Back to search

More than 2 billion of the world’s people live in, and depend upon, forests and drylands. These areas cover roughly half of the earth’s surface and store 70% of the planet’s terrestrial carbon.

Among these billions of people are the Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities who live on and manage approximately 65 percent of the world’s land area in customary or traditional systems. Despite existing laws that secure their rights, rarely do Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities have formally recognized ownership of their land. These rights are contested, often leading to egregious human rights abuses and environmental degradation.

The International Land and Forest Tenure Facility (“The Tenure Facility”) is a unique new institution that provides grants to advance land and forest tenure security and the rights and livelihoods of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities. It is emergent and responsive to the growing global land and forest tenure crisis that often pits communities, businesses, and governments against one another.

This crisis is growing as result of weak governance and unclear, unenforced or undocumented rules for governing land, forests, and people. The Tenure Facility is the first and only institution exclusively focused on securing collective rights to land and forests. The Tenure Facility concept was developed by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) coalition.

Learn more about the current state of global tenure rights for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities by using this Tenure Data Tool, which compares changes in statutory forest tenure in 52 highly forested countries. 

It is estimated that there are more than 370 million indigenous people spread across 70 countries worldwide. Practicing unique traditions, they retain social, cultural, economic and political characteristics that are distinct from those of the dominant societies in which they live.( Source: UN)

Follow the collection of  publications on land conflicts from RRI.