"Indigenous Groups Cede Forest Rights For Sketchy Finance"

"Several companies registered in Latin American countries claiming to have U.N. endorsement have persuaded Indigenous communities to hand over the economic rights to their forests for decades to come, a Mongabay investigation has found. The companies share commercial interests across various jurisdictions, and have not been able to demonstrate experience in sustainable finance projects.

Indigenous communities in Peru, Bolivia and Panama were promised jobs and local development projects in exchange for putting on the market more than 9.5 million hectares (23.5 million acres) of forests. According to community sources, the claims of U.N. backing were the main selling point for agreeing to put their forests on the market. All three U.N. entities cited by the companies have rejected any involvement.

Mongabay has found that the methodology employed for valuing natural capital has not been used before; there are no public details regarding its scientific and technical basis; and the company that created the methodology refused to share information about it.

Experts have raised concerns that a lack of regulation in the fast-growing sustainable finance industry is allowing abuses against communities that act as guardians for critical ecosystems."

Gloria Pallares reports for Mongabay January 4, 2024.


Source: Mongabay, 01/05/2024