There is a future if there is truth: The Truth Commission’s final report on the armed conflict in Colombia

Following more than three years of investigation into the armed conflict in Colombia, the Truth Commission, which was created by the signing of the peace agreement between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in 2016, published the first chapter of its final report on June 28, 2022. This blog post looks at some of its key findings and testimonies.

This July, an RRI delegation participated in the first-ever IUCN Africa Protected Areas Congress (APAC) in Rwanda and included Indigenous and community leaders from the Republic of Congo, the DRC, Liberia, Cameroon, and Kenya. APAC marked a crucial moment in shaping Africa’s conservation agenda and culminated in the Kigali Call to Action. This is our delegation’s response to this Call.

The Stockholm+50 associated event aimed to highlight the role and importance of Indigenous peoples and local communities in safeguarding the world’s forests, ecosystems, and biodiversity. The event was one of three collaborative events held on June 1st at Sida ahead ofStockholm+50, co-arranged by Sida, The Tenure Facility, SwedBio, The Rights and Resource Initiative, and the Focali – SIANI Dialogue Forum.

In Kenya, the Ogiek of Mt. Elgon are a community on the frontlines of forest conservation

Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) and the Chepkitale Indigenous Peoples' Development Project (CIPDP) organized a site visit to Chepkitale to learn from the Ogiek of Mt. Elgon and shine light on the transformative role of community-led conservation in protecting Kenya's biodiversity-rich forests.

Global trade, consumption, population growth, and urbanization drive transformations that, in part, drive nature’s destruction. The World Economic Forum ranks biodiversity loss as a global top-five risk. Clearly, protecting the environment should be high on political and policy agendas—but too often environmental governance is weak and policy implementation neglected.

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.

The increased interest in carbon markets comes with a number of risks. Many forest carbon offsetting schemes are located in lands historically claimed, inhabited, and used by Indigenous Peoples and local communities but oftentimes the rights of these communities have not been secured, putting their well-being at risk — and threatening the future of carbon markets.

To forge women’s empowerment worldwide, governments and donors must take action for gender justice and urgently make funding available and accessible to Indigenous, Afro-descendant, and local community women’s organizations in countries in the Global South that have been historically under-supported and under-funded.

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. 

Influencing the Peace Process in Colombia

Lack of secure land rights has long been a key driver of war and conflict in Colombia. Since the formation of the new republic, the country’s land ownership has accumulated in the hands of a small number of elite families, leaving thousands of rural populations without access to land.

The Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), the Global Alliance of Territorial Communities (GATC) and the Campaign for Nature (C4N) receive grant from Bezos Earth Fund to jointly scale up the recognition of tenure rights of Indigenous Peoples, local communities, and Afro-descendant Peoples in the Tropical Andes and Congo Basin.