Peru Forests

Forests cover about sixty per cent of Peru, almost 72 million hectares; the second largest forest ecosystem in Latin America, and the fourth largest tropical forest surface in the world.

According to the Government of Peru, the main source of GHG emissions in this country is deforestation for agriculture, cattle ranching, and informal mining. Other causes include illegal felling. From 1985 to 2000, Peru lost 150,000 has of forests per year; however, the current deforestation rate is not known, one of the main knowledge gaps facing Peru. Peru has decided to embark on the Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation project which seeks to reduce emission by promoting the preservation of forests and biodiversity through the sale of carbon credits. However, the leaders of affected communities, in their majority indigenous, and other civil society organizations argue that for REDD to be effective, there needs to be a commitment to address massive unresolved land demarcation, legalization, and titling issues. Difficulty in mitigating and managing forest ecosystem impacts from major infrastructure investments, such as theSouthern Highway, have called attention to the lack of adequate planning in the Peruvian Amazon. [1] [1] See “Peruvian Amazon in 2021: Infrastructure and the Exploitation of Natural Resources: What is happening and what does it mean for the future?” by Marc Dourojeanni; Alberto Barandiaran y Diego Dourojeanni (2009)

Readiness Preparation Plan (R-PP)

The latest version of the R-PP has been reviewed by stakeholders including national and international non-governmental organizations, indigenous organizations, Grupo REDD, and the FCPF Participant Committee. Most of them note that the R-PP needs improvement in its elaboration process, especially in terms of the consultation and participation of stakeholders, including compliance with the Law of Previous Consultation and with special concern over the stakes of indigenous groups; that the plan needs improvement in issues of land tenure; that it needs to properly identify the drivers of deforestation and to ensure the transparency of the monitoring process; and lastly, that it does give enough attention and value to the benefits and impacts of deforestation other than carbon.

The Government of Peru made changes to the 4th draft of the R-PP to accommodate critical observations made by AIDESEP in a letter.  In meetings prior to the Da Lat PC8, the Peruvian government addressed some of the concerns of AIDESEP and agreed to certain adjustments to the R-PP that are to be presented at the PC8, including;

1. Adjustment to the norms governing indigenous lands consistent with the concept of collective rights of indigenous peoples in ILO 169, with indirect references to collective territory.

2.  Rapid startup of the legalization and titling of land, beginning in the region of Loreto, with an estimated initial Budget of $US 1 million in addition to the $200,000 budgeted within the FCPF R-PP (leaving clear the balance of $20 million that is required to complete the legalization process based on an estimate of $US 1 per hectare for 20,000 hectares under claim).

3.  Inclusion of the content describing “Indigenous REDD” within the R-PP as proposed by AIDESEP

4.  Inclusion of a self-organizing Indigenous MESA REDD within the R-PP

5.  Safeguards based on ILO 169 and UNDRIP, no only the UNFCCC or World Bank

6. Inclusion of a addressing the regulatory oversight capacity of MINAM to avoid pressures and protect invasions of local communities against a REDD speculative bubble.

Ultimately, the position of AIDESEP and several other allied organizations will rest on the presentation of the Peruvian Government, to incorporate these and other stated recommendations and the approval of the on the FCPF PC.

Forest Investment Program (FIP)

From January 17th – 20th, a Forest Investment Program scoping mission was carried out in Peru, one of the FIP’s eight pilot countries. The mission including staff from the World Bank, the IFC, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Peru’s Environmental Ministry. The IDB participated having been proposed as the “delivery partner” for FCPF and FIP programs in Peru.

Civil society interaction during the scoping mission was significantly improved over those carried out in 2010. The Indonesia scoping mission report, for example, notes that only two NGOs were able to attend the civil society information meeting, “because of the short notice for the meeting.” In Peru’s case, the scoping mission met with Grupo REDD Peru, in addition to bi-lateral meetings with two umbrella indigenous federations, covering communities in the Peruvian Amazon.

On January 19th, the scoping mission team visited the offices of AIDESEP, the Inter-Ethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Amazon. In recent years, AIDESEP has been engaging within the REDD discussions, for example sending their climate change focal point, Daysi Zapata, to deliver statements at the FCPF participant committee meetings in Guyana (June 2010) and Washington, DC (November 2010).

During the scoping mission visit to their offices, the AIDESEP team outlined a number of concerns and proposals related to REDD implementation in Peru. These ideas have been further fleshed out in AIDESEP’s recent letter to the World Bank regarding the latest version of Peru’s “readiness preparation proposal” to be discussed at the FCPF’s upcoming meeting in Da Lat, Vietnam. Key aspects include:

(1) Territory: Prior demarcation of hundreds of un-recognized or un-titled indigenous communities, expansion of some existing titles, and formalization of proposed communal reserves and other reserves created for the protection of indigenous peoples living in voluntary isolation. They also demand that laws regulating titling of indigenous territories be modernized in accordance with Peru’s obligations under international law such as ILO Convention 169.

In the R-PP3:

The document reassures that Peru’s Political Constitution “stipulates that the State guarantees the right of land ownership”, and that the “Law of Native Communities and Agrarian Development of the Selva and Ceja de Selva stipulates that the State shall guarantee the integrity of the lands of indigenous peoples, conduct the corresponding cadastre, and grant them property rights”. The R-PP also claims that the issue of land titles and assignations to indigenous groups is of key importance to REDD+.

In terms of the demarcation of communities, the R-PP states that it will be the responsibility of the respective regional governments to issue the demarcation of these lands, and therefore the assignation of agricultural lands and lands suitable for forestry, will be stipulated in accordance to the Regulation on the Classification of Lands by their Capacity for Greater Use.

Likewise, for the the formalization of proposed communal reserves, the R-PP says that both the Forest and Wildlife Law and the National Forestry Policy have been proposed to be the national forest authority. They claim that these laws were prepared by the State with the participation of various sectors nationally, regionally and locally. The draft Forestry Law states that the assignment for use constitutes a real, exclusive, perpetual, non-transferable right, the objective of which is to ensure the traditional uses and life systems of native communities and grants to exclusive ownership, access, use, enjoyment, and recovery of lands for forest production and protection, as well as of forest and wildlife resources found within them.

For land titling, the R-PP states that it will not grant authorizing titles of land that, as of the date of the Law’s publication, are still in the process of titling or the expansion of native communities; no project or activity will be authorized in such areas.

The R-PP claims that there are current discussions at the national level concerning AIDESEP’s petition for the completion of land title clearing in areas occupied by indigenous communities, not just those with an ongoing process, and that forest authorization titles exclude the areas of passage of people in voluntary isolation. The R-PP also claims that they are discussing how all laws in regard to land tenure, forest governance and indigenous groups will meet the obligations under ILO C169.

However, it states that it is hard to title these lands due to the lack of information such as an official study that determines the number of indigenous people’s existing in the territory and the status of the process of their recognition or expansion of communal lands, and also the lack of economic resources for demarcation and titling. They understand the social conflicts resulting from this problem, as well as the need to update the official registries in order to avoid them.

Therefore, one of the main problems with demarcation and titling of communal reserves and indigenous territories is the lack of information and proper record-keeping. The R-PP3 proposes an allocation of funds to several aspects of a process that will help improve that situation. The funds come from FCPC and MOORE and will go to the analysis of land use in terms of: an overall diagnosis, an analysis of overlapping, a diagnosis of ownership, title clearing, and the governance and intervention on lands traditionally occupied by indigenous communities and their use. It also includes the preparation of a specific program to identify uncategorized lands, designing specific actions to resolve land titling, and analyzing a way to put together a unified cadastre for land titling. The funds total.

To prepare the political, legal and institutional framework for the REDD+ strategy that addresses land tenure issues, a REDD+ Coordination Agency will be formed (OCBR). During the first two years of R-PP implementation, the OCBR will be financed by projects that co-finance the Readiness phase and the FIP, and in the third phase, it is expected to be self-sufficient.

The R-PP also states that SESA will help Peru to ensure the proper development of society within REDD, including the development and implementation of an Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF).

Peru has made some advances to address the issue of land tenure and indigenous communities. Land titling, however, is a grave issue and it should be given more attention by the government as well as the international community. The IDB, for example, has dedicated smaller-scale funding projects to address issues with titling, such as the Multiphase Sustainable Forest Development Program (Pro-Bosque) for Honduras that provided $6 million to finance cadastre and land titling. Such projects would greatly support the REDD+ strategy initiative in Peru.

(2) “REDD Indigena“: AIDESEP is proposing an alternate model for REDD, which would include (amongst other characteristics): Considering the holistic value of forests, not just value as carbon sinks, indigenous management of forests, no third-party control of forests within indigenous territories, the primacy of ILO 169 and UNDRIPs within REDD contracts, and maintaining indigenous territories outside of the carbon market.

(3) National legal norms: AIDESEP has repeated the need to approve the Prior Consultation Law, as it was originally passed by the Peruvian Congress in April of 2010. They have also made suggestions for crucial improvements to the Forestry Law and the Environmental Services Law, which have not been incorporated.

Read the Scoping Mission Aide Memoire

Common Approach

Members of the Task Force sent their recommendations on Environmental and Social safeguards for the REDD+ Strategy to the Participants Committee on June 9th, 2011, which they hoped would be approved during the PC9 meeting, and adopted as a common approach to the implementation of REDD by all delivery partners. The TF worked intensively for seven months to develop a consensus on the contents of the Common Approach, to decide on the Environmental and Social Safeguards for the implementation of REDD+ in the Pilot Countries by the Multiple Delivery Partners.

First, they focused on developing a common approach that was workable for the two DPs selected by the Pilot Countries. Representatives of the Inter-American Development Bank and the United Nations Development Programme have been actively and extensively engaged in all aspects of the TF deliberations. The Asian Development Bank and the Food and Agriculture Organization also provided background information ontheir safeguard policies and procedures. Also, the information on the current safeguard policies and procedures of both DPs was gathered and compared with the info provided by CSOs during a consultation to ensure that the safeguards were being implemented to their fullest extent. This information was all used as background information when comparing the DP safeguards to those of the World Bank, utilizing the Bank’s Operational Policies for identifying “gaps” between the two sets of safeguards.

The TF believes that the safeguards that they developed for the two DPs can be applied to all six DPs. Therefore, they have recommended to the Participants Committee a process for determining whether a potential DP can serve as a DP.

Read More

Common Approach
Task Force Conveyance Memo to PC9

Guidelines on Stakeholder Engagement

The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility and the UN-REDD Programme presented a draft of the a set of guidelines for stakeholders engaged in REDD+ Readiness. They discuss the key elements of effective stakeholder engagement with an emphasis on the participation of indigenous peoples and other forest-dependent communities. The document discusses three main elements: 1) principles for effective participation and consultation, 2) operational guidelines, and 3) practical how to guidance on planning and implementing consultations. Furthermore, these guidelines also reiterate the purposes and values of the REDD+ program and acknowledges the risks of the program if it is not handled properly.

See Document

Guidelines for Stakeholder Engagement in REDD Readiness