Recently, I wrote a blog post for the World Bank about including Indigenous Peoples in the measuring of forest carbon monitoring. Although Planting Empowerment doesn't operate REDD projects (nor plans to), we do think it is important for Indigenous Peoples to understand their assets so they can make better decisions.
As part of the UNDP's Small Grants Program-funded project in Arimae, we helped the community with some first steps to understand forest carbon. Mostly, the work was about community mapping and understanding from their perspective the amount of deforestation that had occurred on their land.
Planting Empowerment sees the measuring of forest carbon as a potential source of more "green" jobs for indigenous peoples and will continue to promote it. Panama has yet to develop its forest carbon monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) system, so there is opportunity to include Indigenous Peoples in any monitoring plans the government pursues.
Unfortunately, the government doesn't see REDD as a priority (count three Environmental Ministry REDD negotiators since Martinelli started) and it looks like they've actually taken steps back in REDD development. But with UN-REDD money scheduled to start flowing soon, the government will need to develop its forest carbon MRV system. Hopefully, they will recognize the many benefits of using Indigenous Peoples in any system they develop.
Learn more about our work with Arimae.