Who Owns the World’s Land?

New report quantifies vast amount of world’s land that Indigenous Peoples and local communities without legal rights

A new report provides baseline data showing the amount of land that Indigenous Peoples and local communities own or manage in the rural, forest, and dryland areas where they live, and how much of this land governments claim as their own. The findings suggest that hundreds of thousands of people worldwide lack rights to the land they depend on for their livelihoods and cultural survival, fueling social conflict and human rights abuses, and depriving humanity of a vital resource in the battle to slow climate change and develop sustainably.


At the Crossroads of Economic Development and Climate Change, Affirming Land Ownership Rights Can Lift Billions Out of Poverty

Download the press release: ENGLISHFrench and Spanish forthcoming


Who owns the world’s land? A global baseline of indigenous and community land rights

Download the report: ENGLISH | French and Spanish forthcoming


To arrange interviews with the authors or speakers at the panel discussion, or for more information, please contact:

Jenna DiPaolo Colley at

[email protected] or

+1 202-412-0331

Coimbra Sirica at

[email protected] or

+1 301-943-3287

Key Spokespeople

  • Joan Carling, Secretary-General, Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), Philippines
  • Lou Munden, Founder, TMP Systems (formerly known as The Munden Project)
  • Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Co-chair, International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change, Chad
  • Duncan Pollard, AVP Stakeholders Engagement in Sustainability, Nestlé
  • Duncan Pruett, Policy Advisor on Land Rights, Oxfam
  • Klaus Quicque Bolivar, Presidente de la Federación Nativa del río Madre de Dios y Afluentes, Peru
  • Madhu Sarin, Campaign for Survival and Dignity, India
  • Rukka Sombolinggi, Deputy Secretary General, Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN), Indonesia
  • Michael Taylor, Director, International Land Coalition
  • Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  • Leonor Zalabata, Comisionada de Derechos Humanos, Confederación Indígena Tayrona, Colombia
  • Andy White, Coordinator, Rights and Resources Initiative
  • Rodney Schmidt, Deputy Director of Global Programs, Rights and Resources Initiative

Launch Event

This new report was released on the eve of the conference, From Rhetoric to Action: Scaling Up Community and Indigenous Peoples’ Land and Resource Rights, in Bern, Switzerland. The discussions at the conference will highlight the gap between the lands in which indigenous and local communities live and the land the government claims as its own, as well as the tools and mechanisms to bridge this gap.

To learn more about the conference, click here.

The event will be webcast on September 30 and October 1. To watch the webcast, click here. Join the conversation at #BernConf.


Additional Resources