The Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) is a global coalition of 15 core Partners, five Affiliated Networks and more than 150 Collaborator organizations engaged in forest and land policy reform in Africa, Asia, and Latin America—directly in 15 priority countries and indirectly in many others.

The RRI coalition comprises a wide spectrum of organizations to ensure the viability and sustainability of our work, including community and Indigenous Peoples’ organizations, research institutions, development assistance organizations, and local and international research and human rights groups. Together, we work closely with governments and progressive private enterprises to encourage forest land tenure and policy reforms. It is our belief that when all key stakeholders with an interest in land and resources come together, greater cooperation, understanding, and respect lead to demonstrable progress on the recognition of rights of the rural people who live on these contested lands.

RRI’s Rationale for Engagement

The over three billion people living in the forests and drylands of developing countries are among the world’s poorest and most marginalized. Their legally unrecognized customary rights to the lands on which they live and depend leave them vulnerable to land expropriation and the negative effects of deforestation and ecosystem degradation.

Their insecure land rights undermine the progress of global efforts to alleviate poverty, advance women’s rights and gender equity, and reduce illegal logging, conflict, and greenhouse emissions.

Research shows that – through the empowerment of local peoples – it is possible to achieve the seemingly irreconcilable goals of alleviating poverty, conserving forests and encouraging sustained economic growth in forested area. Securing the rights of these individuals and communities to access and use natural resources, as well as participate fully in markets and political processes that regulate these lands, will achieve these goals.

RRI’s Mission is to support local communities’ and Indigenous Peoples’ struggles against poverty and marginalization by promoting greater global commitment and action towards policy, market and legal reforms that secure their rights to own, control and benefit from natural resources, especially land and forests.