Grappling with Brazil's longest recession since the 1930s, government officials are under enormous pressure to combat rising unemployment, address corruption and control inflation. Yet two recent bills designed to solve the problem are misguided attempts that could degrade the environment, diminish human rights and hurt the economy.
WRI convened governmental and non-governmental stakeholders in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to inform new rules on community forest rights that go beyond subsistence use of natural resources. The resulting decree completes the legal framework for forest-dependent communities to obtain rights to manage large areas of land over the long term.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), commercial forestry concessions have historically received precedence over community development due to a lack of legally-recognized property rights, limiting communities’ ability to control and profit from the natural resources on their customary lands. DRC’s Forest Code of 2002 gave local communities the right to community forestry concessions, but lacked necessary regulations for implementing these rights, including rules to govern allocation and management of these concessions.
WRI worked alongside a wide range of governmental and non-governmental stakeholders to advance regulations on community forestry concessions. In 2015, WRI conducted a situation analysis of how community forest rights were allocated and managed in DRC to identify obstacles and common ground among the competing visions for community forestry management. WRI collaborated with the Ministry of Environment to design and carry out a multi-stakeholder consultation on crafting the new regulation, served on the validation committee responsible for ensuring the proposed regulation integrated stakeholder views, and provided technical input on language and content.
DRC Ministerial Decree No. 025, signed into law in February 2016, provides rules governing concession management by forest communities. The final regulation incorporates some of the safeguards proposed by civil society actors and WRI throughout the consultation process, such as language on including women and indigenous peoples in the community institutions governing concessions. The legal framework advances community forestry rights in DRC, granting forest-dependent communities significantly more autonomy to manage areas of land up to 50,000 hectares (124,000 acres) and to benefit from a range of uses, such as conservation, ecotourism, small-scale timber extraction, production of wood energy, or the harvest of non-timber forest products.
WRI will continue to support the implementation of community forestry rights in DRC. Next steps include working with the government and other partners to develop a national community forestry strategy and creating an operational guide for how communities should produce required concession management plans.
A new report shows that forests managed by Indigenous Peoples and communities hold about one-quarter of the world's tropical aboveground carbon.
Indigenous Peoples and other communities hold and manage 50 to 60 percent of the world's land, yet governments recognize only 10 percent as legally belonging to these groups. That's bad economic policy, shows a new WRI report.
A report from the World Resources Institute offers new evidence that the modest investments needed to secure land rights for Indigenous Peoples in the Amazon will generate billions of dollars in returns—economically, socially and environmentally—for governments, investors and communities.
The Economic Case For Securing Indigenous Land Rights in the Amazon
A new report offers evidence that the modest investments needed to secure land rights for indigenous communities will generate billions in returns—economically, socially and environmentally—for local communities and the world’s changing climate. The report, Climate Benefits, Tenure Costs:...
At an event on October 7, WRI will launch a new report, Climate Benefits, Tenure Costs: The Economic Case for Securing Indigenous Land Rights, which finds for the first time that relatively modest investments in secure land tenure for Indigenous Peoples can generate billions of dollars in returns—economically and environmentally.
Giving people the legal right to own, use and sell land, water and other goods can actually lead to more sustainable resource use.
Indigenous Peoples and other communities rely on their collectively held lands for food, water, livelihoods and well-being. Yet around the world, these groups face barriers to legally registering and titling these lands—and it’s getting worse.
Today is International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples -- a good day to reflect on the achievements and challenges Indigenous Peoples still face, including the issue of legal security of land and natural resource rights. How well do national laws protect the interests of these historically marginalized communities?