Engagement between governments, indigenous and local communities, and the private sector is a crucial step towards mitigating the tenure-related risks that companies assume when investing in countries where community land rights are not clarified and secured. To encourage this collaboration, RRI has helped convene the Interlaken Group, an informal, self-identified network of actors in business, government, civil society organizations, and international organizations who have committed to expanding and leveraging private sector action in order to secure community land rights. The group creates, adopts, and disseminates tools and mechanisms to accelerate private sector learning on responsible land rights practices.
The Interlaken Group produced the Respecting Land and Forest Rights: A Guide for Companies, which provides straightforward steps for senior level and operational teams at leading companies to help align corporate policies and actions with the FAO’s Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure (VGGT) standards. This guide, published in 2015 with input from the private sector and steered by RRI, gives companies the tools they need to meet their commitments on respecting the land rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities.
Andy White, Coordinator of RRI, co-chairs the Interlaken Group, alongside Mark Constantine of the International Finance Corporation. The Interlaken Group was formed at RRI’s 2013 International Conference, held in Interlaken, Switzerland.