With funding support from CTA, fifteen indigenous African leaders from East and Central Africa met in Bujumbura, Burundi to finalise a joint strategy and statement on climate change. Leaders from forest based communities in Gabon, Cameroon, DR Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Kenya participated in a joint UNIPROBA-IPACC policy meeting from 26-27 October 2009 to set out their concerns, priorities, action plan and statement ahead of the 15th Conference of Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, due to take place in Copenhagen Denmark.
Delegates emphasised that indigenous peoples are important stakeholders in climate stabilisation in Africa. Indigenous leaders must educate their communities as to the causes and engage with national governments about equitable and sustainable responses. Delegates reported back on mitigation / REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) workshops that were held this year in Cape Town, Kampala, Nanyuki (Kenya) and Libreville, Gabon. The primary issues were to promote a fair and community-focused approach to REDD plus financing for forest conservation in Africa.
Government forestry officials from Uganda and Kenya gave presentations on how their governments are contracting with local communities to conserve tropical forests, and introduce new forms of carbon financing.
Jeniffer Koinante, Deputy Chairperson of IPACC gave a presentation on how the forest-based indigenous peoples of Kenya are using Participatory 3-Dimensional Models (P3DM) to help them review traditional adaptation customs, knowledge and practices, which could be harnessed to strengthen resilience of ecosystems and communities in the face of climate change.