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VII Workshop on REDD for Panamanian Indigenous Leaders


Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), the proposed climate change mitigation mechanism, is of great relevance for Panama’s indigenous peoples. As stewards of more than 40% of the country’s remaining forest, they are one of the groups who will be most affected —either positively or negatively— by regulated and/or voluntary REDD programs. Through the National Coordinating Body of Indigenous Peoples (COONAPIP), authorities from the eleven indigenous congresses, representing the seven ethnic groups, have been meeting regularly to discuss their position with regards to REDD. Concerns over human rights abuses and livelihoods risks are at the core of these discussions, and there is high potential of conflict with other sectors of society whose activities may hinder the effective and equitable application of REDD, such as government or farmers.

This workshop was created to equip a group of 30 indigenous leaders from Panama with key environmental conflict resolution skills and tools, aimed at improving future dialogues with other groups that will play a role in REDD, and who will also receive similar training. During the three-day workshop, participants learned about the theory behind conflict types and characteristics, were exposed to a variety of methods to improve communication and mutual understanding of positions, and took part in a roundtable to identify contentious issues surrounding REDD discussions and begin to define their positions on these points.