This review reveals multiple allegations of abuses of the rights of Indigenous Peoples in the context of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) readiness and implementation.
Findings from the review should be transformed into opportunities for REDD+ to promote and strengthen the rights of Indigenous Peoples.
A rights-based approach to REDD+ requires engagement with indigenous men and women as rights-holders, rather than as project beneficiaries.
Parties should be pressed to investigate abuse allegations, enable access to justice, and develop grievance mechanisms within REDD+ processes.
REDD+ risks exacerbating issues of unsecured rights and pre-existing conflicts over land in the contexts in which it is being readied and implemented, unless it is re-oriented to enhance the rights of Indigenous Peoples. Evidence suggests Indigenous Peoples' undefined tenure rights will negatively impact REDD+ targets.
Ensuring the consistent participation of indigenous men and women throughout REDD+ processes is imperative, following clear guidelines for Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC), and with capacity-building efforts for their effective participation.
Rather than being seen as a tool to discourage negative impacts, REDD+ safeguards must be reframed to recognise, inter alia, the key role of Indigenous Peoples in climate change initiatives and protecting forests..