The 450 million people living in and around Asia-Pacific forests hold a vital stake in the success of REDD. For effective reductions in emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, such schemes must:
- First do no harm. Local people’s access, use, and management rights to forests must be protected. Special care must be taken to ensure that vulnerable groups — including indigenous peoples, the poor, women, and children — are not adversely affected.
- Address local people’s needs and aspirations. Local communities and indigenous peoples must be fairly rewarded for the vital environmental services they provide.
- Harness local knowledge and skills. Local and indigenous people’s experience and skills in forest management make them indispensable partners in REDD.