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Home > Main Library > Forests and forest peoples > Forests and forest peoples - global and regional > Forests and forest peoples - programmes for rights and preservation

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Forests and forest peoples - programmes for rights and preservation

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)
Description/subject: "The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) is a CGIAR Consortium Research Centre. ICRAF’s headquarters are in Nairobi, Kenya, with six regional offices located in Cameroon, China, India, Indonesia, Kenya and Peru. The Centre’s vision is a rural transformation throughout the tropics as smallholder households increase their use of trees in agricultural landscapes to improve their food security, nutrition security, income, health, shelter, social cohesion, energy resources and environmental sustainability. ICRAF's mission is to generate science-based knowledge about the diverse benefits - both direct and indirect - of agroforestry, or trees in farming systems and landscapes, and to disseminate this knowledge to develop policy options and promote policies and practices that improve livelihoods and benefit the environment. The World Agroforestry Centre is guided by the broad development challenges pursued by the CGIAR. These include poverty alleviation that entails enhanced food security and health, improved productivity with lower environmental and social costs, and resilience in the face of climate change and other external shocks. ICRAF's work also addresses many of the issues being tackled by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that aim to eradicate hunger, reduce poverty, provide affordable and clean energy, protect life on land and combat climate change..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 10 July 2016

Individual Documents

Title: CLOSING THE GAP: Strategies and scale needed to secure rights and save forests
Date of publication: 03 February 2016
Description/subject: "...the customary rights of communities and Indigenous Peoples to forests, rangelands, and wetlands are often not written down or shown on government maps, but they are a fundamental reality. They cover more than 50 percent of the world’s land surface, yet new research by RRI in 2015 showed that just 10 percent of the world’s land is legally recognized as community-owned.2 This means that governments formally recognize communities’ ownership rights to less than 20 percent of the land they have historically owned. This huge gap means that vast areas of the world remain open to contest. Disputes over land ownership are a major driver of conflict: the unclear status of customary rights has played a role in all but three of the 30-plus armed conflicts in Africa between 1990 and 2009.3 Even though the constitutions of many countries recognize customary law, and recognize customary rights in statutory law, implementation is often weak or nonexistent.,,"
Author/creator: Fred Pearce
Language: English
Source/publisher: Rights and Resources Initiative
Format/size: pdf (3.3MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.rightsandresources.org/en/publication/closing-the-gap/'>http://www.rightsandresources.org/en/publication/closing-the-gap/
Date of entry/update: 04 February 2016

Title: Mediating forest conflicts in South East Asia: Getting the positive out of conflicts over forests and land
Date of publication: 2014
Description/subject: Executive summary: "The high incidence of forest conflict in Southeast Asia underscores the need for conflict-transformation tools to maximize the positive impacts and reduce potential damage. Mediation is considered one of the most effective approaches in transforming conflict over natural resources. Mediation is often chosen when negotiation between conflict parties fails due to the complexity and intensity of the conflict and because of unequal negotiating power. It is also chosen when the judicial process is considered too complex and requires higher transaction costs. This issues paper is based on analysis of six conflict mediation cases in three countries in Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Indonesia and Thailand). The study aimed to increase the understanding of how mediation has been applied in transforming forest conflicts, including what factors led to the success and the challenges encountered. The paper also provides suggestions on how mediation, as an approach for conflict transformation, can be strengthened in Southeast Asia. The findings of the study indicate that mediation was crucial in transforming the six forest and land conflicts. It facilitated the creation of an environment conducive for multi-stakeholder dialogue, built trust among conflict parties and instilled problem-solving capacity of the conflict parties. Mediation brought out several positive outcomes for the conflict parties beyond just the settlement of the conflict: It improved mutual understanding and respect, fostered better social relations and long-term cooperation and increased the parties’ capacity to find sustainable solutions to conflict. The impacts from the six cases are categorized from economic, environmental and social points of view, with the social outcomes considered the most notable impact of the mediation experience. The study also found that mediation can be applied in various types of forest and land conflicts that involved different actors, issues and at varying levels of intensity. Five of the mediation cases studied involved communities in conflict with external actors (plantation companies, mining companies and protected area authority); the sixth case involved a conflict between communities. In terms of conflict intensity, the cases were of medium to high intensity. The success of the mediation process in the six cases hinged, to a large extent, on the commitment, participation and trust of all the conflict parties to the mediation as well as the skills and competence of the mediators. The achievement of the agreements, for example, was largely possible because the mediators possessed the right skills, knowledge and personality traits needed for mediating the conflict. In achieving their mediation objectives, those mediators worked as a team and performed several roles, including process facilitator, communication facilitator, advisor, capacity developer and resource provider. Although the six cases studied followed a general mediation process, the approaches and type of mediation used varied, depending on the dynamics and context of the conflict. There did not seem to be a one-size-fits-all approach. However, there are principles governing the mediation process that were apparent across all the case studies, including the participatory nature of the process, capacity development, restoration of relationships and communication. Despite mediation’s important role in transforming conflict in the six cases, the study found that it is not a silver bullet for all situations. Like other conflict-transformation approaches, mediation has limitations. In some cases, for example, the results of mediation are difficult to be enforced because the decisions are not legally binding; therefore, its’ implementation depends on the willingness of all parties to comply with the agreement. It is also not immune to the influence of internal and external factors, such as the socio-political climate at the local or higher level. Nor can it stand alone in addressing the root causes of a conflict; sometimes it requires policy changes. There are also a limited number of skilled mediators available to mediate the vast number of forest and land conflicts in the region..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Centre for People and Forests
Format/size: pdf (1.4MB)
Date of entry/update: 25 March 2016

Title: Lessons Learned from Civil Society Efforts to Promote Community (Forest) Resource Rights and other Rights in Voluntary Partnership Agreements
Date of publication: 29 October 2013
Description/subject: "... The 2003 European Union (EU) Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan represents an attempt to link forest governance reforms in timber producing countries with market incentives for legally produced timber. Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) are bilateral trade agreements signed between the EU and a timber producing country, and are a key element of the FLEGT Action Plan. Each VPA has been drafted to reflect the realities and priorities of the producer country, and the negotiation process for each agreement has directly involved national civil society representatives, often for the first time in the forest sector. Civil society in VPA countries and internationally have sought to use the VPA negotiation process to advance community resource rights and other rights. The main objective of this paper is to examine the experiences and efforts of civil society in promoting a rights-based agenda through their engagement in VPA negotiations. It draws on experiences from the six countries that have completed negotiations: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Ghana, Indonesia, Liberia and Republic of Congo. In most cases it is too early to see tangible ‘on the ground’ evidence as regards stronger community resource rights. It will only be possible to assess the effects when the VPA and its Legality Assurance System (LAS) are being fully implemented and FLEGT licences are issued. Positive effects will also depend on strong implementation of the EU Timber Regulation since this provides the basic market incentive for reform by producer country governments. However, according to the responses received from civil society key informants in VPA countries it is possible to identify considerable progress as regards procedural rights: • It was found that all the VPA processes examined have resulted in significant advances for transparency, especially around concession allocation, logging operations, forest fees and other sensitive information. Transparency in terms of process also improved during VPA negotiations, with civil society organisations (CSOs) gaining insights into, and influence over, policy processes, including legal reform, usually for the first time in the forest sector. • CSOs in most countries regard the VPA process as having been very important for getting customary and other rights onto the agenda, and/or for expanding the political space available to promote rights. This is why procedural rights are fundamental and a pre-condition for progress on substantive rights. VPA negotiations have provided an entry point or platform for raising politically contested rights issues, with some CSOs identifying a small but noticeable shift in government (or forest department) attitudes to community rights. • In four of the countries a formal role for civil society in independent monitoring of VPA implementation has been established. This has been regarded as a major achievement by civil society since the potential for on the ground realisation of rights negotiated in a VPA is strongly related to how well its implementation is monitored - this puts pressure on loggers to respect community rights, and on governments to promote compliance by the private sector. • In some cases the VPA has endorsed legislation with significant rights implications, for example, in Ghana and Central African Republic (CAR). These laws would have little hope of being operationalised without the need to comply with a VPA legality assurance system. • In all VPA processes the review of forest legislation has highlighted gaps or inconsistencies, for instance nonexistent or weak implementing measures for essential laws, conflicting laws, or a failure to recognize customary rights in statutory law. VPA processes have helped clarify the rights status of communities in and around forests, a key first step towards improving them. • VPA processes have also been useful as a conduit for capacity building of CSOs, for example in undertaking independent monitoring activities. According to questionnaire responses, civil society key informants in most VPA countries felt that their capacity to defend community rights has been strengthened as a result of their participation in the VPA process. • There are also early signs that governments that have signed VPAs are more sensitive about forest governance and rights issues because of concerns about their reputation in the eyes of European importers. CSO advocacy campaigns will be able to exploit this sensitivity. On the other hand it must be acknowledged that in terms of promotion of tenure or community resource rights, the VPA process has its limitations. Most energy in the VPA implementation phase has gone into the technicalities of setting up the LAS, with much less attention paid to the rights-based agenda. In general, the VPA mainly affects rights linked to commercial timber production and trade, although some of the legal reforms mandated by VPAs include reforms to core statutory documents such as the Forest Code. There is also a requirement in VPAs that relevant national legislation is adjusted to incorporate international law, which should result in increased recognition of customary rights. It is also recognised that there are major challenges to implementation, primarily the political will required to implement reforms that will impact on the political economy status quo. In some cases there has been a hiatus following successful negotiation of a VPA - civil society actors have sometimes lost their focus, and the state has taken the opportunity to retrench as regards vested interests and pre-VPA attitudes. In sum, the main advances have been in terms of procedural rights - transparency, participation, consultation, monitoring and FPIC – rather than substantive rights. On the other hand these advances in procedural rights can be seen as being very significant in most of the countries, where, prior to the VPA process, civil society had very weak procedural rights. It can be argued that stronger procedural rights are a pre-condition for progress on substantive rights. Civil society can also see that by being linked to a legal instrument like the LAS there is at least a hope that for the first time advances on paper as regards community resource and other rights can be transmitted to practice. The main conclusion of this paper is therefore that, for the countries examined, the prospects for community resource rights (and other rights) are more hopeful than if there had been no VPA process. As pointed out by a Ghanaian civil society informant “it is safe to conclude that without the VPA, farmers and forest communities will be worse off. The legally binding framework of the permits regime, access to information and reform agenda when complimented with proper implementation and monitoring by all stakeholders will increase community rights.”...
Author/creator: Lindsay Duffield, Michael Richards,
Language: English
Source/publisher: Forest Trends
Format/size: pdf (2.8MB)
Date of entry/update: 20 April 2016

Title: Beyond Tenure: Rights-Based Approaches to Peoples and Forests - Some lessons from the Forest Peoples Programme
Date of publication: 2008
Description/subject: Abstract: In large parts of the world, forests remain the domain of the state in which the rights of forest-dependent peoples are denied or insecure. E fforts to restore justice to, and alleviate the poverty of, these marginalized communities have often focused on tenurial reforms. S ometimes those reforms have led to important improvements in livelihoods, mainly by stabilizing communities’ land use systems and by giving them greater security. H owever, these improvements have not prevented communities from suffering other forms of social exclusion and impoverishment. O n the basis of a review of 17 years of programmatic work with forest peoples in Africa, Asia, and Latin America by the F orest Peoples Programme, this paper explores the complexity of rights that need recognition if community-based livelihoods in forests are to be secured and well-being is to be improved. T he conclusion from this review is that programs to reform tenure in forests must be based on a broader understanding of the basis for asserting rights and must take into account a far wider range of human rights than are generally considered in forest policy debates. An effective rightsbased approach to forestry reform to ensure justice and poverty alleviation requires attention to a much broader spectrum of rights than just the assertion of the right to property. T enures must be appropriate to the culture and context of the communities concerned. S ystems of representation require effective recognition. C ommunities must be able to control their lands and resources. C ultural heritage should be protected. Basic rights to health and life and to civil and political rights and freedoms need to be secured. S ocial, cultural, and economic rights need to be respected. Although such rights are often recognized in countries’ constitutions, in international customary law, and in nationally ratified human rights treaties, they are rarely taken into account in narrow sectoral decisionmaking about forests. F orest governance systems must secure this broader spectrum of rights if forest peoples are to benefit from forestry reforms.
Author/creator: Marcus Colchester
Language: English
Source/publisher: Rights and Resources Initiative
Format/size: pdf (695MB-reduced version; 769K-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.rightsandresources.org/documents/files/doc_825.pdf
Date of entry/update: 09 November 2012

Title: Forest Inform Pty Ltd
Description/subject: "Forest Inform Pty Ltd provides "Land Logic Services" that combine government agencies' and stakeholders’ decision rules with accurate spatial data to resolve forest land use conflicts, integrate regional development, prepare conservation plans, and Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+)."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Forest Inform Pty Ltd
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 19 December 2015