Five years into the joint declaration of intent (DCI) between Peru, Norway and Germany on reduction of greenhouse gases and sustainable development,  MINAM faced criticism from both civil society and donors at a joint planning meeting in Lima, 13 April.

At issue was the failure to disburse funds to the implementing partners for Phase 2, 2017-2020 and the implications for the ambitious goals of zero net emissions from 2021 and the halving of deforestation by 2017.

Most affected were the nine federations of indigenous peoples whose representative organisation AIDESEP had prepared US $7 million worth of approved priority programmes including Indigenous REDD+, territorial safeguards and holistic “Vida Plena” community development. Without these, the contribution to DCI would be nil, according to the Vice-President of AIDESEP which is suspicious of “green agriculture” schemes developed by MINAM at the expense of the strategic contribution to climate change of indigenous territorial stewardship.

Norway’s embassy representative declared himself “waiting for results” from Peru, as well he might, given the sharp criticism delivered in May 2018 by the office of the Auditor General in its evaluation of Norway’s International Forests and Climate Initiative – a major donor for REDD+ (the UN’s program for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation): “progress and results are delayed, current measures have uncertain feasibility and effect and the risk of fraud is not well managed”- along with challenges that include “conflicts of interests between sectors, lack of capacity, and shifting policy priorities in countries receiving funding”.

The evaluation goes on to observe that international efforts have not found solutions to address these global challenges, nor are there adequate mechanisms in place for measuring and reporting on outcomes such as protection of indigenous peoples’ rights, poverty alleviation, and conservation of natural forests.

In 2015 combating deforestation was regarded as so critical to efforts to halt global warming that REDD+ was enshrined in the Paris Climate Agreement as a standalone article but, as a source of Mike Garowecki’s article points out, this is no longer the case. The large forest carbon market expected to pay for REDD+ projects has not materialised and verification is costly – and often disempowering of communities. As his source explains, “this money is needed, but must be focused on addressing the causes of deforestation and forest degradation, including lack of good governance and unclear tenure rights”.