Mechanisms for reducing greenhouse gas emissions caused by deforestation and degradation, now known as REDD, in Nicaragua could represent an alternative for reducing the rate of deforestation and change the basis of household economic activity from agriculture and livestock to forestry or agro-forestry. This argument is based on that Nicaraguan Autonomous Regions of the Caribbean have the comparative advantage of having a shared political framework—a framework based administratively on the autonomy through which the collective rights of Indigenous Peoples and Afro-descendant communities are ensured. It is these people and their lifestyles which can ensure the survival of forests and their biodiversity.
Recognizing this, the Center for the Autonomy and Development of Indigenous Peoples - CADPI's work on REDD is towards ensuring the participation of the indigenous peoples in the REDD processes from the local to the national and global levels. CADPI's involvement with REDD started when the Regional Government invited them to be one of the participant in the definition of the elaboration of the North Atlantic Autonomy Region Strategy on Climate Change. To do this, CADPI has developed a very good working relationship with the GTZ, Oxfam UK, National Red Cross and URACCAN. Furthermore, CADPI conducted a research (case studies) on the different ecosystems in the autonomous regions and has offered its technical expertise to different secretaries of the of the regional government. It has been eight years since the national government started to work on the demarcation and titling of ancestral lands of 22 indigenous peoples' territories within their region. So far, 16 territories have been completed. Also, CADPI is being invited by the Nicaraguan Government to help them with their REDD programme and CADPI is now also a member of the National REDD Network.
Demonstration Project - The Diploma Course: An integrated approach for Education, Advocacy, Information and Research in the Tasba Pri Territory
CADPI in cooperation with local territorial and communal assemblies and directive boards as well as the regional university URACCAN, implemented the project in the demonstration site, especially the Diploma Course. The selected demonstration project site is the Territory of Tasba Pri that is part of the Municipality of Puerto Cabezas or Bilwi under the North Atlantic Autonomous Region of Nicaragua (RAAN). The regional autonomous government has achieved legal autonomous political status for the past 15 years. It has developed its legal framework and is working for the demarcation and titling of the whole regional territory that includes the 29 communities of Tasba Pri Territory.
On the Diploma Course:
“I feel like a woman who was living inside a rock before, but through this, I was able to come out from the rock…”
--Maria Rosa Ocampo, Participant from Kukalaya, Tasba Pri Indigenous Territory.
The Diploma Course is an integrated strategy to effectively strengthen the capacities of indigenous peoples in the demo areas focusing on the three components of the project – education and information, research and documentation and advocacy. The course was held from January to May 2010, with selected 5-6 participants from each of eight communities in Tasba Pri. The participants were selected by the communal assemblies with a fair selection for both men and women participants from the community leaders, elders and youth. One per community was selected as a communicator who leads in the education activities on the community level. The Diploma Course was divided into four modules which was taught in one week of classes each month. Trainors provided assignments to be done by participants in the next four weeks. Reports by each group on their assignments were presented for discussion and peer evaluation before tackling the next modules in the next session.
The Diploma helps to reconstruct the colonial matrix in the teaching-learning process, recognize the skills and knowledge (indigenous, Afro-peasant-folk) and start building another alternative thinking.
CADPI likewse helps in the protection and maintenance of the Cerro Mirramar (Miramar Hill), also in Tasba Pri, which is the watershed of the community. This served as the window on how traditional forest resource management was being practiced by the Miskitu community. The forest is the reforestation project area of the Tebtebba-CADPI project because this was greatly affected by Hurricane Felix in 2007. It also served as venue for a sharing session related to the customary governance and management of the forests under the general assemblies and directive boards of the Tasba Pri territory and the Sahsa community.
The case study area is also located in Tasba Pri - the Kuakuil II community. This was chosen as the case study area because the community is host to the biggest forest area within the Tasba Pri territory. Accordingly, their traditional resource management is heavily anchored on the policies crafted by the communal assembly. This then ended with a hike to the foot of the communal forest where the team was able to pass through the community’s designated agricultural areas and tree seedling nursery for reforestation.
Partner's Profile: The Center for Indigenous Peoples' Autonomy and Development or Centro para la Autonomia y Desarollo de los Pueblos Indigenas (CADPI) is a research and educational center for Indigenous Afro-descent communities on the North Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua. One of the collaborative works between Tebtebba and CADPI was the development of indigenous peoples indicators of well-being, sustainability and poverty as well as on indigenous women's issues. The center was created to provide documentation and analysis of local Miskitu culture and socio-political history, bridge racial barriers and eradicate prejudices, provide cultural and economic opportunities particularly for the youth sector in the region, display the work of local artists and encourage local appreciation of the breadth of Miskitu culture. The Center is doing work in the areas of Indigensous Peoples Rights and Autonomy, Indigenous Women's Rights, Cultural Revitalization and Cross-cultural communication. It is also involved in enhancing the capacities of indigenous universities in Latin America. (Contacts: Casa Museo Judith Kain, Bilwi, Puerto Cabezas, RAAN, Nicaragua,Tel: +505 279 22 225; Bello Horizonte Q-IV-7, Managua, Nicaragua, Tel: +505 22 49 0831; http://www.cadpi.org/CADPI/CADPI.html; Email:
and mairenad@ yahoo.com.mx)
 CAPDI 2010. Draft Policy and Program Research Analysis Report
 University of the Autonomous Regions of the Nicaraguan Caribbean Coast