Recognizing Indigenous and Community Rights

Priority Steps to Advance Development and Mitigate Climate Change

Date: September 17, 2014

There has been longstanding, and in many countries unmet, demand from Indigenous Peoples and local communities for the formal recognition of their rights to customarily owned lands, forests, and other natural resources. Today, there is unprecedented agreement among governments, the development cooperation community, private investors, and companies, that securing local land rights is an urgent, global priority. This brief calculates the cost of securing Indigenous Peoples’ and community rights to the tropical forests where they live, noting that secure land tenure is a prerequisite for the success of climate, poverty reduction and ecosystem conservation initiatives.