Securing Collective Land Rights, Forest Protection, and Climate Mitigation at Scale: Status, Opportunities, and Priorities

05/05/2015 - 05/06/2015





A high level meeting co-organized by:

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The link between secure land rights for indigenous peoples and local communities and effective forest protection has been convincingly documented over the past several years. 2014 saw unprecedented commitments to support recognition of indigenous peoples and community rights as a forest and climate strategy, including: the broad endorsement of the New York Declaration on Forests, new commitments by leading corporations to respect collective land rights, Norway’s pledge to dramatically increase support for securing the rights of forest based indigenous peoples, and the launch of a new International Land and Forest Tenure Facility. A growing number of countries have forest and land tenure reforms planned or under consideration, and insecure tenure has been identified as a major impediment to long-term forest protection in many national REDD+ strategies.

These initiatives in the forest and climate arena follow an even broader suite of new commitments to secure rural land rights by the G8, the UN Committee on Food Security, and increased support from the governments of Sweden, the UK, and Germany, as well as the World Bank and a number of UN agencies.

There is now wide agreement that the world needs to urgently scale-up the recognition of indigenous peoples’ and local communities’ land and forest rights – whether for climate, human rights, or development reasons. In this context it is imperative to assess the current status of efforts and ensure the complementarity and strategic value of future initiatives.

It is clear from experience that recognizing the land and resource rights of forest communities is an essential first step, yet experience also shows that further enabling actions are needed to guarantee long-term forest sustainability. Government support, community organizational capacity, external pressure, and income opportunities for local peoples all influence decisions regarding the management of forest lands and territories, yet are often insufficiently addressed by public policies or donor programs.

Gathering prominent national and international decision makers, experts and key representatives of indigenous peoples, local communities, governments, and civil society organizations, this meeting will build a common understanding of the elements blocking progress in some countries as well as key factors that enable implementation at scale. Learning from this experience will enable all actors to prioritize investments and direct supportive actions towards key opportunities for scaling up the recognition of forest and land rights and securing lasting forest protection.

Framework of Action Flowchart

Securing Community Rights Meeting summary

For additional information please contact Nate Dobbin at