Forests 2011, 2(1), 394-414; doi:10.3390/f2010394

Indigenous Territories and REDD in Latin America: Opportunity or Threat?

Natural Resource Management and Rural Development, Intercooperation, Los Abedules 77, 4400 Salta, Argentina
Received: 20 January 2011; in revised form: 21 February 2011 / Accepted: 2 March 2011 / Published: 11 March 2011
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Abstract: An important proportion of Latin America’s forests are located in indigenous territories, and indigenous peoples are the beneficiaries of about 85% of the area for which local rights to land and forest have been recognized in Latin America since the 1980s. Nevertheless, many of these areas, whether or not rights have been recognized, are subject to threats from colonists, illegal loggers, mining and oil interests and others, whose practices endanger not only the forests but also indigenous people’s territory as a whole. In this context, REDD could constitute a new threat or intensify others, particularly in places where indigenous tenure rights have not been recognized, but REDD could also offer new opportunities. This article describes the limitations of thinking only in terms of communities, rather than territories, and examines the extent to which REDD has been conceived considering the characteristics of this new territorial configuration. It also identifies the challenges that REDD may face with this new ‘stakeholder’, such as numerous specific characteristics of territories, given their heterogeneity, in the context of past experiences regarding ‘forest options’. This paper analyses the situation in already-titled indigenous territories in particular, and also discusses problems facing territories in the titling process.
Keywords: indigenous rights; property; forest tenure reform; community forestry; climate change

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MDPI and ACS Style

Van Dam, C. Indigenous Territories and REDD in Latin America: Opportunity or Threat? Forests 2011, 2, 394-414.

AMA Style

Van Dam C. Indigenous Territories and REDD in Latin America: Opportunity or Threat? Forests. 2011; 2(1):394-414.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Van Dam, Chris. 2011. "Indigenous Territories and REDD in Latin America: Opportunity or Threat?" Forests 2, no. 1: 394-414.

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