June 2010


What to do with REDD? A manual for indigenous trainers
Christian Erni and Helen Tugendhat (eds), Asia Indigenous Peoples’ Pact, International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs, Forest Peoples Programme, Tebtebba, 2010 | ISBN: 978-87-91563-71-3

This training manual has been written for indigenous trainers who intend to facilitate a training on REDD for indigenous leaders. It has been devised for a proposed five-days training programme with five modules. The manual includes suggestions for the objectives of each module, activities and methods, materials and a schedule. It is to be used together with the information booklet “What is REDD?”. The training has two aims: to help indigenous leaders gain a deeper understanding of how REDD works and what the issues related to REDD are which are most relevant for indigenous peoples; and to help indigenous leaders improve their skills in supporting their communities when dealing with REDD. Download the manual [pdf] …

REDD+ in dryland forests: Issues and prospects for pro-poor REDD in the miombo woodlands of southern Africa
Ivan Bond, Muyeye Chambwera, Brian Jones, Monica Chundama, Isilda Nhantumbo, Natural Resources Issues no. 21, IIED, 2010 | ISBN: 978-1-84369-764-0

This report draws and builds on the work of three separate studies in Namibia, Mozambique and Zambia. It suggests that the miombo woodlands of eastern and southern Africa provide an important opportunity for developing pro-poor payments for avoided deforestation and degradation, for two reasons: firstly, there is strong scientific evidence that the loss of woodlands is associated with a decline in livelihoods; secondly, there are two decades of successful community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) in the miombo region. Challenges associated with REDD+ include, among others, legal and policy issues in order to clarify who owns the carbon and who should benefit from its conservation: organizational barriers often include conflicts between modern political and traditional management authorities and clashes between traditional and customary laws and modern political systems. The authors conclude that the lessons from CBNRM in the miombo ecoregion provide a basis on which REDD+ in dryland forests can build. In a region where poverty is high and is also a key driver of land use change, REDD+ mechanisms need to be pro-poor, explicitly addressing and building the assets and capability of the poorest households at policy level and in practice. They also need to pay for the value of land uses that the poor could have otherwise pursued in the absence of REDD+ as well as the costs of facilitating the implementation of REDD+ in environments where forest resources are often jointly owned or managed by communities. Download the report [pdf] …

United Nations Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations
OHCHR, June 2010

The forms for representatives of indigenous peoples to apply to the Voluntary Fund for travel grants to the 2011 sessions of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples have been made available on the OHCHR’s website. Applications need to be signed, dated, accompanied by a letter of nomination and sent by fax to +41-22-928-9010 or by e-mail at: indigenousfunds(at)ohchr.org by 1 October 2010. Further information on the Voluntary Fund … Download the application form [doc] …

Adopting Cultivation to Remain Pastoralists: The Diversification of Maasai Livelihoods in Northern Tanzania
J. Terrence McCabe, Paul W. Leslie and Laura DeLuca, Human Ecology vol. 38 no. 3, June 2010, doi: 10.1007/s10745-010-9312-8

Over the past four decades, Maasai pastoralists in Tanzania have adopted agriculture, integrating it with their traditional pastoralism. This livelihood diversification has complex origins and profound implications for Maasai social organization, culture, and demography, and ultimately for their health and well being and for the local and regional environment. In this paper, the authors examine the process by which this engagement with, and increasing dependence upon, agriculture came about in Ngorongoro District, northern Tanzania. Research found that some households adopted cultivation out of necessity, but far more did so by choice. Among the latter, some adopted cultivation to reduce risk, while for others it was a reflection of changing cultural and social norms. Motivations for adopting cultivation differed among people of different wealth categories. Diversification was part of wider cultural changes, and was also influenced by power differentials among Maasai age sets and by government policies. Read the abstract …

Diffa, les premiers matins du monde (Diffa: the morning light)
Marie Monimart, Steve Anderson and Isabelle Lemaire, IIED, June 2010

The ancient tradition of pastoral nomadism in landlocked Niger in West Africa is a source of huge cultural wealth in one of the poorest countries on earth. But with Niger’s eastern reaches suffering 35 years of drought – an entire generation’s worth – local pastoralists have faced a massive challenge. Diffa, les premiers matins du monde is a new video that tells the stories of many of these pastoralists and how they have coped with increasing drought. Read further information and view the video …

Invertebrates in Brazilian traditional medicines
Mongabay.com, 28 June 2010

CALIFORNIA, USA: According to a new study in Tropical Conservation Science, a surprising number of invertebrates are used in Brazilian traditional medicine both in rural and urban areas in Brazil. Research indicated that at least 81 species from five taxonomic groups are being used to treat a variety of illnesses in Brazil. The groups with the greatest number of species were insects (n=41 species), mollusks (n=17) and crustaceans (n=16). This results stress the importance of medicinal invertebrates as therapeutic alternative. Some of the traded animals are listed in the Brazilian list of threatened species. This suggests an urgent need to consider zootherapy in the context of biodiversity conservation in Brazil. New studies on the medicinal fauna of Brazil would result in a better understanding of this form of traditional therapy, linking ecological, cultural and pharmacological aspects. Read the article … Download the article as published in Tropical Conservation Science by R. R. N. Alves and T. L. P. Dias (in Portuguese, with abstract in English) [pdf] …

India foils Chinese bid to patent ‘pudina’
The Times of India, 24 June 2010

NEW DELHI, INDIA: After receiving exhaustive evidence from India’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), on10 June the European Patent Office (EPO) cancelled the decision to grant patent to Livzon, a major Chinese pharmaceutical company, on the medicinal properties of pudina (mint) and kalamegha (andrographis) for treating bird flu. The CSIR, with the help of Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL), dug out formulations from ancient Ayurveda and Unani texts, like ‘Cakradattah’, ‘Bhaisajya Ratnavali’, ‘Kitaab-al-Haawi-fil-Tibb’ and ‘Qaraabaadeen Azam wa Akmal’, dating back to the 9th century, to show that both ‘pudina’ and ‘kalamegha’ have been widely used in India since ages for influenza and epidemic fevers. Read the article …

The Sorghum Gene Grab
Edward Hammond, African Centre for Biosafety Briefing Paper, June 2010

This briefing paper examines the rise in patent claims regarding key parts of the genome of sorghum, an African native and one of the world’s most important food and feed crops, also listed in Annex I of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGR). The author warns that the combination of a rise in patent claims and international consolidation of the sorghum seed industry spells trouble for African farmers. The proprietary claims are unjust to African and other farmers who developed sorghum and its diversity. The fact that these claims are being made outside of the ITPGR Multilateral System of access and benefit-sharing allows improper claims over unaltered germplasm and denies resources to promote the conservation and development of sorghum in and for Africa. In addition, donors’ encouragement to African farmers to abandon traditional sorghum seed saving and sharing may result in the loss of African control over sorghum germplasm even in Africa itself. Read the press release … Download the briefing paper [pdf] …

The Message Stick
Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, June 2010

The new issue of the Message Stick includes a report on the ninth session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII-9), held from 19-30 April 2010 in New York; brief reports on international expert group meetings; and information on the upcoming third session of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, to be held from 12-16 July 2010 in Geneva, the elections of PFII members for the period 2011-2013, and developments with regard to the Secretariat. Download the issue [pdf] …

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