In order to measure progress on forest land rights and tenure globally, RRI tracks the ownership of the world’s forests from both a quantitative and a qualitative perspective. Explore the Tenure Data Tool.
The quantitative approach monitors spatial forest tenure data—that is, who owns how many hectares of a given forest. RRI recognizes four categories of land ownership: owned by Indigenous Peoples and local communities, designated for Indigenous Peoples and local communities, administered by governments, and owned by individuals and private firms. Learn more about these categories below. Our statutory forest dataset currently covers 52 countries containing nearly 90 percent of the world’s forests.
The Four Categories of Tenure Rights
- Government administered
- Designated for Indigenous Peoples (IPs) and local communities
- Owned by Indigenous Peoples (IPs) and local communities
- Owned by individuals and firms
For detailed definitions of these categories, please refer to What Future for Reform? Progress and Slowdown in Forest Tenure Reform Since 2002.
As a complement to the spatial data, the qualitative approach—also known as the “bundle of rights”—analyzes the national laws that govern community forest rights. This “bundle” includes rights such as: the right to use or sell forest resources like timber and fruit, the right to exclude outsiders, and the right to own land indefinitely. This qualitative dataset currently covers 27 countries, containing approximately 75 percent of the world’s tropical forests.
The Bundle of Rights
Communities may hold:
Designated for Indigenous Peoples & local communities
Plus at least 1 of the following:
Owned by Indigenous Peoples & local communities
Communities hold all of the following:
Different laws “bundle” combinations of these rights into separate regimes that represent the collective rights for areas or forest communities. For a detailed definition of the “bundle of rights,” please refer to Section 2 in the report What Rights?
RRI continuously updates and expands the data from both methodologies. Learn more about the evolution of RRI’s tenure data and how it is used.
We invite readers to send feedback on the accuracy, relevance, and comprehensiveness of the data presented in RRI’s reports and website by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.