Forest Peoples Programme

Image: Patrick Shepherd/CIFOR (Flickr)

Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) works across the tropics to ensure that forest peoples are able to secure their land rights; are involved in decision-making about land-use change; and are free to determine how conservation and development agendas are best reconciled on their lands.

Despite evidence showing the importance of indigenous peoples in the protection of ecosystems and biodiversity, they are often excluded from and negatively impacted by protected areas. In 2011, indigenous peoples, the IUCN and international NGOs came together at an international conservation conference in Whakatane, New Zealand and developed a conservation approach that would address injustices against indigenous peoples in the name of conservation. The mechanism aims to engage all key stakeholders including indigenous peoples, government officials and park rangers, to develop mutually agreed solutions that work for people and nature.

FPP has trialled this approach in Thailand, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). From 2013-2017, Synchronicity Earth supported FPP’s work in Kenya with the Ogiek of Mount Elgon and  the Sengwer of Embobut Forest in the Cherangany Hills. We now support FPP’s pilot in Kahuzi Biega National Park, Eastern DRC, with the indigenous Bambuti. Amongst other things, our support facilitates cross learning between the pilots in Kenya and the DRC.

At A Glance