The rights agenda in International forestry: An interpretation

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Thomas Sikor and Johannes Stahl

Presentation for the conference on
Taking stock of smallholders and community forestry
Montpellier France
March 24-26, 2010

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The rights agenda in International forestry: An interpretation

  1. 1. The Rights Agenda in International Forestry: An Interpretation Thomas Sikor and Johannes Stahl 25 March 2010
  2. 2. 4 Questions <ul><li>How can we define the rights agenda? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the origins of the rights agenda? </li></ul><ul><li>What are key conceptual and strategic issues? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the critical challenges of going global? </li></ul>
  3. 3. The rights agenda <ul><li>3 shared commitments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>equity in the distribution of forest benefits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>recognition of forest people’s identities, experiences and visions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>participation in political decision-making </li></ul></ul><ul><li>unity in diversity </li></ul><ul><li>unifying vision of social justice </li></ul><ul><li>different from ‘rights-based approaches’ </li></ul>
  4. 4. The origins of the rights agenda <ul><li>forest activists </li></ul><ul><ul><li>redistribution of forest tenure </li></ul></ul><ul><li>indigenous peoples’ organizations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>rights to political and cultural self-determination </li></ul></ul><ul><li>human rights </li></ul><ul><ul><li>procedural and substantive rights in conservation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>rights agenda cannot be reduced to singular approach </li></ul>
  5. 5. Key conceptual and strategic issues <ul><li>what rights? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g., access or ownership? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>whose claims? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g., indigenous people versus migrants </li></ul></ul><ul><li>what authorities? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g., government or customary leaders? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>what strategies? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g., political organizing or legal action? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>key: capacity for reflexive recognition </li></ul>
  6. 6. Challenges of going global <ul><li>rights activists are in strong position to support forest people’s rights to forests </li></ul><ul><li>conceptual challenges </li></ul><ul><ul><li>resist appropriation of rights agenda by other actors (narrow emphases on ownership or procedural rights) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>strategic challenges </li></ul><ul><ul><li>develop alliances with related movements (e.g., climate justice, agrarian coalitions) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>maintain combination of unity with diversity </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Summary <ul><li>unity in diversity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>3 shared commitments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>different from rights-based approaches </li></ul></ul><ul><li>multiple origins </li></ul><ul><ul><li>rights agenda cannot be reduced to singular approach </li></ul></ul><ul><li>key strategic issues => productive tension </li></ul><ul><li>going global </li></ul><ul><ul><li>resist appropriation by other actors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>maintain combination of unity with diversity </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Implications for REDD-plus <ul><li>T. Sikor, J. Stahl, T. Enters, J.C. Ribot, N. Singh, W.D. Sunderlin, L. Wollenberg </li></ul><ul><li>‘ REDD-plus, Forest People’s Rights and </li></ul><ul><li>Nested Climate Governance ’ </li></ul><ul><li>(editorial under review by Global Environmental Change) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Thank you!

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