The State of Rights and Resources, 2014-2015



Looking for Leadership: New inspiration and momentum amidst crises

2014 was a year in which many citizens around the world lost trust in conventional leaders’ abilities to solve national and global challenges. Governments were increasingly polarized, and seemingly paralyzed, in front of growing inequality and poverty; environmental agencies watered down social and environmental regulations to attract investments; the World Bank proposed weakening its social and environmental safeguards; and the UNFCCC negotiators in Lima once again failed to reach an agreement on the climate crisis.

Fortunately, 2014 was also a year in which new, often surprising leadership emerged from this wreckage. From Canada to Papua New Guinea, courts upheld constitutional and international commitments to respect local communities’ and Indigenous Peoples’ land rights. Certain enlightened corporations recognized the legitimacy of local rights and the need to find common ground with the true owners of the resources they need. Likewise, development donors made unprecedented financial commitments to support the recognition of these rights. As we look ahead, our panels will cover key questions for 2015 such as: Can these unconventional leaders effectively galvanize governments into action on the recognition of indigenous and community forest land? And will the traditional leaders support this new momentum?

The discussion will be moderated by Fred Pearce, journalist and author of The Land Grabbers: The New Fight over Who Owns the LandThe event will be webcast live on this page on February 4, 2015 (10 am – 12 pm GMT)

Download the agenda here


  • Antonio G. M. La Viña – Ateneo School of Government, The Philippines
  • Silas Kpanan’Ayoung Siakor – Sustainable Development Institute, Liberia
  • Mina Susana Setra – Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN), Indonesia
  • Peter Kitelo – Forest Indigenous Peoples Network & Chepkitale Indigenous Peoples Development Project, Kenya
  • Terhi Koipijärvi – Stora Enso Group, Finland
  • Andy White – Rights and Resources Initiative
  • Joji Cariño – Forest Peoples Programme, The Philippines

For more information on the event or to attend, please contact Joseph Bono.