New research shows significance of community-held territories in 24 countries to global climate

At UNFCCC COP 26, new research shows Indigenous Peoples and local communities hold at least 958 million hectares of land in countries spanning most of the world’s endangered tropical forests – yet have legal rights to less than half of their lands. Community-held lands sequester over 250 billion metric tonnes of carbon, and lack of secure rights threatens to release much of this carbon into the atmosphere through deforestation.

New analysis reveals risks of investment in carbon offsets without community rights

This analysis shows that the vast majority of tropical forested countries seeking to benefit from international forest carbon markets have yet to define in law and in practice the rights of Indigenous Peoples, local communities, and Afro-descendant Peoples over carbon in their customary lands and territories.

Historically snubbed by exclusionary conservation, Indigenous and local communities’ role is integral to achieving the UN’s ambitious 2030 global biodiversity agenda. Over 1.65 billion Indigenous Peoples, local communities, and Afro-descendants hold the key to preventing a global biodiversity collapse. Recognizing tenure rights of Indigenous and local communities is projected to cost less than 1 percent of the cost of resettling the populations in biodiverse areas.

In a new study released today, researchers say they have identified significant flaws in ambitious forest preservation projects underway in a densely-forested region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where a decision on future investment by the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) is imminent. The DRC province of Mai-Ndombe has been a testing ground for international climate schemes designed to halt forest destruction while benefiting indigenous and other local peoples who depend on forests for their food and incomes, with US$90 million already dispersed or committed for climate finance in the province.

Local law and collaboration across sectors key to fire and haze prevention
Local law and collaboration across sectors key to fire and haze prevention

A national policy dialogue organized by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in Pekanbaru (Riau, Indonesia) on August 30 brought together different stakeholders to share their experiences with the prevention and management of forest fires.

Liberian Land Rights Defenders on the Run after Threats from Police
Liberian Land Rights Defenders on the Run after Threats from Police

Mr. Alfred Brownell, a campaigner for the land rights of Liberia’s local communities, and his staff at Green Advocates have gone underground after threats from the police. This is the latest in a long history of threats, intimidation, and harassment against human rights defenders in Liberia.