IMAGE CREDIT: Cuíca Filmes/Rainforest Foundation US

Carbon Markets and Our Rights: A Guide for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities

To support Indigenous communities and local communities to better understand carbon markets, Rainforest Foundation US has launched the first three videos of a six-part animated series to demystify the market and provide communities with the essential information to protect their rights.

The voluntary carbon market is quickly evolving and being introduced in new territories, making it challenging to sort out who’s who and what the implications are for impacted communities. These new mechanisms for forest protection come with complex standards, rules, and requirements. For Indigenous peoples and local communities, it is crucial to understand and navigate this landscape in order to protect their rights, whether they choose to engage or not.

Video 1: What is Carbon?

How are carbon and other gasses in the atmosphere accelerating climate change? How is the global community responding to reduce global warming? And why is carbon relevant to our communities?

Video 2: The Forest Carbon Market

What is a carbon credit? Why do companies and governments want to buy them? And who profits from their sale? Can anybody sell carbon credits?

Video 3: Community Rights & Consultation

What are the rights of our communities in the carbon market? What does “free, prior, and informed consent” mean, and why is it important? How can we ensure fair and long-term benefits for our communities?

Want to share these videos with your communities and organizations? Here’s a convenient guide to help you distribute them effectively.

  • Click the link below each video to download small versions for easy sharing on WhatsApp and social media.
  • Videos are available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Links at the top of this page will guide you to access videos in your preferred language.
  • If you’re interested in having these videos translated into another language, please be in touch! Email us at gro.s1719223881utser1719223881ofnia1719223881r@sma1719223881rgorp1719223881 for more information.

Produced by Rainforest Foundation US and Cuíca Filmes, with support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

With special thanks to

Levi Sucre and Maribel Arango Giraldo of the Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests, as well as Déborah Sánchez, now at CLARIFI.

Sérgio Guzmán of the Association of Forest Communities of Petén (ACOFOP).

Gustavo Sánchez of the Mexican Network of Forest and Farmland Organizations (Red MOCAF).

Mariah Lall, Nicholas Peters, and Lakhram Bhagirat of the Amerindian Peoples Association

Sinéia do Vale of the Indigenous Council of Roraima (CIR).

Elvira Garcés Vega of the National Organization of Indigenous Peoples of Colombia (ONIC).

Patricia Zuppi of the Network for Amazonian Cooperation (RCA).

Gabriela Soto of Rights, Environment and Natural Resources (DAR).

Igor Richwin Ferreira, Torbjørn Gjefsen, and Borghild Tønnessen-Krokan of Rainforest Foundation Norway.

Read More


Mesoamerican Community Leaders Point the Way Toward a High-Integrity Carbon Market

The Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests (AMPB), in collaboration with Rainforest Foundation US and Fundación PRISMA, convened in El Salvador to shape a united vision for strengthening the integrity of carbon markets in the region. This comes at a crucial moment as governments and the private sector increasingly advocate for nature-based solutions, including carbon markets and REDD+ initiatives, which have been developed without adequate input from the communities leading forest protection efforts on the ground.

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Didier Devers
Chief of Party – USAID Guatemala

Didier has been coordinating the USAID-funded B’atz project since joining Rainforest Foundation US in April 2022. He holds a Master’s in Applied Anthropology and a Bachelor’s in Geography. Before joining the organization, Didier worked for 12 years in Central and South America on issues of transparency, legality, governance, and managing stakeholders’ processes in the environmental sector. Prior to that he worked on similar issues in Central Africa. He speaks French, Spanish, and English, and is based in Guatemala.