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Submission on Non-Carbon Benefits Print


Submission on Providing Incentives and Addressing Methodological Issues Related to Non-Carbon Benefits (NCBs) Resulting from the Implementation of REDD-Plus Activities

by Tebtebba (Indigenous Peoples’ International Centre for Policy Research and Education) and the Global Indigenous Peoples Partnership on Climate Change, Forests and Sustainable Development, 26 March 2014


The Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Methodological Advise (SBSTA), in its thirty-eight session, invited Parties and admitted observer organizations to submit to the Secretariat, by 26 March 2014, their views on methodological issues related to non-carbon benefits resulting from the implementation of REDD-Plus activities (FCCC/SBSTA/2013/3, paragraph 40). Further consideration of methodological issues related to NCBs will resume in SBSTA 40th session in June of 2014. Additionally, it was decided that  part of the preparations for SBSTA 40, Parties should begin identifying and prioritizing NCBs at the national level.

This submission considers the internationally recognized role of indigenous peoples and forest-dependent local communities, as we are offering our integrated holistic views and perspectives on forests and diverse ecosystems, our traditional knowledge and customary governance systems on forest ecosystems which has sustained and continues to sustain many of the world’s remaining forest ecosystems found within our traditional territories. This is the framework and starting point of this specific submission on non-carbon benefits and how this can be incentivized and what elements and processes should be considered in addressing methodological issues related to NCBs.

As we, in the Global Partnership, and the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC)[1] have consistently argued and asserted, NCBs should be closely considered in relation to how the Cancun safeguards on REDD+  are being addressed and reported. We also reiterated that REDD+ implementation should not only focus on reducing emissions from forest degradation and deforestation but the implementation of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks. We also have reiterated that forests cannot be valued only in relation to the carbon benefits that these provide. The way forests have been commodified and reduced to single values, e.g. timber, carbon, among others, is one of the root causes of the gross mismanagement and destruction of forests and violations of indigenous peoples rights to their forest ecosystems and biodiversity.

NCBs should further enhance and support social, economic, cultural, spiritual, environmental and governance benefits including respect, protection and fulfillment of indigenous peoples rights, embedded in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). The inclusion of NCBs will also enrich the methodological issues relevant to REDD-Plus. Beyond carbon, the NCBs, (which are also referred as the multiple benefits or co-benefits) and the implementation of the REDD+ safeguards are the very reason why Indigenous peoples and forest-dependent local communities are actively participating in the REDD+ processes; hence, this submission.


At the outset, it is also important to note here, that the full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples and forest-dependent local communities is a necessary ingredient in ensuring the success of REDD+. Determining methodological issues related to NCBs and addressing REDD-Plus safeguards should meaningfully involve Indigenous Peoples and forest-dependent local communities. It is our strong view that respect, protection and fulfillment of our rights, embedded in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), is a commitment of Parties to the UNFCCC which will be crucial in ensuring that our contributions to mitigation and our efforts to adapt to climate change will be enhanced. Our active engagement in these international and national REDD+ discussions and processes has to be sustained for us to contribute in meeting the objectives of the UNFCCC.

Download the complete submission.

[1] The IIPFCC is the indigenous peoples’ caucus, which regularly meets during UNFCCC processes to unite on common positions of indigenous representatives coming from the Africa, Arctic, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, North America, Pacific and Russia/Eastern Europe/Transcaucasia.