Tenure of Indigenous Peoples Territories and REDD+ as a Forestry Management Incentive – the case of Mesoamerican countries
Adriana Herrera Garibay, FAO
UN-REDD, October 2012

Published by the UN Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD), this report draws on case studies from Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama to demonstrate how land tenure rights are linked to incentive mechanisms for good forestry management. The report specifically examines REDD+ and payments for ecosystem services, highlighting successful examples of payments for ecosystem services in Costa Rica and community forestry in Guatemala. The report concludes that criteria for successful incentive mechanisms include: the provision of clear economic incentives; the ability to demonstrate community and livelihood benefits; ethnic belonging and associated agreement on resource use rules; and a strong sense of community or communal living. It further examines Mesoamerican advances in recognizing indigenous territorial rights and environmental policies, including development of land tenure institutions and legislation in the region, as well as opportunities and limitations for REDD+ processes in the indigenous forest territories of Mesoamerica. Among the conclusions, it is stated that efforts to implement free, prior and informed consent with indigenous peoples will not be entirely successful unless accompanied by measures to strengthen trust in and legitimacy of government actions within indigenous territories. In addition, the experiences of payments for ecosystem services and regularization and tenure over land and natural resources have shown the need to strengthen governance within the territories. Particular emphasis should be placed on communication processes for the entire population; the development of internal statutes or regulations to support local self-regulation practices for territorial management; and organizing land planning in a participatory way. Download the publication [pdf] …