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Improving substantive and procedural protections for indigenous rights in REDD+ projects: possible lessons from Brazil

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K. Taylor
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This article examines how Brazil can prepare itself for an Indigenous REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation plus) by modeling the implementation and enforcement of its current legal framework after that of Colombia.

Although REDD+ is one the leading proposals to address climate change, the author suggests it lends itself to potentially harmful effects on indigenous people, if the regulating nation does not possess adequate policy for those people's protections.

In Brazil, there have been issues regarding who has property rights to the rainforest, with particular reference to the Kayapo. The author considers Brazil’s current legal framework, its ambiguity regarding land tenure rights, as the greatest obstacle to overcome when implementing successful REDD+ programs and suggests for REDD+ to work, local farmers, national governments, and the private sector to all work together in enforcing the needs and rights of indigenous peoples and local communities to ensure these rights are respected.

Improving consultation and participation methods to include indigenous knowledge would therefore create a community of inclusion, respect, and partnership, and safeguard that climate change mitigation efforts are achieved with integrity.