Press release

IISD-issued studies and collaborative project help First Nations take part in carbon markets

April 17, 2011

WINNIPEG—April 18, 2011—The International Institute for Sustainable Development has issued two reports as part of the First Nations Carbon Collaborative to help build the capacity of First Nations to take part in existing and emerging carbon markets.

The collaborative is a community-driven initiative spearheaded by IISD, the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources and three First Nations living within Canada's frontier forests.

Undefined carbon rights and a lack of experience prevent First Nations from accessing carbon markets, even though many of them live within and around the boreal forest region that stores 30 per cent of the world's carbon, according to 2007 research by Woods Hole Research Center.

The literature review indicates there is little information about First Nations in Canada and carbon markets and that this void will need to be filled before First Nations can become active carbon market participants.

The best practices review found that local ownership enhances potential carbon market benefits, well beyond job creation. The review highlights the need to establish realistic timeframes, as capacity building can take considerable resources and time to deal with such issues as governance, transmitting local and traditional knowledge, operational training, youth development and succession planning.

As an initial capacity-building activity, the University of Toronto's Centre for Environment in cooperation with the First Nations Carbon Collaborative will be hosting a free First Nations and carbon webinar series every Wednesday from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. (EST) beginning April 20 and ending May 25, 2011.

Webinar topics will include carbon 101, indigenous rights to carbon, emissions trading policies/legislation in Canada, carbon financing, offset projects and First Nations case study carbon projects. Assembly of First Nations Grand Chief Shawn Atleo will open the webinar series. Grand Chief Edward John, the North American representative to the United Nations Permanent Forum, will also be a guest speaker.


For more information please contact IISD project manager Vivek Voora (204) 958-7797 or IISD media and communications officer Nona Pelletier (204) 958-7740.

About IISD

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an award-winning independent think tank working to accelerate solutions for a stable climate, sustainable resource management, and fair economies. Our work inspires better decisions and sparks meaningful action to help people and the planet thrive. We shine a light on what can be achieved when governments, businesses, non-profits, and communities come together. IISD’s staff of more than 250 experts come from across the globe and from many disciplines. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa, and Toronto, our work affects lives in nearly 100 countries.