CEESP participates in Natural Resource Governance Framework (NRGF) Scoping Workshop in Central America, December 2013

11 December 2013 | Article

At the invitation of Dr. Grethel Aguilar Rojas, Regional Director of the IUCN Regional Office for Mesoamerica and the Caribbean (ORMA), NRGF Working Group members Dr. Janis Alcorn (Chair CEESP TGER), Juanita Cabrera-Lopez (Co-Chair CEESP SPICEH), and Adalberto Padilla (CEESP member and IUCN senior officer in Mesoamerica) led the Natural Resources Governance Framework (NRGF) Regional Scoping Workshop at the ORMA offices in San Jose, Costa Rica, on 3 December 2013.

IUCN ORMA participants included the team of eight senior officers and the regional program coordinator, Dr. Tea García-Huidobro. Dr. Gonzalo Oviedo, IUCN Senior Social Policy officer, and Manual Ruiz (WCEL member) joined by Skype for parts of the daylong meeting.

Poor natural resource governance has been an enduring challenge for decades, and improving governance is essential to control the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation for successful mitigation and adaptation to climate change. To address this problem, the NRGF initiative of IUCN and its Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP) and World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL) is developing a robust, credible process for assessing the strengths and weaknesses of natural resource governance, and supporting improved decision-making and accountabilities in the planning and implementation of policies, programs and projects that affect natural resources.

To begin the daylong scoping workshop in San Jose, the NRGF initiative was presented by Dr. Janis Alcorn, Juanita Cabrera-Lopez, and Adalberto Padilla (see photo on the steps of the ORMA office). The ORMA office senior team next summarized their activities and lessons learned relevant to NRGF, noting that 90 percent of their work is done with Indigenous Peoples due to the significant overlap between biodiversity and Indigenous Peoples in the Mexico and Central America region. The group analyzed the governance threats in the region and the opportunities for addressing these threats. REDD+ was seen as continuing to be very important platform in all countries in the region, because REDD+ is stimulating valuable policy reforms. FLEGT is also of interest for reforms in Guatemala and Honduras. The scoping workshop participants then prioritized NRGF initiative activities for 2014, including preparations for the MesoAmerican Parks Congress to be held in March, in Costa Rica, and synergies with other ORMA ongoing activities, including: the newly released ORMA policy and protocols for working with Indigenous Peoples, development of FPIC protocols for work with Indigenous Peoples in the region, and scoping opportunities linked to ongoing case studies of the impacts of extractive industry and major infrastructure developments on environment, protected areas, and indigenous communities. Further NRGF scopings with IUCN members, civil society organizations and indigenous leaders were also planned for the first quarter of next year, leading up to the Mesoamerica Parks Congress in March. The NRGF work in Mesoamerica region will also contribute to NRGF presentations at the World Parks Congress in Australia ( November 2014).

Further information about the NRGF initiative can be found at: http://www.iucn.org/about/union/commissions/ceesp/what_we_do/wg/tger.cfm#Natural_Resource_Governance_Framework__NRGF__Inception_Workshop