Socio-economic information is crucial for REDD+ Benefit Sharing

13 March 2014 | News story

IUCN applied the Forest Poverty Toolkit, in the native community of Shampuyacu. Preliminary results indicate that households depend highly on forest resources and other livelihoods, such as agricultural activities.

Several activities of the IUCN project “REDD+ Facilitating Benefit Sharing in Peru" were carried out from February 15th to 21st. One of these was the training of a group of local technicians from Ecoyungas and CI-Peru, the implementing partner, on the use of the tool Forest Poverty Toolkit (FPTK).

Gill Shepherd, who developed the FPTK and IUCN’ consultant noted that the FPTK provides a useful entry point for understanding the nature of the dependence of households on forests through a set of participatory rapid appraisal (PRA) methods. She also mentioned that this tool consists of a community-based assessment to understand the drivers of forest degradation and deforestation and gather locally suggested actions to reduce them.

Additionally, socio-economic household surveys were reviewed and tested with some Shampuyacu families; following the results of this review process, it is planned to apply the survey to approximately 100 households with the aim of obtaining more detailed information on the socio-economic context of this community.

The socio-economic studies are situational analyses, serving to understand the context and the material on which project activities are designed and implemented. With both actions, the bases will be set to design Conservation Agreements (CA), the mechanism or tool used in this project for benefit sharing.

Karen Podvin, IUCN project officer, said that the application of the FPTK and household surveys, marks a milestone of the project: "On the one hand, the socio-economic information provided by both tools will allow an appropriate design of benefit sharing mechanisms for with a comprehensive approach, responding to the socio-economic and environmental needs, and favorable for the most vulnerable within the community.

On the other hand, the participatory process with members of the community and local partners facilitated a greater understanding of the project and generated interest and commitment for the implementation of the project".

Alonso Castro, Coordinator of Ecosystem Services of CI-Peru
, stressed the importance of designing Conservation Agreements aimed at conserving and restoring natural capital in the area, thereby contributing to the preservation of livelihoods and offering alternatives to current land use practices, as for example improved production, among other activities.

The native community of Shampuyacu, belonging to the Awajun indigenous people, is located in the upper part of the Mayo river basin, known as Alto Mayo; bordering the buffer zone of the Alto Mayo Protection Forest. In coordination with the Regional Indigenous Federation of Awajun of the Alto Mayo (FERIAAM in Spanish), this community was selected to implement a REDD+ benefit sharing mechanism.

It is noteworthy that the members of the Shampuyacu community showed great interest during the application of the FPTK. Preliminary results from the application of the FPTK showed that the families depend greatly on forest resources and other means of life, such as agricultural activities. At the same time, these linkages and dependencies are gender-differentiated.

The participants reiterated their interest in preserving the remaining forests and restoring other areas where agriculture prevails. Erlinda Sejekam Wajaja, member of the Shampuyacu community said: "Our lands are now more vulnerable as there are fewer trees; for example along the rivers sometimes they grow and damage crops; we want to recover our lands and improve our living conditions...”.

The IUCN project "REDD+ Facilitating Benefit Sharing in Peru" is implemented in partnership with CI-Peru and AIDER. It is funded by the BMU.

More information:
doris.cordero@iucn.org; karen.podvin@iucn.org