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GOVERNING PRINCIPLES

Our commitment is to support Indigenous Peoples', traditional owners' and local communities’ calls to recognize their rights, stewardship and active participation in forest conservation and to create equitable, accessible mechanisms for them to engage with climate and conservation finance. 

FOREST COMMUNITIES ARE ESSENTIAL CONSERVATION PARTNERS 

Indigenous Peoples, traditional owners and Local Communities (IPLC) hold the solutions to protecting the world’s forests. They are holders of irreplaceable knowledge and crucial partners to achieve global climate goals. Without the willing and active participation of IPLCs, most deforestation drivers cannot be effectively addressed, and most efforts to stop global deforestation will fail.

 

Indigenous and other forest communities face accelerating pressures as they protect their territories, including fires to clear forests for agriculture, logging, mining, land grabbing, and other illegal activities. They frequently experience violence or repression when they resist. These communities’ rights and their leadership in keeping their forests standing need to be globally recognized.

Climate and carbon finance to forest communities must recognize and fund forest communities as equal partners, critical solution providers, and key participants in efforts to shape a global economy that values nature and biodiversity.

COMMUNITY-BASED, VALUES-DRIVEN CLIMATE AND CONSERVATION FINANCE PROJECTS HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO CREATE A FUTURE WITH FORESTS THAT ALIGNS WITH FOREST COMMUNITY RIGHTS TO THEIR TERRITORIES, ECONOMIC SELF-DETERMINATION, AND CULTURAL TRADITIONS.

Voluntary climate commitments are a powerful tool for partnering with forest communities to stabilize forest loss and protect biodiversity, while supporting their cultures. Repeated independent third-party audits, based on science-based standards and developed through open multi-stakeholder processes, confirm the positive impacts that community-based, voluntary climate finance projects have generated for both forest communities and global climate and biodiversity goals.

Community-based climate finance partnerships can make meaningful contributions to national emissions reductions goals for forest nations, and be a key part of global emissions targets set under the Paris Agreement. Through an established process called “nesting,” community-based forest conservation projects can contribute to national and subnational programs, and attract additional finance from voluntary corporate demand. Community-based climate finance projects also have a well-documented history of innovation and delivering benefits directly to forest communities.  

Indigenous peoples have the best record of success in protecting tropical forests. In the Amazon, deforestation rates in indigenous territories are less than 15% compared to a rate of 76% in territories not inhabited by indigenous people (Finer et al. 2021). However, precisely because some indigenous territories have avoided deforestation and are not considered to be under immediate threat (despite clear and accelerating pressures), they are unable to access climate finance through many programs as they are currently designed.

 

A key goal of the partnership is to advance new, alternative financing mechanisms that can fill this gap and recognize forest community stewardship and sacrifices to protect their lands from deforestation. 

Download our living document detailing principles for working with forest communities. 

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photo: Filip Agoo

Download the Peoples Forests Partnership concept note

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photo: Roun Ry

Register your expression of interest to become a member. 

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Finer, M., Mamani, N., Silman, M. 2021. Protected Areas & Indigenous Territories Effective Against Deforestation in the Western Amazon. MAAP: 141. maaproject.org/2021/protected-areas/.