On September 16, 2021, RRI and the UK Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) hosted a discussion on new opportunities and ongoing efforts to advance the collective land rights agenda at the upcoming CoP26 and related international events.
Conserving and restoring forests and rural lands is essential to achieving global climate, conservation, and sustainable development goals. Secure land rights for Indigenous Peoples, local communities, and Afro-descendant Peoples – particularly the women and youth among them – are a necessary foundation for scaling the implementation of all Nature-based Solutions. This includes protecting existing forests and critical ecosystems, restoring landscapes, and ensuring effective carbon markets.
However, although Indigenous Peoples, local communities and Afro-descendant Peoples have customary rights to over 50% of all the planet’s terrestrial area, they have legal ownership to just 10%. This gap in ownership must be addressed if the world is to mitigate climate change and halt biodiversity loss. While there has been progress on this agenda in recent years, achieving climate and sustainable development goals will require much more ambition and coordination, as well as new initiatives to accelerate impacts.
The event aimed to increase awareness on the status of Indigenous Peoples, local communities, and Afro-descendant Land Rights and their critical importance to achieving climate, conservation and development goals. It celebrated the work already underway by showcasing related initiatives and commitments, and sought to foster new collaboration between bilateral donors, governments, private philanthropies, and other stakeholders to accelerate efforts before the climate and biodiversity CoPs.
Read speaker biographies here.