Australia and Forest Carbon Partnerships : Indigenous Land Rights

Maguire, Rowena (2012) Australia and Forest Carbon Partnerships : Indigenous Land Rights. In Beyond Carbon : Ensuring Justice And Equity In Redd+ Across Levels Of Governance, 23-24 March 2012, Oxford, St.anne’s College. (Unpublished)

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One of the ways in which indigenous communities seek justice is through the formal recognition of their sovereign rights to land. Such recognition allows indigenous groups to maintain a physical and spiritual connection with their land and continue customary management of their land. Indigenous groups world over face significant hurdles in getting their customary rights to land recognized by legal systems. One of the main difficulties for indigenous groups in claiming customary land rights is the existence of a range of conflicting legal entitlements attaching to the land in question. In Australia, similar to New Zealand and Canada legal recognition to customary land is recognized through a grant of native title rights or through the establishment of land use agreement. In other jurisdictions such as Indonesia and Papua New Guinea a form of customary land title has been preserved and is recognized by the legal system.

The implementation of REDD+ and other forms of forest carbon investment activities compounds the already complex arrangements surrounding legal recognition of customary land rights. Free, prior and informed consent of indigenous groups is essential for forest carbon investment on customary land. The attainment of such consent in practice remains challenging due to the number of conflicting interests often associated with forested land. This paper examines Australia’s experience in recongising indigenous land rights under its International Forest Carbon Initiative and under its domestic Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act (Australia) 2011.

Australia’s International Forest Carbon initiative has a budget of $273 million dollars. In 2008 the governments of Australia and Indonesia signed the Indonesia-Australia Forest Carbon Partnership Agreement. This paper will examine the indigenous land tenure and justice lessons learned from the implementation of the Kalimantan Forest and Climate Partnership (KFCP). The KFCP is $30 million dollar project taking place over 120,000 hectares of degraded and forested peatland in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. The KFCP project site contains seven villages of the Dayak Ngdu indigenous people.

In 2011 Australia established a domestic Forest Carbon Initiative, which seeks to provide new economic opportunities for farmers, forest growers and indigenous landholders while helping the environmental by reducing carbon pollution. This paper will explore the manner in which indigenous people are able to participate within these scheme noting the limits and opportunities in deriving co-benefits for indigenous people in Australia under this scheme.

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ID Code: 57956
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Refereed: No
Keywords: Farming Carbon Initative, Indigenous carbon rights, Australia, FPIC, Forest Tenure
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Environmental and Natural Resources Law (180111)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > International Law (excl. International Trade Law) (180116)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 the author.
Deposited On: 08 Mar 2013 06:54
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2013 08:30

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