The Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Forest-Dependent Communities in the Complex Legal Framework for REDD+
in Christina Voigt, ed, Research Handbook on REDD-plus and International Law (London, UK: Edward Elgar Press, 2016) 157-185
29 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2017
Date Written: April 3, 2016
This chapter discusses how the human rights of both Indigenous Peoples and forest-dependent communities have been addressed within the complex legal framework for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD). Adopting a legal pluralist perspective that sees law existing in and through multiple sites and forms that extend beyond those associated with the authority of sovereign states, I conceive of REDD as being governed by a complex and heterogeneous array of sites of international and transnational law. I compare the manner in which two very different sites of law have addressed the human rights of Indigenous Peoples and forest-dependent communities in the legal norms that they have generated for REDD: the UNFCCC and the Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA).
I proceed as follows. I begin by providing a brief overview of the international legal principles, standards, and issues that relate to the recognition and protection of the human rights of Indigenous Peoples and forest-dependent communities in the context of environmental governance (section 2). I then provide an analysis of whether and how these human rights have been recognized in the context of the UNFCCC (section 3) and the CCBA (section 4). I open sections 2 and 3 with a discussion of the role of each site of law in the complex legal framework for REDD. I trace the development of the human rights of Indigenous Peoples and forest-dependent communities in these sites from 2005 to 2014. In my analysis, I draw on a range of primary and secondary sources as well as a set of semi-structured interviews that I completed from 2007 to 2014 with policy-makers, experts, and activists working on REDD around the world. I conclude by identifying they key research questions that my analysis raises about the relationship between human rights and REDD and more broadly about the development and implementation of various forms of law with respect to REDD.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation