With over 50 new laws passed to protect forest tenure rights and an increase from 10-15% to 21-31% of forest owned or controlled by Indigenous Peoples and forest communities from 1992 to today, there has been significant progress. This is not only a significant advance for communities, it also strengthens conservation as community managed forests outperformed public protected areas in preventing deforestation. Unfortunately, much of this progress has come in a few countries, most of them in Latin America. Most countries lack effective protections for the tenure rights of communities. While there is increased recognition of traditional land tenure rights, much of this recognition has had limited impact. Increased large-scale land acquisitions threaten to further undermine tenure security.
In this context, the Rights and Resources Initiative has prepared a new report to take stock of the progress made since the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro’s commitment to sustainable development. The report includes specific examples from China, Brazil, India, Nepal, Cameroon and Mexico.
The report can be downloaded here. The summary can be found here.