Q&A with Indigenous leader Gam Shimray on how rights, biodiversity and the global future are intertwined

On the eve of CoP15, Landscape News spoke with Gam Shimray, Secretary-General of the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) who has been defending and promoting the rights of Indigenous Peoples for almost 30 years. Here, he explicates just how deeply rights, biodiversity and the global future are intertwined.

On December 6, RRI, the Conservation through Reconciliation Partnership (CRP), and the ICCA Consortium—in partnership with the Canadian Research Chair in Human Rights, Health, and the Environment, Montreal International and the Christensen Fund—will co-host a pre-COP15 dialogue on Indigenous and community leadership in conservation.

On Gender and Water Day at CoP27, women in the Global South make waves

November 14 marks Gender Day and Water Day at CoP27 in Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt. We must take a moment to recognize how Indigenous, Afro-descendant, and local community women and girls are leaders in climate change mitigation and adaptation and integral to attaining the UN's 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

RRI is excited to announce the launch of its new online Tenure Tool. This platform, hosted on RRI’s website, will give rightsholders, researchers, activists, policymakers, and the public free and easy access to qualitative and quantitative data on the forest tenure rights of Indigenous Peoples, Afro-descendant Peoples, local communities, and the women within those communities.

India is among the top ten countries most vulnerable to climate change. A new study finds that the Forest Rights Act is an effective tool to enable rights-based and gender-responsive approaches to climate action and can legally empower forest dwellers to manage and govern nearly 40 million hectares of the country's forests.

In Nepal, Indigenous women generate green jobs through lime cultivation

In Nawalpur district, 197 km southwest of Kathmandu, women from the Tharu and Kumal tribes in Madyavindu Municipality worked together throughout the 2021 monsoon season finding ways to adapt and support their communities while adhering to pandemic safety guidelines, demonstrating their inspiring resilience and socio-economic prowess.

Several forest regulations recently introduced by Nepal’s Ministry of Forest and Environment are raising serious human rights concerns among the country’s local forest communities. These provisions, currently under cabinet review, are geared to become part of Nepal’s Forest Act. But local forest communities say they are in direct contrast to the Act’s spirit and violate their rights.

This report is a product of an extensive collaboration between 20 Indigenous and local community organizations across Asia, and brings together data and stories from communities on the ground to re-position global human rights and conservation discourses at the center of Asia’s unique political realities. It frames conservation beyond being an issue of natural resource management and highlights the question of governance, autonomy, and sovereignty of Indigenous Peoples and local communities to achieve their self-determined development aspirations.

Indigenous community in Indonesia meets with leadership of palm oil company for first time in 25 years

Between December 6 - 9, 2021, representatives from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and PT Inecda Plantations traveled to Talang Parit to meet with the community for the first time since their complaint was submitted to the RSPO in 2020. These meetings offer a glimmer of hope for the community and the island’s natural resources since the Indonesian government issued PT Inecda a plantation permit in 1984.

Comment: COVID-19 underscores India’s need for equity-based climate action

The spread of COVID-19 has laid bare the structural inequity in India. Even with massive vaccination drives underway, the country's Adivasis, forest-dwelling communities, and other tribal communities living outside the reach of mainstream healthcare systems continue to be excluded.

As the role played by Indigenous Peoples and local communities in safeguarding the planet gains long-due recognition by global climate and conservation initiatives, their representatives and allies have launched a new mechanism to finance locally-led efforts with full respect for the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities. 

In Nayagarh, India, community women get long-due recognition for protecting their forests

In welcome news for India’s forest communities, the state of Odisha has approved 14 Community Rights and Community Forest Resource Rights titles for 24 villages in its Nayagarh district, under the country’s 2006 Forest Rights Act. The government’s move to grant these titles is praiseworthy for one key reason: they recognize women’s critical role in protecting community forests.

A new report by the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), a global partnership for successfully reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and the World Bank’s fund for Enhancing Access to Benefits while Lowering Emissions (EnABLE), outlines tangible ways global communities can make inroads in the effort to mitigate climate change through strengthening Indigenous sovereignty.

New research shows significance of community-held territories in 24 countries to global climate

At UNFCCC COP 26, new research shows Indigenous Peoples and local communities hold at least 958 million hectares of land in countries spanning most of the world’s endangered tropical forests – yet have legal rights to less than half of their lands. Community-held lands sequester over 250 billion metric tonnes of carbon, and lack of secure rights threatens to release much of this carbon into the atmosphere through deforestation.