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"Unless we help indigenous peoples achieve secure land tenure and better governance, it will be very difficult to reach long-term solutions," said Castro Salazar. "We are falling behind, and we have to try harder," he added.
These statements were made within the framework of the 23rd session of the Forestry Committee, an event that took place from July 18 to 22 and in which the information collected during the last year by said committee was shared.
For her part, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, United Nations Special Rapporteur, argued that very few countries have clearly committed to a requirement of the Paris Agreement on climate change: to combat it, the rights of indigenous peoples must be guaranteed. .
"It is a serious situation, she added in terms of respect for the rights of indigenous peoples," said the rapporteur.
FAO added that governments are of great importance for their ability to facilitate the enabling conditions that indigenous peoples, local communities, small producers and their organizations need to restore degraded landscapes and to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
Forests as carbon stocks
At the event, FAO presented the report "The State of Forests 2016" in which it maintains that a third of the world's forests are managed by families, small farmers, local communities and indigenous peoples. These forests also represent some of the most important carbon stocks on the planet.
Community forests that are government recognized alone are estimated to host about 37.7 billion tonnes of carbon stocks.
This is not to mention that there are still many territories belonging to indigenous peoples that do not have a correct title.
This situation would reaffirm the key role that local communities and indigenous peoples have in preserving these carbon stocks.
This objective must be achieved through the reduction of deforestation, the sustainable management of forests and the restoration of tree cover within the framework of productive rural economies.
Greater openness to indigenous participation
The event also urged governments to create the enabling conditions necessary for local communities and indigenous peoples to manage larger territories. This request placed a special emphasis on women and youth.
FAO spokespersons requested that initiatives against climate change change and give greater participation to indigenous organizations that represent indigenous peoples for their key role.
Thus, it is expected to guarantee and enforce the tenure rights of the territories, create favorable commercial incentives and offer technical, financial and business expansion services.
This request would be aligned with proposals for sustainable development made by the same indigenous populations, as it is in Peru, REDD + Indígena Amazónica (RIA).
This proposal, made by the Inter-Ethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Jungle (AIDESEP), seeks to see the forest in an integral or holistic way and as an integral territory that provides diverse ecosystem services to humanity.
From this perspective, it is also proposed to assess the different collective life plans of the communities that inhabit it and that protect it.