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.
On paper, community-based forest management sounds like a good idea and it has garnered strong support internationally. But experts familiar with this conservation strategy have found that while CFM may be succeeding in meeting some of its goals, it fails to achieve others. By reviewing some of the scientific literature on CFM’s impacts, we have tried to tease apart its effectiveness.
For Amazonian and native communities, it is not a matter of ignoring or rejecting the land market, but rather finding the best way to relate to it while preserving their ancestral properties, rights, traditions, and knowledge (which are key for biodiversity and intellectual property).
Data on customary lands of local communities is crucial to advocacy, securing legal recognition of land and resource rights, and measuring global progress.
Who has legal ownership over the world’s forests? And how has that ownership changed over time? RRI’s new interactive Forest Tenure Tool lets you compare…