Tenure of indigenous peoples territories and REDD+ as a forestry management incentive

UN-REDD Programme

Tenure of indigenous peoples territories
and REDD+ as a forestry management incentive:
the case of Mesoamerican countries

Download Full Report  34Mb

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Rome 2013


Programmes to reduce emissions from deforestation and ecosystem degradation, such as REDD+ and other forestry incentive programmes, including Payment for Environmental Services (PES), could represent an opportunity to strengthen processes of conservation, sustainable usage and poverty reduction in the Mesoamerican region, particularly in indigenous territories and communities.

Analysing the context of such initiatives and how they are interlinked is relevant to understanding how these multipurpose programmes can achieve their objectives in the light of recent developments in the recognition of indigenous peoples’ rights over land tenure and natural resources in the region. Examining these contexts and their linkages in countries such as Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama, where there are considerable forest areas with significant indigenous populations, is the aim of this study.

Table of Contents

Table of contents




Chapter 1
Concepts: REDD+, territorial rights of indigenous peoples and incentives for good forestry management

    1.1 Concepts relating to the territorial rights of indigenous peoples
    1.2 The REDD+ initiative
    1.3 Payment for environmental services

Chapter 2
Forest land and indigenous populations in Mesoamerica: cases of Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama

    2.1 Forest resources in the Mesoamerican region
    2.2 The indigenous populations of Mesoamerican forest regions - Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama
    2.3 Natural resource management and tenure systems of indigenous populations living in forest areas of Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama

Chapter 3
Mesoamerican advances in recognizing indigenous territorial rights and environmental policies

    3.1 Advances in international law
    3.2 Advances achieved by local actors
    3.3 Development of land tenure institutions and legislation
    3.4 Development of environmental policies
    3.5 Formulation of REDD+ proposals in the region

Chapter 4
Lessons learned from community forestry initiatives, payment for environmental services and other incentives

    4.1 Community forestry and forest concessions
    4.2 Experiences in Payment for Environmental Services
    4.3 Governance in indigenous territories
    4.4 Lessons

Chapter 5
Opportunities and limitations for REDD+ processes in the indigenous forest territories of Mesoamerica



    Annex 1: Central American countries and their REDD+ preparation phase
    Annex 2: Legal Reforms on Land and Management of Natural Resources in Mesoamerican countries
    Annex 3: Content of R-PPs on the situation of indigenous territories: Mesoamerican countries
    Annex 4: Programmes to Update Land Registries and Regularize Land Tenure in the Region



The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) concerning the legal or development status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The mention of specific companies or products of manufacturers, whether or not these have been patented, does not imply that these have been endorsed or recommended by FAO in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned.

The views expressed in this information product are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of FAO.

ISBN: 978-92-5-107502-9 (print)
E-ISBN: 978-92-5-107503-6 (PDF)

FAO encourages the use, reproduction and dissemination of material in this information product. Except where otherwise indicated, material may be copied, downloaded and printed for private study, research and teaching purposes, or for use in noncommercial products or services, provided that appropriate acknowledgement of FAO as the source and copyright holder is given and that FAO’s endorsement of users’ views, products or services is not implied in any way. All requests for translation and adaptation rights, and for resale and other commercial use rights should be made via www.fao.org/ contact-us/licencerequest, or addressed to the:

Publishing Policy and Support Branch
Office of Knowledge Exchange, Research and Extension - FAO
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00153 Rome, Italy
or by e-mail to: [email protected]