Bainbridge Island, WA (PressExposure) February 21, 2012 -- Forestry Research Associates (FRA) claims that the REDD+ project is more than just about preventing deforestation and has backed a statement from a high profile member, who talks about the importance of helping those living in and around the forests.
Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, one of the leaders of the REDD+ task force in Indonesia, has spoken out to highlight the fact that the campaign should be just as much about safeguarding the rights of indigenous people as preventing deforestation.
He stated, "It's not as simple as the destruction of forests by logging companies. That certainly happens, but the real issue in REDD is poverty, and we must link the two together."
FRA, which is a research and analysis consultancy, and Mangkusubroto, agree that poverty has become rife in some regions that have experienced a high level of deforestation due to the failure to recognise indigenous peoples' land rights.
FRA also points out that these kinds of land rights issues can occur as a result of REDD+ measures. Mangkusubroto points out an example that occurred in Sumatra, where an indigenous population were told to move away from their homes as the forest land they lived in was designated a conservation area. Mangkusubroto was keen to point out that he intends to avoid these kinds of measures being introduced. He stated, "We will not implement a 'father knows best' approach, but instead we'll do this cooperatively."
FRA supports sustainable forestry investment schemes that help to safeguard valuable forests in developing countries. An example is the non-native forestry plantations grown by Greenwood Management in Brazil. The growth of non-native trees for use as charcoal by the domestic steel industry, can help reduce the reliance on native trees. Peter Collins, AAA's analysis partner explained, "This kind of scheme helps local people realise the value of their standing forests."