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.

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.

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. 

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.

Reflections on Nature-Based Solutions: Occasion for caution and hope

Nature-Based Solutions are broadly defined as solutions to societal challenges that involve working with nature. When anchored in culturally appropriate solutions and the self-determined priorities of local peoples, nature-based actions have the potential to strengthen synergies, transform human-environment interactions, and effectively drive system-wide transformation.

New analysis reveals risks of investment in carbon offsets without community rights

This analysis shows that the vast majority of tropical forested countries seeking to benefit from international forest carbon markets have yet to define in law and in practice the rights of Indigenous Peoples, local communities, and Afro-descendant Peoples over carbon in their customary lands and territories.

Urging WWF to help drive transformation of global conservation: A letter from RRI

Andy White (RRI), Gam Shimray (AIPP), and Samuel Nguiffo (CED Cameroun), send a letter on behalf of the RRI Coalition to Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International. The letter is a follow-up to an RRI meeting with Mr. Lambertini and his team, held on February 6, 2021.

As rising pollution levels, accelerating climate change, and population growth accumulate pressure on the world’s freshwater resources, there has never been a greater need to legally secure the freshwater rights of the Indigenous peoples and local communities who claim and steward over half of the world’s land — including vital watersheds that sustain healthy aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.

On average, tenure interventions are good for people and the planet

With surging international, national, and sub-national policy attention to land tenure security (LTS) in developing countries in recent years, it is timely to ask: What have been the effects of thousands of efforts to improve it in dozens of developing countries? To date, almost all efforts to answer this question have been relatively small-scale, discrete studies within the boundaries of a single country.

Historically snubbed by exclusionary conservation, Indigenous and local communities’ role is integral to achieving the UN’s ambitious 2030 global biodiversity agenda. Over 1.65 billion Indigenous Peoples, local communities, and Afro-descendants hold the key to preventing a global biodiversity collapse. Recognizing tenure rights of Indigenous and local communities is projected to cost less than 1 percent of the cost of resettling the populations in biodiverse areas.

[Portuguese] Carta aberta da RRI à WWF Internacional

Em nome da Coalizão Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), uma rede internacional de Povos Indígenas, Quilombolas, organizações comunitárias locais e seus aliados, estou escrevendo para informá-lo de nosso profundo desalento com o recém-lançado Relatório Planeta Vivo 2020.

Governance Governing Government

The importance of governance has gained momentum and wider meaning, yet it remains a confusing concept. Edmund Barrow FRSA looks at what it means in practice and suggests some ideas for understanding and supporting local governance.

From Tourists to Stewards of Nature

We depend on and are part of nature. Our life-giving water, the air we breathe is cleansed and revitalised, the food we eat comes from a living soil. Many of our health cures have origins in nature and our education and spiritual sustenance requires exposure to nature. Edmund Barrow FRSA argues our current economic and development paradigms fail to recognise this which requires a shift from being ‘tourists’ to pilgrims when it comes to our place on Earth.

#BlackLivesMatter RRG Statement

We at the Rights and Resources Group (RRG) know that the events of the past weeks and the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor by police officers are only a snapshot of the white supremacy that underlies widespread injustice against Black lives.

[Portuguese] A hora das cadeias éticas de suprimentos é agora

O apelo de ONGs líderes para que as empresas sigam a Accountability Framework (o Quadro de Responsabilização) para acabar com a destruição do ecossistema e violações dos direitos humanos na produção, comércio e financiamento de carne bovina, óleo de palma, polpa, madeira, soja e outras mercadorias.

The time for ethical supply chains is now

Leading NGOs call on companies to follow the Accountability Framework to end ecosystem destruction and human rights violations in the production, trade, and finance of beef, palm oil, pulp, timber, soy, and other commodities

 

Why is land such an important source of power for indigenous and community women? Four experts weigh in

At the most recent Women Deliver conference—the world’s largest gathering on gender equality and the wellbeing of girls and women—experts from across the RRI Coalition had the opportunity to learn from diverse leaders around the world, while also raising awareness of the urgent need to recognize the rights of indigenous, rural, and community women. Here’s what participants said international audiences need to know about the challenges and opportunities facing this unique subset of women.

25% of world’s surface can be better protected with rights

The GLF summit presented the first draft of a ‘gold standard’ on rights, which will define the principles of secure and proper rights to be applied by public, private and non-profit actors in the implementation of policies, business and initiatives in global landscape. “We wish to establish that the respect of our rights is non-negotiable,” said Joan Carlin of the Indigenous Peoples Major Group for Sustainable Development (IPMG), which leads the initiative together with the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI).

At the recent UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York, six indigenous activists and leaders from across the world took a moment to speak to the often unrecognized and under-appreciated contributions made by their communities for the betterment of society, and to address some of the most widespread and harmful misconceptions about Indigenous Peoples and local communities.

Case for optimism: Real-world success stories of indigenous and community women claiming their rights

Recognizing and securing women’s land and resource rights—in law and practice—benefits women, their communities, and their countries. Strong governance rights for women underpin their ability to participate in decision-making affecting their personal agency and economic security, their children’s future, and the future of the planet. Just a handful of stories from the RRI Coalition demonstrate how, across the world, indigenous and rural women are fighting for their land and resource rights, and using their traditional knowledge and leadership to contribute to myriad global development goals.