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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Progress and challenges of securing community land rights in Africa

Recognizing secure tenure rights for local communities and Indigenous Peoples is one of the key drivers of social peace and sustainable economic development. Addressing the common need for a platform to continue sharing experiences and knowledge, we helped establish the African Land Institutions Network for Community Rights (ALIN). To assess progress since meeting in Antananarivo, Madagascar in 2019, the 3rd ALIN Conference will be held in a hybrid format in Lomé, Togo and online from October 12-14, 2021.

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.

Não há empoderamento político sem empoderamento econômico. Esse foi o princípio por trás de uma estratégia de 2019 da Coalizão da América Latina da RRI [Iniciativa de Direitos e Recursos] para analisar sistemas econômicos com base nos próprios conceitos de desenvolvimento das comunidades dentro de seus sistemas de propriedade comum.

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.