The following is a complete list of RRI publications.
For questions regarding a specific publication, email us at email@example.com.
September 10, 2018
Forests and other lands are essential for achieving climate and development ambitions. If appropriately leveraged, natural climate solutions can contribute upwards of 37 percent of cost-effective CO2 mitigation by 2030, and evidence shows Indigenous Peoples and local communities are key to achieving such outcomes. This report presents the most comprehensive assessment to date of carbon storage in documented community lands worldwide.
At a Crossroads: Consequential Trends in Recognition of Community-based Forest Tenure From 2002-2017
September 9, 2018
Despite the substantial forest area held, claimed, and managed by Indigenous Peoples, local communities, and rural women, the vast majority of the world’s forests formally remain under government administration as national or provincial forests, protected areas, or forests allocated to third parties under concessions. Given evidence that deforestation rates are often lower and carbon sequestration greater in forests where Indigenous Peoples’ and local communities’ rights are legally recognized, there is an urgent need to scale up tenure reform in order to safeguard the world’s remaining forests.
This analysis reports on trends in global forest tenure over the fifteen-year period from 2002-2017. It is the fourth in a series of analyses monitoring the legal recognition of forest tenure around the world according to four categories of legally recognized (statutory) forest tenure: government administered, designated for Indigenous Peoples and local communities, owned by Indigenous Peoples and local communities, and privately owned by individuals and firms.
Notwithstanding the limited progress overall, emerging evidence and opportunities provide reason for hope: across the same 41 countries, two-thirds of the advancement in community tenure between 2013-2017 relate to increases in community forest ownership, with over 90 percent of this progress stemming from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Moreover, recent laws in a number of countries establish new legal pathways for communities to own their forests under national law. Together, these advancements signal possible movement toward the recognition of additional and more robust forest tenure rights for Indigenous Peoples and local communities.
June 25, 2018
Faced with growing environmental threats, governments and the international community have sought ways to halt biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation and realize global climate and development priorities. Today, expanding the global network of protected areas is a key approach for achieving the goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the Paris Agreement on climate change.
But human pressure is increasing in and around protected areas, and far from improving the lives of those affected by the growing number of conservation initiatives, land and forest sequestration through “fortress” conservation approaches is creating chronic patterns of abuse and human-rights violations. In a context where many protected areas are underfunded and therefore limited in their capacity to deliver climate or biodiversity outcomes, the push for still more and even larger parks and conservation areas only stands to exacerbate the existing funding gap and the potential for injustice.
Yet, despite widespread poverty and insecure resource rights, evidence shows that Indigenous Peoples and local communities are nevertheless spending their limited resources on conservation efforts and achieving outcomes that are at least equivalent to those of government-funded protected areas. As this brief shows, there is an urgent need to replace the fortress-conservation model with rights-based approaches to both improve conservation outcomes and end human-rights abuses committed in the name of conservation.
The authors thank Alastair Sarre for his invaluable contributions and editorial assistance.
Uncertainty and Opportunity: The Status of Forest Carbon Rights and Governance Frameworks in Over Half of the World’s Tropical Forests
March 14, 2018
Most of the world’s remaining tropical forests lie in areas that are customarily managed and/or legally owned by Indigenous Peoples and local communities. In the context of climate change and global efforts to protect and enhance the capacity of forests to capture and store greenhouse gas emissions, the question of who owns the trees and the carbon stored therein is paramount. Clarifying this question is crucial, both for the future of the planet, and for up to 1.7 billion people worldwide who rely on forests for their livelihoods.
This brief presents a review of the nominal progress made in the national-level laws and regulations that govern the carbon trade and define the rights of parties —across a sample of 24 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. These countries collectively hold more than 50 percent of global tropical and subtropical forests. This brief also examines the design and establishment of safeguard mechanisms concerning benefit sharing, providing redress and resolution to disputes related to carbon-based schemes, and the operationalization of carbon registries for each of these countries.
March 14, 2018
This study aims to assess the cumulative risks and impacts of all REDD+ initiatives in Mai-Ndombe on the rights and subsistence of local communities and Indigenous Peoples, using existing tools while taking into account gray areas of the REDD+ process. Findings come from existing project documentation, field studies conducted in recent years, and a series of interviews with REDD+ stakeholders in Mai-Ndombe. The study provides a mapping of all existing and planned REDD+ initiatives in the province, as well as a cross-cutting contextual analysis of risks which connects REDD+ to human rights. This is followed by an assessment of these initiatives’ cumulative impacts as well as of national and project strategies to address and reduce risks. It thus offers a perspective on the link between the accumulation of REDD+ initiatives and conflicts at different scales.
March 12, 2018
This brief highlights key attributes of national constitutions, laws, and regulations that play a fundamental role in protecting indigenous and rural women’s rights to community forests and other community lands. These legislative best practices were derived from a 2017 analysis of over 400 national laws and regulations, Power and Potential, which evaluates the extent to which women’s rights to community forests are recognized by national law in 30 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) across Africa, Asia, and Latin America.