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Accepted Paper:

Amazonian Visions of Visión Amazonía: Indigenous Perspectives on a Forest Conservation and Climate Protection Programme in the Colombian Amazon  


Eliran Arazi (Hebrew University of JerusalemEHESS)
Thomas Griffiths (FPP)
Hernando Castro Suarez
Levi Andoque
Esteban Gutiérrez-Sánchez (Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas (IVIC) - Forest Peoples Programme)

Paper short abstract:

The paper applies Andoque and Nɨpodɨmakɨ territorial concepts and a rights-based analysis to explore rights impacts of a REDD+ programme. It highlights shortcomings in safeguards and benefit sharing and presents bottom-up alternatives that respect indigenous rights, science and livelihoods.

Paper long abstract:

Researchers and human rights advocates have shown the limits, disagreements, and equivocations permeating the relationships between Western environmentalists and indigenous peoples worldwide. Elaborated at a time of great ecological and humanitarian urgency, REDD+ projects and finance render more visible the economic relations, power asymmetries, differential benefits and tensions operating between various actors and rightsholders at different levels – local, national and international. Focusing on the internationally-funded REDD+ programme “Visión Amazonía” in the Colombian Amazon, this paper describes the misgivings of the Andoque and Nɨpodɨmakɨ (Uitoto) indigenous peoples and customary landowners from the Middle Caquetá manifested through their interventions and complaints in different spaces, including an appeal for state tutelage submitted in 2018. While “Visión Amazonía” sought to elaborate a new development model based on reduced deforestation and biodiversity conservation, indigenous stakeholders denounce its violation of their collective rights, as well as its deficient elaboration and implementation process. Shortcomings are expressed from an indigenous point of view and through their conceptions of territory and indigenous relations with humans-nonhumans within and outside the territory. The paper demonstrates how the application of ‘safeguards’ in relation to land and property rights, free, prior, and informed consent, indigenous science and benefit sharing have been defective, and how extractive, colonialist, and discriminatory perspectives have informed this conservation programme. The paper summarizes lessons for conservation initiatives, including the need for closer involvement of self-governing indigenous territorial authorities at the design stage, greater respect for indigenous science and more culturally appropriate attention to livelihoods and benefit sharing.

Panel P064
How communities' conserve, and how protected areas can destroy communities' ability to conserve