Lessons from local environmental funds for REDD+ benefit sharing with indigenous people in Brazil

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Key lessons

  • While the constitutional rights (e.g. property rights) of indigenous peoples (IP) are strong in Brazil and may help to overcome their vulnerability, they are rarely enforceable and do not offer sufficient safeguards.
  • Informed consultation and a structured free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) process that considers cultural issues are fundamental to ensuring acceptance and consent by IP.
  • Local environmental funds can be a tool for increasing autonomy and decentralization while sharing benefits with IP and financing long-term and specific demands that can change over time.
  • Safeguard strategies implemented by the Amazon Fund to avoid conflicts of interest may result in restrictions on the participation of IP, having implications related to the legitimacy of decision-making in the distribution of benefits.
  • The absence of timely financial flows to meet IP needs may be a considerable risk since it can encourage environmentally damaging activities.
  • Relying on the voluntary market may be risky for IP initiatives because of market instability and possible lack of funding.

Source: CIFOR publications

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