Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), an international effort that was initiated by the 16th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC 1/CP.16 2010, ¶ 70), seeks to create incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation through a variety of activities, including through forest conservation and the sustainable management of forests. According to the UN-REDD Programme (a consortium of UN agencies that provide support to developing countries to implement REDD+ projects), as of June 2014, 53 countries across Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America are participating in REDD+. Because REDD+ will require developing countries to implement specific project to reduce emissions, there is potential for conflict, such as over the rights of indigenous and other communities to forests, farmland and natural resources.
To protect the rights of indigenous peoples, Suriname created the REDD+ Assistants Programme, in which representatives selected by their own communities are trained by the government to understand REDD+ and to help involve indigenous and tribal peoples in the REDD+ decision-making process. According to Suriname’s REDD+ readiness preparation proposal (RPP), a preliminary document prepared by REDD+ participant countries, the government has trained representatives from each of Suriname’s indigenous and tribal communities to facilitate outreach and consultation on REDD+ projects with their communities and to train others in their communities about the REDD+ initiative. Suriname’s RPP notes that “effective participation of indigenous and tribal people will be necessary for impact analysis, design of benefit sharing system, grievance and conflict resolution, monitoring and evaluation of the REDD+ strategy.”
More information on Suriname’s REDD+ Assistants Programme is available in its readiness preparation proposal: http://forestcarbonpartnership.org/sites/fcp/files/2013/june2013/REVISED_Suriname%20R-PP%20finaldraft%2022Juni.pdf; the UN-REDD website: http://www.un-redd.org/Home/tabid/565/Default.aspx.