Launch of the Forests and Communities Initiative
On the occasion of the International Day for Biological Diversity 2022,
the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation,
the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL),
the International Ranger Federation (IRF) and the Global Forest Coalition (GFC)
join forces to launch the
FORESTS AND COMMUNITIES INITIATIVE
Forests are the heart and green lungs of our planet. They are home to most of the plant and animal species in our biosphere, fertilise our soils, moderate our climate and provide an infinite number of other ecosystem services. Yet humans continue to destroy this priceless natural heritage, with forest destruction increasing in recent decades. The world's forest hubs, such as the Amazon, Central Africa and South-East Asia, are under unsustainable pressure that seriously threatens the major environmental balances.
Faced with the urgency of the situation, the Foundation wished to strengthen its action by launching an impactful initiative that will be long-lasting and will actively participate in the protection of forests and their biodiversity through the actions of the people who live within and around them. It is in a collective and federative approach that the Foundation decided to co-found this initiative alongside renowned partners such as the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law, the International Ranger Federation and the Global Forest Coalition.
The objective of the Forests and Communities Initiative (FCI) is to support the conservation of forest ecosystems through the action of indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) and the development of a supportive network of actors providing a range of multidisciplinary expertise.
To this purpose, the FCI's activities will focus on two main areas:
- Financial support for projects through an annual call for applications, the first of which will be launched on the PA2F website from 1 to 30 June 2022: https://www.fpa2.org/en/submit-a-project
- The development of a network of actors who will participate in the advancement of new solutions, collaborations, and knowledge sharing. In particular by connecting actors with each other, but also through the organisation of events and conferences (the first FCI conference being already planned for 2023).
Its scope of intervention includes sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, South and South-East Asia and the Pacific Islands.
The following six cross-cutting principles are guiding all activities supported by FCI:
- Focusing on the conservation of high ecological value areas, particularly primary forests and zones with low anthropic activities, with an emphasis on IPLC-driven sanctuarization and preservation of these areas.
- Exercising conservation through a holistic approach to preserve all elements that make up these natural ecosystems and the biodiversity they contain; fauna, flora, soil, air, human beings, and all life cycles which they are part of.
- Respecting the knowledge and rights of IPLCs within and around conservation areas, advancing with their full and effective participation and towards the goal of helping them be at the forefront of decision-making processes and conservation action, using gender just*, rights-based approaches and participatory methodologies in order to take into account the rights, role, needs and aspirations of all members of the community without discrimination.
- Practicing and promoting science-based, evidence-based, adapted, and applied methodologies for projects activities and monitoring that they ensure long-term ecological effectiveness of proposed solutions and clear results for the conservation and growth of local biodiversity.
- Practicing and promoting a multi-disciplinary approach to conservation, taking into account conservation science, environmental law, but also social science including the understanding of economic, political and cultural contexts.
- Fostering open-minded and open-source dialogues, research, information sharing, best practices exchanges, which can advance our understanding and our practice of forest conservation globally as well as locally.
* In compliance with the Gender Action Plan of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity
The creation of this new initiative is part of the strategy developed by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation to strengthen its action on major environmental issues through the creation of major programmes alongside partners with a proven expertise on the subject. There are currently 12 initiatives supported by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, in addition to traditional project funding: https://www.fpa2.org/en/initiatives/
Forest preservation, a long-standing commitment of the Foundation
Since its creation, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation has made the protection of forests and the fight against deforestation one of its major areas of action. 46 projects on this theme have been supported by the Foundation, which has also participated in the launch and management of certain programmes responding to this major issue. Taking all of these activities together, PA2F has been involved in areas as diverse as
- Sustainable forestry certification
- Development of protected areas
- Finding sustainable alternatives to wood products
- Restoration of damaged or depleted areas
- Development of solutions for assessing or monitoring forest health to ensure the provenance of certain wood products.
- Research and inventory of forest biodiversity
- Raising public awareness of forest protection
- Protection of the forest habitat linked to the conservation of animal species
Under the impetus of the "Monaco against deforestation" programme, launched in 2010 in collaboration with the Monegasque government, the Foundation has initiated and participated in the management of several programmes, including:
- The Wood Charter (created in 2010): to promote the use and responsible purchase of wood products by companies in the Principality.
- The Wood Forever Pact (created in 2010): to promote the sourcing of certified sustainable wood in the yachting industry.
- The Sustainable Yachting Network (created in 2019): to promote sustainable solutions within the yachting industry, particularly in terms of certified sustainable wood sourcing.
Co-founders of the Initiative
- The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation is an international non-profit organisation committed to protecting and progressing Planetary Health for present and future generations. Created by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco in 2006, the Foundation works to promote a new relationship with nature and the innovations that can accelerate this change. The Foundation aims to bring humanity together to implement effective solutions for our planet's biodiversity, climate, ocean and water resources. It works in three main geographical areas: the Mediterranean Basin, the Polar Regions, and the Least Developed Countries.
- The IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL) advances environmental law around the globe by providing specialized knowledge and assistance to strengthen the legal foundations of the conservation of nature and sustainable development through the conceptual advancement of environmental principles, norms and laws, and by building the capacity of communities to benefit from the environmental rule of law.
- The International Ranger Federation (IRF) was founded on 31 July 1992. It is the global body that represents rangers and ranger associations across the world. Over 100 Ranger associations from national, state, and territorial entities have affiliated with the IRF. It has a Board of Directors with ranger representatives from all the regions in the world. The Federation’s mission is to develop, advance and promote throughout the world community, the Ranger profession and its critical role in the conservation of natural and cultural resources.
- The Global Forest Coalition (GFC) is an international coalition of more than 120 Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations, women’s groups and NGOs from more than 70 different countries striving for rights-based, gender just and socially equitable forest conservation and restoration. The mission of the Global Forest Coalition is to advocate for the conservation and restoration of forest ecosystems, through defending and promoting respect for the rights, territories, traditional knowledge and sustainable livelihoods of the Indigenous Peoples and local communities that co-exist with them.
More information: www.forestsandcommunitiesinitiative.org