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  • Women's hidden harvest: Indigenous vegetables and amaXhosa cultural survival in Hobeni Village, South Africa

Women’s hidden harvest: Indigenous vegetables and amaXhosa cultural survival in Hobeni Village, South Africa

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This book is about the people of Hobeni Village and the protected area that neighbors them, the Dwesa-Cwebe Nature Reserve. For over 100 years, the communities next to the Dwesa and Cwebe Forests have been caught in a conflict over natural resources. Residents were forcibly removed for decades by colonial and apartheid-era governments. After being declared a protected area in 1978, local people lost access to natural resources in the forest. Although the communities won a land claim battle in 2001, local people were prohibited from harvesting natural resources until 2016, including a variety of forest foods. Remarkably, the indigenous knowledge associated with these foods endured through the stories, actions, and resistance of local women.

This book aims to capture the experiences of these women, and to provide an accessible text documenting their stories of cultural and physical survival.

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  • Gender equality and forest landscape restoration infobriefs

Gender equality and forest landscape restoration infobriefs

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Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) aims to achieve ecological integrity and enhance human well-being in deforested or degraded landscapes. Evidence shows that addressing gender equality and women’s rights is critical for addressing this dual objective. Against this backdrop, CIFOR and a number of partners hosted a Global Landscapes Forum workshop on FLR and gender equality in Nairobi, Kenya in November 2017. The objective of the workshop was to identify and discuss experiences, opportunities and challenges to advancing gender-responsive FLR in East African countries, as well as to join together various stakeholders working at the interface of gender and FLR as a community of practice. This brief set is a tangible outcome of this collaboration, featuring a number of useful lessons and recommendations rooted in the experience and expertise of partners in civil society, multilateral organizations, research community and private sector – all working in different ways to enhance the gender-responsiveness of restoration efforts.

Brief 1: Enhancing effectiveness of forest landscape programs through gender-responsive actions

Brief 2: Role of capital in enhancing participation of women in commercial forestry: A case study of the Sawlog Production Grant Scheme (SPGS) project in Uganda

Brief 3: The impacts of gender-conscious payment models on the status of women engaged in micro-forestry on the Kenyan coast

Brief 4: Mobilizing indigenous and local knowledge for successful restoration

Brief 5: Gender-responsive Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology (ROAM): Engendering national forest landscape restoration assessments 

Brief 6: Enhancing Women’s Participation in Forestry Management Using Adaptive Collaborative Management: The Case of Mbazzi Farmers Association, Mpigi District Uganda

Brief 7: What women and men want: Considering gender for successful, sustainable land management programs: Lessons learned from the Nairobi Water Fund

Brief 8: Understanding landscape restoration options in Kenya: Risks and opportunities for advancing gender equality

Brief 9: Building farmer organisations’ capacity to collectively adopt agroforestry and sustainable agriculture land management practices in Lake Victoria Basin

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  • Reconciling policy and practice in the co-management of forests in indigenous territories

Reconciling policy and practice in the co-management of forests in indigenous territories

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  • Rights abuse allegations in the context of REDD+ readiness and implementation: A preliminary review and proposal for moving forward

Rights abuse allegations in the context of REDD+ readiness and implementation: A preliminary review and proposal for moving forward

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  • This review reveals multiple allegations of abuses of the rights of Indigenous Peoples in the context of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) readiness and implementation.
  • Findings from the review should be transformed into opportunities for REDD+ to promote and strengthen the rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  • A rights-based approach to REDD+ requires engagement with indigenous men and women as rights-holders, rather than as project beneficiaries.
  • Parties should be pressed to investigate abuse allegations, enable access to justice, and develop grievance mechanisms within REDD+ processes.
  • REDD+ risks exacerbating issues of unsecured rights and pre-existing conflicts over land in the contexts in which it is being readied and implemented, unless it is re-oriented to enhance the rights of Indigenous Peoples. Evidence suggests Indigenous Peoples’ undefined tenure rights will negatively impact REDD+ targets.
  • Ensuring the consistent participation of indigenous men and women throughout REDD+ processes is imperative, following clear guidelines for Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC), and with capacity-building efforts for their effective participation.
  • Rather than being seen as a tool to discourage negative impacts, REDD+ safeguards must be reframed to recognise, inter alia, the key role of Indigenous Peoples in climate change initiatives and protecting forests.
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  • Spatially explicit multi-threat assessment of food tree species in Burkina Faso: A fine-scale approach

Spatially explicit multi-threat assessment of food tree species in Burkina Faso: A fine-scale approach

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Abstract

Over the last decades agroforestry parklands in Burkina Faso have come under increasing demographic as well as climatic pressures, which are threatening indigenous tree species that contribute substantially to income generation and nutrition in rural households. Analyzing the threats as well as the species vulnerability to them is fundamental for priority setting in conservation planning.

Guided by literature and local experts we selected 16 important food tree species (Acacia macrostachya, Acacia senegal, Adansonia digitata, Annona senegalensis, Balanites aegyptiaca, Bombax costatum, Boscia senegalensis, Detarium microcarpum, Lannea microcarpa, Parkia biglobosa, Sclerocarya birrea, Strychnos spinosa, Tamarindus indica, Vitellaria paradoxa, Ximenia americana, Ziziphus mauritiana) and six key threats to them (overexploitation, overgrazing, fire, cotton production, mining and climate change).

We developed a species-specific and spatially explicit approach combining freely accessible datasets, species distribution models (SDMs), climate models and expert survey results to predict, at fine scale, where these threats are likely to have the greatest impact. We find that all species face serious threats throughout much of their distribution in Burkina Faso and that climate change is predicted to be the most prevalent threat in the long term, whereas overexploitation and cotton production are the most important short-term threats. Tree populations growing in areas designated as ‘highly threatened’ due to climate change should be used as seed sources for ex situ conservation and planting in areas where future climate is predicting suitable habitats. Assisted regeneration is suggested for populations in areas where suitable habitat under future climate conditions coincides with high threat levels due to short-term threats.

In the case of Vitellaria paradoxa, we suggest collecting seed along the northern margins of its distribution and considering assisted regeneration in the central part where the current threat level is high due to overexploitation. In the same way, population-specific recommendations can be derived from the individual and combined threat maps of the other 15 food tree species. The approach can be easily transferred to other countries and can be used to analyze general and species specific threats at finer and more local as well as at broader (continental) scales in order to plan more selective and efficient conservation actions in time. The concept can be applied anywhere as long as appropriate spatial data are available as well as knowledgeable experts.

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  • For secure land rights, indigenous forest communities need more than just titles

For secure land rights, indigenous forest communities need more than just titles

The native lands of the Tres Islas community are seen in Peru. Photo by CIFOR Photo/Juan Carlos Huay llapuma
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The native lands of the Tres Islas community are seen in Peru. Photo by CIFOR/Juan Carlos Huay llapuma

While securing a land title may be a key step for forest-dependent communities, it is not sufficient to ensure legal rights and improve livelihoods, study highlights.

Under Peruvian law, a title gives traditional forest communities rights over land, but resources on that land, such as forests, formally remain the property of the state. In order to use these resources, communities are required to follow additional procedures to obtain permits and authorizations.

This was the case faced by the indigenous community of Tres Islas in the Amazonian region of Madre de Dios – despite securing a land title more than 20 years ago, non-governmental organizations working in the region have reported that a large portion of the community’s territory is overlapped by mining permits.

Read also: Reclaiming collective rights: land and forest tenure reforms in Peru (1960-2016)

The law states that indigenous communities may be granted communal titles over agrarian lands, but rights over forests are limited to usufruct contracts – that is, the right to use, but not own, the resources found there.

Furthermore, while the government recognizes indigenous communities’ long-term-use rights over forestlands, it reserves the right to grant time-limited concessions to companies and individuals, for example for extractive activities such as timber or mining, often within the same territory. This inevitably leads to overlapping land rights and, sometimes, conflict.

In recognition of August 9 as the UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous People. The Tres Islas Community video was produced by Yoly Gutierrez and Martin Balbuena.

In 2010, the people of Tres Islas decided to build a fence to keep out miners and loggers who had been granted permits to use land under their title without the community’s authorization. Community leaders thought that they were exercising their rights when they decided to limit access by outsiders, but instead their fence was destroyed, and they were sued and incarcerated.

After years of conflict, the community took their case to the Peruvian Constitutional Court and won, establishing a legal precedent that ensures protection of indigenous territorial autonomy and requires community consultation in any case that directly affects indigenous territory.

Read also: Long road ahead to indigenous land and forest rights in Peru

“The case in Tres Islas shows the challenges that many traditional communities face across the globe, where titles or formal recognition don’t fully ensure rights, tenure security or the improvement of livelihoods,” says Iliana Monterroso, a researcher who leads the Centre for International Forestry Research’s (CIFOR) Global Comparative Study on Forest Tenure Reform in Peru.

An historical analysis performed as part of the study also shows that while governments continue to discuss reforms to simplify regulations, it is indigenous movements and non-profit organizations that have been instrumental in ensuring that communities receive technical support to comply with norms and establish a better position from which to benefit from the resources available in their forestlands.

“The findings suggest that continued support is needed to ensure that communities can develop the skills to take advantage of acquired rights. While a title or certification is very important, there are other things to consider as part of these reform processes,” Monterroso says.

By Yoly Gutierrez, originally published at CIFOR’s Forests News

For more information on this topic, please contact Iliana Monterroso at [email protected] or Anne Larson at [email protected].


This research forms part of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry, which is supported by CGIAR Fund Donors

This research was supported by the European Commission and GEF with the technical support of FAO and IFAD.

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  • Reclaiming collective rights: land and forest tenure reforms in Peru (1960-2016)

Reclaiming collective rights: land and forest tenure reforms in Peru (1960-2016)

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Overview

In Peru, since 1974, more than 1,200 communities have been titled in the Amazon for over 12 million hectares, representing about 20% of the country’s national forest area. This working paper analyzes policy and regulatory changes that have influenced how indigenous peoples access, use and manage forest and land resources in the Peruvian Amazon during the last fifty years. It reviews the main motivations behind changes, the institutional structures defined by law and the outcomes of these changes in practice.

The paper discusses political priorities related to land and forest tenure, social actors involved in reform debates and the mechanisms used for recognizing indigenous rights claims. The paper argues that there has not been a single reform process in Peru; instead multiple reforms have shaped forest tenure rights, contributing to both progress and setbacks for indigenous people and communities. This working paper is part of a global comparative research initiative that is analyzing reform processes that recognize collective tenure rights to forests and land in six countries in highly forested regions.

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  • FTA event coverage: Gaining traction on climate goals

FTA event coverage: Gaining traction on climate goals

Deforestation in Jambi, Sumatra, Indonesia. Photo: Asep Ayat for 2014 Global Landscapes Forum Photo Competition
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Deforestation in Jambi, Sumatra, Indonesia. Photo: Asep Ayat for 2014 Global Landscapes Forum Photo Competition
Deforestation in Jambi, Sumatra, Indonesia. Photo: Asep Ayat for 2014 Global Landscapes Forum Photo Competition

By Catriona Croft-Cusworth, originally posted at CIFOR’s Forests News

An increasing number of states are embracing commitments made under the Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit global temperature rise. But how do these grand ambitions play out in reality?

In practice, climate action gains traction at the ground level — ‘where the rubber hits the road’, so to speak — and that requires collaboration among a whole range of different stakeholders.

Besides national governments, subnational governments are increasingly involved in action on climate change in the land use and forestry sectors. Non-state actors, including indigenous groups (which sometimes own and manage important territories), non-governmental organizations and the private sector, are also playing a growing role.

So how can the efforts of these various groups be best coordinated to meet national and international pledges, bringing real action on climate change?

A political world

Anne Larson, a Principal Scientist with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), has led research on this issue in five countries as part of the Global Comparative Study on REDD+ under the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry, including two national studies on systems of monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV).

Planting Mangroves. Photo: Putu Budhiadnya for 2016 Global Landscapes Forum Photo Competition
Planting Mangroves. Photo: Putu Budhiadnya for 2016 Global Landscapes Forum Photo Competition

She says that even with apparently technical issues like MRV, political tensions tend to emerge both horizontally and vertically among stakeholder groups when trying to turn ideas into reality. This shouldn’t discourage efforts to take action but suggests that we need to take a different approach.

“We can’t ignore political realities,” she says. “We have many great ideas, but no matter how great they might sound technically, we always bump into reality when we hit the ground and try to start implementing.”


Also read: FTA project update: Understanding REDD+ across the globe


“Politics is not necessarily good or bad, it just is. We need to embrace this and learn to work in this reality.”

Pham Thu Thuy, another CIFOR scientist involved in the study, says her research in Vietnam found that politics not only influenced coordination, but also shaped perceptions of goals and challenges among different levels of governance.

“Different levels perceive different problems. But also how they actually define the problem is based on their own perception and their political interest,” Thuy says.

The answer to coordinating those differences, she says, is to take a landscape approach.

Click to read: Exploring the agency of Africa in climate change negotiations: the case of REDD+
Click to read: Exploring the agency of Africa in climate change negotiations: the case of REDD+

You have to be aware of these politics and think about how you can bring together every piece of information and every active group to make a policy work,” she says.

“And I think that for the land-use system, if you want something to work, basically it has to be at the landscape level.”

A landscape view

At the Global Landscapes Forum in Marrakesh, subnational and non-state actors were invited to share their perspectives on the matter of catalyzing action on the ground.

The term ‘non-state actors’ includes researchers, civil society and other community-level groups, but via global climate negotiations in recent years has become shorthand for the private sector.


Also read: COP22 Special: REDD+ monitoring is a technical and political balancing act


Bruce Cabarle, Team Leader of Partnerships for Forests, an initiative for investment in sustainable use of land and forests, said in discussion at GLF that public-private-people partnerships were key to applying lessons learned into the future.

“The more interesting question is: How do we get synergies and complementarity between voluntary certification schemes and government regulations so that they are mutually reinforcing?” he asked.

Christoph Thies, a forest campaigner for Greenpeace, welcomed cooperative efforts among sectors, but maintained that states should take the lead.

“The private sector should never replace the roles and responsibilities of governments,” he said.

For Thies, the answer lies in understanding political factors as both challenges and opportunities for change.

“Technical barriers can be overcome,” he said. “To really address the landscape requires political will.”

On the ground

Fernando Sampaio, Executive Director of the PCI (Produce, Conserve and Include) Strategy State Committee in Mato Grosso, Brazil, acknowledged the importance of both private-sector and civil society involvement in ground-level efforts, from a subnational government perspective.

“The private sector is an important part of the process, but we also need to include other stakeholders who are excluded from the process,” he said.

Excluded groups often include indigenous peoples, whose land rights are not always recognized. Norvin Goff, President of MASTA, an indigenous federation that represents the Miskitus of the Honduran Mosquitia, said that blueprint approaches to land and forest use rarely work at the ground level for indigenous communities.

“We don’t need a set formula that has been used in the past, we need to create an approach together,” Goff said.

He urged closer partnerships between government and indigenous groups.

“Instead of an enemy, they should consider us as part of the solution,” he said.


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