In order to stop some of the worst impacts of climate change, industrialised countries need to reduce their emissions by a minimum of 80% by 2050. This requires a dramatic change in the way energy is produced and used, such as moving from energy produced by fossil fuels, to energy from the sun or wind. The investments that are needed are enormous. Deforestation and land use degradation also contribute heavily to higher greenhouse gas emissions. Payments to reduce deforestation are thought by some to be a cheaper way to reduce global emissions. This idea is known as REDD. Under REDD, rich countries and businesses provide funding to countries in the humid tropics to help them to reduce deforestation.
REDD is considered by its supporters as having the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, and to provide an alternative source of income for government, businesses and communities. It has also been argued that a renewed focus on forests could be used to press for legal reforms to ensure indigenous peoples rights to these forests are recognized and respected.
However there are many concerns about REDD. Some of these concerns centre on technical issues such as setting baselines of deforestation, monitoring emissions reductions, market and finance mechanisms, and payment distribution issues.
Indigenous peoples organisations, civil society groups and other actors are voicing their concerns about whether indigenous peoples rights are being respected in international and national policy frameworks, and on the ground in REDD project development areas.
Indonesia, Indigenous Peoples Rights and REDD
Indonesia is the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, after the USA and China. This is primarily due to land-use change, including deforestation, and the setting of forest fires and peat-land drainage for converting forests to industrial plantations.
Indonesia has tens of millions of indigenous people, who together are the customary managers of the majority of Indonesia’s forests but whose rights to manage their forest resources have been systematically abused by successive Indonesian governments. Supporting their rights will be key to reducing Indonesia’s deforestation rate of more than one million hectares a year.
Indonesia is one of the countries attracting the largest number of REDD projects, and these are often planned on indigenous peoples territories. Concerns regarding REDD and rights in Indonesia focus on a number of possible risks including but not limited to:
- A lack of recognition or decision-making role for indigenous peopless under REDD mechanisms;
- REDD used to strengthen state control rather than community rights over forests;
- Forcible displacement of indigenous peoples; prohibition of forest-based livelihoods activities; and repressive enforcement measures in order to ‘protect’ forest carbon;
- Lack of clarity about benefit-sharing or forest carbon ownership;
Recent Indonesian experience underlines the validity of these fears with increasing levels of land conflicts widely blamed on a lack of recognition of indigenous peoples rights. Indigenous peoples have also recently been evicted from their customary territories to create protected areas. The Indonesian government consistently ranks near the bottom of global surveys on governance and corruption. Civil society considers that the Ministry of Forestry, which positions itself as the key player on REDD, still regularly violates rights without addressing tenure or livelihoods issues.
Given the high risk to communities, and the complexity of the issues, there is a need for accessible information to help Indonesian communities decide whether to accept or reject REDD projects on their territories. In order to partly respond to this need, LifeMosaic produced a film to support communities right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) in REDD project areas in Indonesia.
In 2011 LifeMosaic finalised the production of ‘REDD on the Threshold’, an educational film that explains the basic concepts behind REDD, such as carbon-trading, leakage and additionality. It also contains detailed discussion of risks and opportunities associated with REDD, such as asking who owns the carbon; and looking at issues such as FPIC, tenure, conflict, customary practices and the changing values of carbon and land.
‘REDD on the Threshold’ continues to be distributed to communities throughout Indonesia and internationally, with a focus on key REDD areas and in areas particularly vulnerable to climate change. We have also facilitated partner-led workshops and roadshows; sent out films on demand; and participated in events organised by partners.
Screenings of ‘REDD on the Threshold’ are often preceded with screenings of the 20 minute-long film 'Fever’, which explains the key concepts of carbon and the greenhouse effect and climate change, as well as causes and impacts of climate change. Both films can be downloaded by clinking on the following links: ‘REDD on the Threshold’ (english subtitles) 'Fever'.
The ‘REDD on the Threshold’ DVD also includes sample questions for community discussions, which can also be downloaded in a PDF format.
Feedback on 'REDD on the Threshold'
“Could I receive more copies of your films 'Fever' and 'REDD on the Threshold', in Wondama there are 4 districts which are being talked about as potential REDD pilot projects in West Papua. If there were films about mining that would also be good because there are 9 mines that will operate here. The governor of West Papua signed the permits last year. Thank you for your films, they really help my work organising communities about their rights and environmental issues. Communities respond more than if they need to read something.”
SMS from Steve Mainane, Wasior, Teluk Wondama, Papua
“'REDD on the Threshold' helps us a lot. The visuals, the animation are especially helpful to understand REDD. Communities understand better with these animations. After watching the film they have asked for more information from the government. They have also come up with recommendations – before REDD comes into their area they have to look at several criteria, for example: FPIC; drawing up a contract about what’s allowed and what’s not allowed in the communities; communities involved in defining what kind of development projects come if there are any funds; the project needs to be in a language understood by the communities; there needs to be people who accompany them through various process of negotiations.”
Pak Zulfikar Arma, from JKMA, the alliance of Acehnese indigenous peoples
“After watching the film 'REDD on the Threshold', the communities become more aware of risks. They usually start understanding that there might be risks involved. The film also helps to explain about FPIC although usually facilitators use a game to introduce the concept and then, screen the film.”
Indra, RMI and FFI facilitator for FPIC
“Seeing this film it is clear that rights need to be clear and strong in order to avoid future conflicts emerging.”
“If we want to save forest, we need to return the forest management to the indigenous communities like in the Film 'REDD on the Threshold' with the example in Brazil.”
Bapak M. Hatta (Head of a Regional Indigenous Council of JKMA Aceh
REDD: A New Animal in the Forest
REDD: A New Animal in the Forest
REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation), is a climate change mitigation measure that seeks to reduce GHG emissions by preventing or reducing forest loss and forest degradation. Indigenous peoples living in these forests have urgent messages about REDD, its potential opportunities, and the risks of failure if indigenous peoples rights, and their traditional knowledge and practices are not recognised. (LifeMosaic, 2009)
REDD on the Treshold
REDD on the Treshold
This film is for indigenous peoples to raise awareness and build understanding about REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation). Why does carbon now have a monetary value? Who benefits from REDD projects? And what are the impacts on the indigenous peoples living in or around these projects? (LifeMosaic, 2011)
Part 1: Fever explains what climate change is and why it is so important to indigenous peoples. The film covers: what is climate change; what is carbon; what is the greenhouse effect? What are the underlying causes of climate change? What are the impacts of climate change? (LifeMosaic, 2010)
Abdon Nababan, secretary general of AMAN (Indigenous People’s Alliance of the Archipelago), called the national program a fresh tipping point for indigenous people in fighting for their rights. (Fidelis E. Satriastanti / Ekuatorial)
Plight of Kenya's indigenous Sengwer shows carbon offsets are empowering corporate recolonisation of the South. (The Guardian)
"It is not clear what Ulu Masen is. It is not clear where the border is or what the zoning will look like" says T. Camarud Zaman, the head of Sarah Raya village. (REDD Monitor / Chris Lang)
“REDD is just a project that the industrial countries use to try to keep their economic benefits” (REDD Monitor)
Documents and Downloads
A Pocket Guide on REDD
A short guide for indigenous communities discussing the questions of climate change and the international debate surrounding REDD. The guide covers the issues of deforestation and forest degradation; climate change causes and impacts; UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and Kyoto Protocol; and opportunities and risks of introducing REDD. (Barnsley / UNU-IAS, 2008)
- UNU-IAS Pocket Guide - Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD): A Guide for Indigenous Peoples (pdf - 2 MB)
Free, Prior, and Informed Consent in REDD+
The principle that indigenous peoples and local communities have a right to give or withhold their Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) to developments affecting their resources is not new. However, experience using FPIC in REDD+ implementation is still limited in the Asia-Pacific region. Using relevant examples from a range of locations and sectors, this guidebook provides a basis for developing country-specific guidance on employing FPIC in REDD+ processes. (Patrick Anderson / RECOFTC and GIZ, 2011)
Status of Forest Carbon Rights and Implications for Communities, the Carbon Trade, and REDD+
The Rights and Resources Initiative have released its latest research on the challenges of establishing carbon rights and its implications on Indigenous Peoples and local communities. The Status of Forest Carbon Rights and Implications for Communities, the Carbon Trade, and REDD+ Investments, reveals that there are very few legal protections and safeguards regarding forest communities' rights to trade carbon. (RRI, 2014)
- The Status of Forest Carbon Rights and Implications for Communities, the Carbon Trade, and REDD+ Investments (pdf - 1 MB)
Seeing ‘REDD’? Forests, climate change mitigation and the rights of indigenous peoples
Description (Forest Peoples Programme 2009)
- Seeing ‘REDD’? Forests, climate change mitigation and the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities (pdf - 742 KB)
A Training Manual on Advocacy, Lobbying and Negotiation Skills
Indigenous peoples assert that rights cannot be compromised; however, indigenous peoples’ delegates have recognized the need to strengthen existing skills and capacities for lobbying and advocacy. AIPP member/partner organizations pointed out the need for a manual to help empower indigenous peoples with knowledge and skills for effective advocay and lobbying to help empower indigenous peoples with knowledge and skills for effective advocay and lobbying. Thus AIPP developed this training manual on “Advocacy, Lobbying and Negotiation Skills for Indigenous Peoples in Climate Change and REDD+.” (AIPP, 2013)
- A Training Manual on Advocacy, Lobbying and Negotiation Skills for Indigenous Peoples in Climate Change and REDD+ (pdf - 2 MB)
A short animation introducing the little REDD desk - an online resource centre focussed on collaborative thinking and action to solve global forest degradation and deforestation. (Global Canopy Programme, 2009)
REDD, or reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, is one of the most controversial issues in the climate change debate. The basic concept is simple: governments, companies or forest owners in the South should be rewarded for keeping their forests instead of cutting them down. The devil, as always, is in the details. (FERN, 2012)
This animation explains why the climate change is happening and what REDD is. (Huma, 2010)
REDD-Monitor aims to facilitate discussion about the concept of reducing deforestation and forest degradation as a way of addressing climate change. An informative website full of news, views and analysis about REDD.
Use our films
Information and education are powerful tools for community empowerment and social change. Watch our films to find out more about the issues of climate change. Then share this knowledge with you community, family and friends.
Our films have a primary audience of indigenous and forest dependent communities and their supporting organisations. If you are connected with any such groups and would like to discuss how these films might complement your activities please get in touch. The films are available free of charge.
Our films have also been as educational and advocacy tools in many different settings including conferences, film festivals, schools and universities, and in NGO, company and government meetings. Please contact us if you would like to discuss organising such a screening.
A LifeMosaic film screening in Pandumaan-Sipituhuta villages.