe in the Mariepskop area and community members in the Houtbosloop Valley in Mpumalanga province, South Africa;
· The San Miguel community in Minga Porâ, and the Maracaná
community, both in the East of Paraguay; and La Esperanza, an
Enhlet indigenous community in the lower Chaco region;
· Bukaleba, Kalangala and Butimba communities in eastern, central and south­western Uganda respectively;
· Sulufou and Fera Subua communities in northeast Malaita, and the
Hageulu community in Isabel Province, in the Solomon Islands;
· The Abolhassani Indigenous Nomadic Tribal Confederacy, the Taklé Tribe of the Shahsevan Indigenous Nomadic Tribal Confederacy, and the Farrokhvand Tribe of Bakhtiari Indigenous Tribal Confederacy, in Iran.

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UN plans for aviation biofuels and carbon offsets condemned by 88 organisations worldwide https://globalforestcoalition.org/aviation-biofuels-open-letter-pr/ https://globalforestcoalition.org/aviation-biofuels-open-letter-pr/#respond Mon, 11 Jun 2018 09:20:17 +0000 https://globalforestcoalition.org/?p=8741 For immediate release, Monday 11th June 2018. 88 organisations from 34 countries have called on the UN’s International Civil Aviation Agency (ICAO) to ditch plans for aviation biofuels and carbon offsets, as the Agency’s governing body convenes in Montreal to finalise proposals for a controversial “Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme” [1]. An Open Letter by the groups [2] warn that ICAO’s proposal could incentivise airlines to use large quantities of biofuels made from palm oil in their tanks in order …

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For immediate release, Monday 11th June 2018.

88 organisations from 34 countries have called on the UN’s International Civil Aviation Agency (ICAO) to ditch plans for aviation biofuels and carbon offsets, as the Agency’s governing body convenes in Montreal to finalise proposals for a controversial “Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme” [1].

An Open Letter by the groups [2] warn that ICAO’s proposal could incentivise airlines to use large quantities of biofuels made from palm oil in their tanks in order to meet greenhouse gas targets – even though member states rejected biofuel targets last autumn amidst concerns about palm oil.

Simone Lovera, Executive Director of the Global Forest Coalition, one of the signatories of the Open Letter warns: “Palm oil is one of the main drivers of deforestation worldwide, which is a major cause of carbon emissions, yet we could soon see airlines be rewarded under absurd, industry-friendly UN rules to burn biofuels made from it.”

Proposed biofuel targets for aircraft were rejected by member states in October 2017 [3], but groups fear that the proposed new rules will introduce large-scale biofuel use ‘by the backdoor’.

Nele Mariën from Friends of the Earth International highlights the groups’ concerns about the second part of the UN proposal – carbon offsetting for airlines: “There is no way of reaching the goal to limit global warming to 1.5oC unless all states and sectors rapidly phase out their carbon emissions. This means that there can be no role for offsets”.

The Open Letter urges member states to reject the biofuel and offsetting plans and to end and reverse the growth in aviation.

Almuth Ernsting from Biofuelwatch explains: “Biofuels and carbon offsetting are dangerous attempts at conning consumers and the public by greenwashing an industry which is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions globally. The UN and its members need to tackle aviation growth if they are serious about preventing the worst impacts of climate change.”

Contacts:

Almuth Ernsting, Biofuelwatch, +44-1316232600 (UK)
Nele Marien, Friends of the Earth International, ++32-488652153 (Belgium)
Simone Lovera, Global Forest Coalition, ++595-981-407375 (Paraguay)

Notes:

[1] The Council of the International Civil Aviation Agency, a specialised UN agency, will be meeting in Montreal from 11th to 29th June. It is due to decide on rules for the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction for International Aviation (CORSIA) scheme. The draft rules were published in January: transportenvironment.org/publications/aviation-carbon-offsetting-scheme-icao-circulates-draft-rules

[2] The Open Letter with the list of signatories can be found at biofuelwatch.org.uk/icao-letter

[3] See transportenvironment.org/press/countries-reject-plan-aviation-biofuels-targets

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Community Conservation Resilience Initiative in Nepal https://globalforestcoalition.org/community-conservation-nepal/ https://globalforestcoalition.org/community-conservation-nepal/#respond Mon, 04 Jun 2018 17:40:21 +0000 https://globalforestcoalition.org/?p=8688 Download the summary report (Nepal) Introduction The Federation of Community Forestry Users in Nepal (FECOFUN) conducted the CCRI assessment with communities in the Barandabhar corridor, the Basanta corridor and the Panchase landscape in Nepal. Community forests in these areas, covering about 12,000 ha (DoF, 2016), are managed by 215 legally recognised Community Forest User Groups. The user groups have played a critical role in conserving the biodiversity and ecosystems in these areas. These corridors and landscapes are socioculturally diverse and …

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Download the summary report (Nepal)

Introduction

The Federation of Community Forestry Users in Nepal (FECOFUN) conducted the CCRI assessment with communities in the Barandabhar corridor, the Basanta corridor and the Panchase landscape in Nepal. Community forests in these areas, covering about 12,000 ha (DoF, 2016), are managed by 215 legally recognised Community Forest User Groups. The user groups have played a critical role in conserving the biodiversity and ecosystems in these areas.

These corridors and landscapes are socioculturally diverse and represent diverse ecosystems that Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs) depend for their income generation and livelihoods (MoFCS, 2014). The social mix is heterogeneous with more than 45 ethnic groups, but in general the majority are Indigenous Peoples who have rich traditional knowledge and customary sustainable use practices relating to the management of community forests (MoFSC, 2015).

The Community Forest User Groups’ rights of tenure over the forestlands and resources are recognised by the Forest Act 1993 and Forest Regulation 1995 in the form of community forests. Some of the IPLCs’ customary practices relating to forest resources have been integrated into the formally approved Forest Management Plans of the Community Forests, but in practice Indigenous Peoples are struggling to have their informal practices and other customary rights related to forest use—such as collecting non-timber forest products, shifting cultivation and grazing—recognised in the forestry legislation and forest management plans (NEFIN, 2016).

The CCRI assessment process and tools included interviews, plenary workshops, focus group discussions, individual story-telling and a literature review. Some of the participatory practices were adapted during the assessment based on the recommendations of the user group members, agencies and stakeholders.

Watch a short video about the CCRI in Nepal here:

 

Community conservation initiatives and impacts

community conservation nepal

A community forest managed by community forest user groups in Dolakha district. Dil Raj Khanal/FECOFUN

According to Nepal’s forest legislation (Forest Act 1993 and Forest Regulation 1995), the national forest can be managed in five different ways (community forest, leasehold forest, religious forest, government- managed forest and protected forest). Community forestry is supposed to be a nationally prioritised forest management regime, but in practice government agencies are reluctant to recognise this. The local communities, through the user groups, have a legal right to claim their adjoining national forests to manage as additional community forest based on this legislation. However, the Nepalese government has been reluctant to hand the national forests in these areas over to local communities as community forests, because they are a main source of revenue for central government, which auctions timber and non-timber forest products (FECOFUN, 2015).

However, after various advocacy campaigns by the local communities, including in these corridors and landscapes, the government’s District Forest Offices eventually handed over the majority of the national forest to Community Forest User Groups as community forests.

The user groups have made significant contributions to reducing deforestation and forest degradation through natural regeneration processes that promote ecosystem regeneration and are resulting in an increase in wildlife species in Nepal (MoFSC, 2016). They are conserving biodiversity and eco-systems, including in the new areas of national forest that have been handed over. For example, the communities’ efforts in the Panchase landscape have reduced soil erosion, landslides and floods and contributed to conserving the Phewa Lake of Pokhara valley, which is highly important for the promotion of eco- tourism in Nepal (UNDP, 2015).

Likewise, the community forests have contributed to controlling the encroachment of forests for other purposes. However, local communities have been negatively impacted by the expansion of protected forest areas by central government in different parts of Nepal, including in the Barandabhar and Basanta corridors.

External and internal threats

The main external threat has been the Nepalese government’s already mentioned reluctance to hand national forest over to the Community Forest User Groups. The local Community Forest User Groups have been putting pressure on the government to hand them over and have largely been successful in this.

Tenure rights are a problem in protected areas. The above- mentioned corridors and landscape were declared as protected forests in 2012, despite strong protest from local communities against this centralised decision from the government, which prioritised the protection of the forests over securing communities’ tenure rights over them. The more protection- oriented provisions in the forest management plans for the community forests in these particular areas mean that the local communities are unable to exercise their rights even though they are legally held.

Internal weaknesses include gaps with respect to gender equity and social exclusion in the executive committees of the Community Forest User Groups. This is despite the fact that some strong and beneficial policy provisions intended to ensure gender equity and social inclusion are included in the Community Forestry Development Programme Guideline (Revised 2015). This is because of many people’s limited awareness about their legal rights with respect to community forestry, which results in socially marginalised groups benefiting less from community forests.

It is also the case that even though 35% of the income from a community forest needs to be allocated for pro-poor forest dependent households in order to help them conduct income- generating activities, some user groups are allocating lower amounts in practice. The forest management plans of the community forests need to be reviewed to secure the rights of poor households over forest resources, and equitable sharing of the benefits generated from community forestry.

Solution-oriented approaches and strategies

Traditional fishing practices in a community conserved wetland area. Ramesh Bhushal

The Community Forest User Groups and their federation, FECOFUN, have been advocating for measures to address these threats and major issues, with a campaign to protect community rights over community forests at community level. The CCRI assessment has added value and supported these campaigns in an organised and effective way, including through its parallel legal review, and a strategic planning meeting of the central FECOFUN at the national level. The following strategic approaches have been designed to address the above- mentioned and other associated threats:

Local campaign for community forestry: The Forest Act 1993 recognises and gives top priority to community forest, and local communities have developed a long- term advocacy campaign to demand community forest in those areas where the remaining national forest has not been handed over as a community forest.

Legal capacity building for securing tenure rights: FECOFUN has developed a plan for legal capacity building for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities to help secure the community rights which are guaranteed under Nepal’s forest legislation, because the local communities still have limited legal knowledge about community forest law and other legal provisions which give priority and preferential rights to local communities.

Revision of forest management plans: The government expects each Community Forest User Group to review their forest management plan five years after approval, (although they should be able to review whenever they wish under the Forest Act 1993). The local FECOFUNs associated with each of the 753 Community Forest User Groups in Nepal have developed a short- to long-term strategy to mobilise resources from local governments, government agencies and the user groups to facilitate the revision of forest management plans in such a way that they recognise, support and promote the customary rights of IPLCs in community forest as well as other forest management regimes.

Integration of gender equity and social inclusion in community forestry: During the ‘national level workshop on gender equity and social inclusion in community forest’ FECOFUN and the user groups developed a strategic plan to revise their bylaws and forest management plans for the integration of gender equity and social inclusion in community forestry.

Equitable sharing of benefits generated from community forestry: This is one of the critical issues when it comes to securing benefits from the community forests for poor households. As a result of the campaigns, government agencies, local governments and stakeholders including FECOFUN are giving a high priority to maintaining the equitable sharing of benefits generated from community forestry.

Testimony

“We have spent a great deal of our time over the last twenty years conserving the seventeen community forests in this Barandabhara corridor, but the government is still hesitating about handing over the core areas of this forest to us as a community forest. Political leaders have often tried to obstruct us by going to the leadership of Community Forest Users Groups, but we have established a practice of equal leadership of women in community forest based on policy guidance and our bylaw.”

Asha Lopchan, member of the auditing committee of Chaturmukhi Community Forest User Group and Barandabhar protected Forest Council, Chitwan district

Preliminary recommendations

On the basis of the findings from the CCRI assessment in Nepal, fulfilling the following preliminary recommendations will strengthen community conservation:
• The remaining national forest in these three areas needs to be handed over to the local communities as community forests, so that they can control their further encroachment and restore degraded forest.
• The central government should respect the forest tenure rights of local communities as recognised in the forest legislation. Previous decisions that contradict the forest legislation should be cancelled.
• Government agencies, local governments and stakeholders including development partners should be required to provide technical and other needed support services to local communities to facilitate the revision of their forest management plan.
• The Community Forest User Groups need to revise their forest management plans and other annual plans and programmes to integrate gender equity and social inclusion into community forestry and secure the equitable sharing of benefits generated from community forests for poor households.
• FECOFUN needs to strength its local FECOFUN branches to sustain advocacy campaigns at community level and secure community rights over the forest resources.
• The legal capacity of the user groups needs to be strengthened through a legal awareness programme at community level to empower communities to advocate for the expansion of community forests.
• There are many success stories showing how the Community Forest User Groups’ work at the community level is instrumental to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, and local communities’ ambition to share their success stories in international policy spaces should be supported and facilitated.

This summary is based on a full CCRI report about the communities’ conservation resilience assessment in Nepal, which can be found here.

Download Report of the Community Conservation Resilience Initiative in Nepal here.

References
DOF (2016). Our Forest (Hamro Ban), an Annual Report (2015-2016). Department of Forests (DoF), Kathmandu, Nepal http://dof.gov.np/publications/all_yearly_public ations

FECOFUN (2015). 20 Year’s Glimpse of FECOFUN, Federation of Community Forestry Users, Nepal (FECOFUN), Kathmandu, Nepal

MoFSC (2014). Nepal Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan 2014-2020. Government of Nepal, Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation (MoFSC), Kathmandu, Nepal. July 2014.

MoFSC (2015). Strategy and Action Plan 2015-2025, Terai Arc Landscape, Nepal. Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation (MoFAC), Kathmandu, Nepal.

MoFSC (2016). Conservation Landscapes of Nepal, Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation, Kathmandu, Nepal
http://d2ouvy59p0dg6k.cloudfront.net/downloa ds/conservation_landscapes_of_nepal.pdf

NEFIN, (2014). Consultation and Dialogue of Indigenous Peoples on Forest Related Policies and Strategies: National Workshop Report,

Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN), Kathmandu, Nepal http://nefinclimatechange.org/wp- content/uploads/2014/07/Final-Report1.pdf

UNDP (2015). Ecosystem-based Adaptation in Mountain Region in Nepal, Annual Progress Report 2015, UNDP Nepal, Kathmandu, Nepal

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Community Conservation Resilience Initiative in Sabah, Malaysia https://globalforestcoalition.org/community-conservation-malaysia/ https://globalforestcoalition.org/community-conservation-malaysia/#respond Mon, 21 May 2018 21:50:24 +0000 http://globalforestcoalition.org/?p=8504 Download the summary report (English) INTRODUCTION The Community Conservation Resilience Initiative (CCRI) was undertaken with five villages in Sabah. These emblematic sites were chosen as they reflect diverse land use practices that are commonly observed by their respective communities. Sg. Eloi is in the Pitas district, specifically in the mangrove areas at the mouth of the Pitas River, and community members are working to protect, restore and apply sustainable use of their community mangrove forest. Alutok is in the Tenom …

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Download the summary report (English)

INTRODUCTION

Mapping community resources. PACOS Trust

The Community Conservation Resilience Initiative (CCRI) was undertaken with five villages in Sabah. These emblematic sites were chosen as they reflect diverse land use practices that are commonly observed by their respective communities.

Sg. Eloi is in the Pitas district, specifically in the mangrove areas at the mouth of the Pitas River, and community members are working to protect, restore and apply sustainable use of their community mangrove forest. Alutok is in the Tenom district, parts of which is located within a commercial forest reserve, the Sipitang Forest Reserve, and the community is working to secure and highlight their traditional practices of forest management. Kiau is located at the foot of Mount Kinabalu in the district of Kota Belud and community members are now actively seeking formal recognition for their lands from the government, and the revival of their traditional practices. Mengkawago is in the district of Tongod, the whole of it within a commercial forest reserve, the Mengkawago Forest Reserve, and community members are trying to secure the community forest for the continuity of their traditional practices. Terian is in the district of Penampang, on the mountains along the Crocker Range. The core village settlement is located right next to the boundary of the Crocker Range Park but parts of the broader territory are overlapped by the Park. They are working to strengthen their community watershed management system.

With independent funding from the Commonwealth Foundation, this three-year project (2015-2017) aims to increase the resilience of the Indigenous Peoples’ customary institutions and natural resource stewardship systems through constructive engagement with decision-making processes. The project involves documentation of customary institutions and natural resource stewardship systems, strengthening of local and international networks, and engagements with policy- and decision-makers to improve implementation of supportive laws and to promote legal and institutional reform. It involves five communities from different parts of Sabah, each facing different issues.

COMMUNITY CONSERVATION INITIATIVE AND ECOLOGICAL IMPACT

Jungle trekking during the visit to Mengkawago. PACOS Trust

People in the Tombonuo ethnic group from Sungai Eloi, Pitas, depend on their mangrove forests for protein, fuelwood and medicinal plants. In addition, the mangrove area is a place for spiritual purposes. The community identifies and manages their conservation areas based on traditional customary uses and practices.

The Murut Tahol of Alutok, Ulu Tomani, is a community of forest-dependent hunter-gatherers, and they take special care of their forest. For example, they practice tavol in preparation for large and important occasions such as weddings. Tavol prohibits hunting and resource gathering in specific areas in the forest for specific time periods, ensuring resources are not depleted and preventing conflict and competition in the community.

Located at the foothills of Mt. Kinabalu, the Kiau community forest conservation area is a 1,024-acre forest area set aside by the community as a heritage area. The Dusun community is focused on revitalising traditional forest practices such as the use of Dusun forest terms (boros puru) and giving respect to the forest spirits (mamatang/mamason). To conserve this forest, they have also formulated a protocol to govern its use.

In Mengkawago, the forest-dependent Sungai Rumanau community is one of the few communities that still maintains knowledge of harvesting wild honey from bees that establish their hives in a particular tree species (Menggaris). The community has been documenting their traditional knowledge of wild honey collection within their community forest area, which they have also been attempting to protect. By harvesting honey sustainably, the community also protects the surrounding forest area, providing broader environmental benefits.

The Dusun community in Terian lives on the hillside and are mainly farmers who grow paddy (rice) and cash crops such as rubber. They depend on the Terian River for their livelihood and have a micro-hydro turbine to generate electricity and a gravity-fed water system to provide clean water, and are actively managing and maintaining the condition of the river and watershed in their village.

INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL THREATS

Efforts have been made by the community to replant affected areas with mangrove trees. PACOS Trust

A large-scale shrimp farming project in Sungai Eloi is clearing mangroves vital to the community’s livelihoods and the surrounding environment. More than 2,000 acres have already been cleared since 2012. The Environment Protection Department approved the EIA and the company plans to clear another 1,000 acres despite protests from the communities and certain NGOs. The community leaders are also facing threats – part of a growing global trend of threats towards indigenous leaders and environmental defenders.

Part of Alutok and its community forest are located in a Class II Forest Reserve and now held by a company concessionaire (Sabah Forest Industry), making the community’s land tenure insecure. They face threats of encroachment, as they have no rights to the forests, and the prospect of losing their community forest through deforestation and monoculture planting of Acacia Mangium. The wild flora and fauna in the forest area would also be depleted.

Initially, the communities of Kiau used the forests in their customary territory as hunting grounds where they could forage and hunt. After the State Government designated most of these forests as a state park in 1964, the communities lost ownership and, subsequently, their traditional practices of hunting and gathering were prohibited. Although the forests were excised from the park in the 1980s, legally they are still State land and the community thus still faces insecure land tenure. There are also concerns about proposed tourism development with the area being open to land title applications by interested companies.

Mengkawago has been included within a Class II Forest Reserve since 1984. Like in Alutok, the community has no governing power over the forest area and it can be logged by the concessionaire. Other human activities (such as hunting) within the Forest Reserve are prohibited without a licence, which affects the community’s access to forest resources and their traditional forest-dependent practices.

While Terian is fairly isolated and has poor access to gravel roads, it is among the nine villages in danger of being submerged or relocated by development of the proposed Kaiduan Dam (12 km2 would be submerged and 350 km2 gazetted as water catchment reserve). Even before the proposed dam, Terian struggled to get recognition of the parts of their territory, including hunting grounds, which overlapped with a state park (Crocker Range Park).

Watch a short video about the CCRI in Malaysia here:

 

POTENTIAL SOLUTION-ORIENTED APPROACHES, STRATEGIES AND POLICIES

Sungai Eloi, Pitas
The community is promoting the environmental, social and cultural importance of the mangroves and their management and protection, and is appealing to the company, state government and related agencies to stop the clearing of the mangroves and assist with restoration. Community members are also raising awareness about their struggles at regional and international meetings related to human rights and biodiversity conservation.

Alutok, Ulu Tomani
In Alutok, they will organise workshops and community meetings to form a tavol committee to raise awareness amongst the community and youth on the importance of tavol, and increase exposure and understanding of laws relating to the preservation and conservation of tavol. There are also plans to organise trainings and exposures for the tavol committee’s capacity in documentation and to consolidate all of their training and skills. They also hope that by promoting tavol as a good practice for forest stewardship, it can be recognized and supported by the government and key decision-makers, leading to their community forest being excised from the Forest Reserve —or at the very least to have governance and management of the community forest devolved to them within the Forest Reserve.

Kiau, Kota Belud
The community is currently trying to gain recognition for their conservation area by working together with Sabah Parks and Ecolinc (an existing project aiming to increase connectivity between Crocker Range Park and Kinabalu Park, including through recognition of ICCAs) and applying for a Native Reserve title in the hopes of protecting the forest in accordance with their traditional practices. They want the government to recognise the community forest reserve, and to do so, they plan to further document their practices, update their community protocol and have meetings with relevant government agencies.

Mengkawago community members harvesting honey.
PACOS Trust

Mengkawago, Tongod
The community of Mengkawago hopes to show the importance and multiple values of the forest area and secure legal recognition and protection of their customary lands, practices and livelihoods. To date, the community has successfully completed their community map and community profile and has documented their historical sites. They are also in the process of documenting their traditional practice of honey collection as an example of community forest stewardship. The community is hopeful that by documenting this traditional activity, they could reach a formal agreement with the Forestry Department as a form of mutually beneficial conservation of the forest area. This agreement could also pave the way to addressing existing tensions between the Forestry Department and the community over agroforestry activities (Lasimbang, 2016).

Terian, Ulu Papar
Terian will appoint a working committee, organise awareness campaigns and have dialogues with relevant stakeholders to show that they are stewards of the watersheds and surrounding forests—which are also part of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The community hopes that plans for the Kaiduan Dam will be reconsidered if not halted altogether and their traditional protocols recognised. Efforts to establish a Community Use Zone with Sabah Parks have yet to come to fruition, though this area is now recognised as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. There could be an opportunity to engage with UNESCO over the concerns with the dam, though more pervasive challenges remain with government funding and approval processes.

PRELIMINARY CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Community ritual to ask for help from the forest spirits to protect the mangroves from encroachment and destruction. Sudin Ipung/G6

The communities involved have demonstrated their resilience and ability to be stewards of their customary territories, but significant challenges remain that threaten their territories and practices in both the short- and long-term. Consolidating their community protocols will provide a clear basis for targeted dialogues and negotiation with government agencies and other stakeholders. Currently there are existing provisions in policy and legal frameworks that can be implemented by the government. However, challenges must be overcome to ensure the objectives can be achieved, including the elimination of possible conflicts of interest, appropriate recognition for various forms of communities’ customary laws and stewardship systems, ensuring equitable governance and effective management of natural resources in areas overlapping with communities’ territories, overcoming challenges with coordination and jurisdiction between government agencies, and promoting culturally appropriate research and education (Lasimbang, 2016).

A common recommendation across all of the communities is to seek recognition of their community protocols from the Native Court, especially where the state legal system has fallen short in its recognition of customary law and traditional knowledge and practices.

Sg. Eloi, Pitas
Any further development of the shrimp farm should be halted to prevent further damage to the mangroves and the project developers should pay for restoration of the mangroves destroyed. The Environment Protection Department should retract the environmental impact assessment clearance for the aquaculture project and undertake a public review, with full and effective participation of the villages in that area. An independent review should be undertaken of the impacts of the federal and state governments’ ‘poverty eradication’ programmes (such as the shrimp farming project). The community should be allowed to determine what form of development is appropriate to their way of life. Another legal option being considered is to work with the Drainage and Irrigation Department to recognise Water Conservation Areas in the community’s mangrove areas.

Alutok, Ulu Tomani
The Sabah Forestry Department should excise the community forest from the Class II Forest Reserve or reclassify it as a domestic forest reserve (Class III) and devolve governance and management responsibilities to the community, based on indigenous knowledge and practices. This arrangement should not impose any requirements to clear the forest under the guise of ‘poverty eradication’. At the very least, a co-management agreement should be established with the community for the community forest.

Kiau, Kota Belud
Sabah Parks should continue to assist with efforts to recognise the community’s conservation practices but should do so in ways that are tailored to each community in the Ecolinc (corridor) area, including by considering the pros and cons of Native Reserves and other forms of legal recognition more fully with the community before proceeding with gazettement. Sabah Parks and companies interested in tourism operations in the area should also assist the community in setting up eco-tourism initiatives in accordance with the community’s protocol and development plans. Another option being considered is to work with the Sabah Forestry Department to demarcate and gazette their community forest reserve in accordance with the community’s protocol.

Mengkawago, Tongod
Similar to Alutok, the Sabah Forestry Department should excise the community’s traditional territory from the Forest Reserve or at least reclassify it into a Class III Forest Reserve and devolve governance and management responsibilities to the community, based on indigenous knowledge and practices. At the very least, the Forestry Department, concessionaire and community should establish a co-management agreement to allow the community secure access to forest products for their subsistence use and to protect the trees on which the honeybees depend. The community should also be compensated with land agreed by the community that is of relatively equal size, quality and fertility as what has been cleared by the concessionaire. An additional option being considered to support their livelihoods is to work with the Forestry Department’s Social Forestry Unit to assist the community to establish a local enterprise for the harvested honey.

Terian, Ulu Papar
The state government should immediately halt plans to build the Kaiduan Dam and identify alternatives for addressing the city’s water supply needs, including by retrofitting pipes to stop leakages. Sabah Parks and the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment should play a more active role in supporting the communities in Ulu Papar to resist the dam and should leverage the designation of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve to recognise the communities’ contributions to water catchment stewardship and biodiversity conservation more broadly, and the need for sustainable economic activities in the area. This could include legally recognising Water Conservation Areas and Community Use Zones. The community’s watershed management protocols should be formally recognised and supported by all relevant government agencies.

Testimony

Olon Somoi, 46 years old, Kampung Sungai Eloi, Pitas

“The mangrove is our home. It was devastated by the shrimp farm. We have no support from the leaders to defend our land. In 2012, we were threatened when we tried to hunt for food in our traditional hunting grounds. We are severely affected without our traditional foods. There are fewer lukan (shells), fish, and crabs. Some days, there are none. Land applications in Kampung Kuyu were cancelled in favour of the farm. We want ICCA to continue in our community. We are restoring our mangroves on our own, and we want them untouched. We will die defending our land.”
– Aunty Olon, Native Customary Rights Land defender

Download Report of the CCRI in Sabah, Malaysia here.

REFERENCES

Sabah Forestry Department, 2011. Sabah Forestry Department Annual Report 2010. Sandakan, Sabah. http://www.forest.sabah.gov.my/pdf/ar2010/index.htm

Lasimbang, J., 2016. “At least 5 communities practise ‘Tagal Hutan’. Workshop on Promoting Tagal Hutan to Conserve Traditional Indigenous Practice, Enhance Watershed Management and Address Climate Change. Daily Express, 18 February, p2a. http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=106900

Lasimbang. J., 2016. “Tagal Hutan to conserve culture, land and forest through development of a Policy Framework”. http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/user_upload/rap/Asia-Pacific_Forestry_Week/doc/Stream_4/ST4_24Feb_Jannie_-_Tagal_Hutan_land_rights.pdf

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