Innovation and Incubation

Over the last decade, the RRI Coalition has worked to increase recognition among government, private sector, and civil society of the critical importance of recognizing Indigenous, Afro-descendant, and community land rights as both a climate change solution and a critical foundation for sustainable development. Catalyzing greater action and coordination from these actors, especially at the national level, will be critical to ensuring recognition of Indigenous, Afro-descendant, and community land rights globally.

Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) supports its Partners and Collaborators in-country to create the enabling conditions for rights recognition: progressive laws, political will, and an engaged and capable civil society network. Where enabling conditions already exist, RRI has piloted methods for implementing progressive laws and policies to ensure recognition of land rights on the ground, and is now positioned to articulate a path to scale.

To further these aims, RRI has instigated an architecture of instruments working together to protect the world’s forests and mitigate climate change by securing the land rights of Indigenous Peoples, Afro-descendant Peoples, and local communities. Each instrument fills a gap in the international framework of organizations working toward Indigenous, Afro-descendant, and community land rights. These include:

  • MegaFlorestais, an informal network of public forest agency leaders from the world’s most forested countries. MegaFlorestais is dedicated to advancing international dialogue and exchange on transitions in forest governance, forest industry, and the roles of public forest agencies. It emphasizes the unique contributions of the forest sector and fosters stronger relationships by collectively strengthening the abilities of forest agency leaders to play leading roles in addressing forest governance and sustainable forestry issues.
  • The Interlaken Group, an informal network of individual leaders from influential companies, investors, civil society organizations, governments, and international organizations dedicated to expanding and leveraging private sector action to secure community land rights. Together they develop, adopt, and disseminate new tools and advance new “pre-competitive” mechanisms to accelerate private sector learning on responsible land rights practices.
  • The International Land and Forest Tenure Facility (the Tenure Facility), the first and only international, multi-stakeholder financial mechanism exclusively focused on securing land and forest rights for Indigenous Peoples and local communities. It provides grants to implement tenure rights under existing law and policy and shares the knowledge, innovations, and tools that emerge. Incubated by RRI until 2018, the Tenure Facility is now an independent international institution registered and based in Sweden.
  • Land Rights Now, an international alliance campaign to secure Indigenous and community land rights everywhere. Land Rights Now calls on governments and others in power to take action. Anyone—active citizens or communities or organizations—who endorses the campaign’s goal of securing the land rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities globally can join and act under the banner of Land Rights Now.
  • LandMark: The Global Platform of Indigenous and Community Lands displays georeferenced information on collectively-held and used lands worldwide. LandMark consolidates the numerous ongoing local, national, and regional efforts to map and document Indigenous and community lands within a single global platform.