In a press release last month, Ecosystem Restoration Associates (ERA) announced that, “Through the development and monetization of high quality carbon offsets, the Mai Ndombe project will deliver ecosystem, social, economic, biodiversity and climatic benefits for communities within and beyond the project area.”

Unfortunately, ERA hasn’t bothered to tell the communities what those benefits might be. In March 2012, staff from Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) and Cercle pour la defense de l’environnement (CEDEN) travelled to Mai Ndombe in Bandundu Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They were there to find out more about ERA carbon trading project. What they found was shocking, but perhaps not particularly surprising.

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A new report by Rainforest Foundation Norway “shows how a rights-based approach is both the most effective way to protect the rainforest, as well as the best way to avoid that forest protection leads to human rights violations.”

The report, titled, “Rights-based rainforest protection: Why securing the rights of forest peoples is the right way to save the forest”, is available below. The report starts with an overview of the state of the world’s rainforests, the Indigenous Peoples and local communities who live in them and the international legal framework for forest peoples’ rights. The report gives concrete examples of Indigenous Peoples in the Xingu Indigenous Park, Brazil, the Bukit Duabelas National Park in Sumatra, Indonesia. Other examples in the report are from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Papua New Guinea and Peru.

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In November 2011, PricewaterhouseCoopers warned that “The implementation of REDD+ in DRC will face numerous challenges because of the widespread nature of corruption in the country”. As in all other sectors, PwC added, corruption is “likely to be ever present”.

PwC’s report, “Implementing REDD+ in the Democratic Republic of Congo: How to manage the risk of corruption” (pdf file 3.7 MB), was commissioned by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD).

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The Accra Caucus recently release a report that looks at the development of safeguards in Guyana, Indonesia, Nepal, Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The report finds that “there are continuing concerns about the current direction of REDD+, especially in some countries”.

The Accra Caucus is a network of NGOs representing about one hundred civil society and indigenous peoples’ organisation from 38 countries. Since it was formed in Accra in 2008, it has followed closely the REDD negotiations at the UNFCCC.

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