This event focuses on the challenges Indigenous Peoples and communities face in acquiring legal rights to their land, the loopholes companies can often take, and ways countries can simplify complex procedures.

Indigenous Peoples and rural communities occupy more than half of the world’s land, but they legally own just 10 percent of land globally. Increasing global demand for natural resources is intensifying competition for land across the developing world, pushing companies onto territories that many Indigenous Peoples and rural communities have sustainably managed for generations.

Communities are now racing to protect their land rights, but there are clear inequities in these procedures. New WRI research finds that across 15 countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, rural communities and Indigenous Peoples face steep challenges to formalizing their land rights.

There are significant differences in the barriers that both groups face – disparities that give companies a clear advantage. While communities can wait decades for legal titles that may never come, companies acquire land or begin operations on their territories in as little as 30 days. The resulting conflicts over contested land can last years, displacing communities and creating significant legal and economic risks for companies.

This event draws stakeholders from governments, companies, civil society, and the environmental community to examine the inequities in land acquisition across the world, and identify ways countries can simplify complex procedures.


  • Peter Veit, Director, Land and Resource Rights, WRI
  • Natalie Campbell, Senior Associate, Asia Program, Rights and Resources Initiative
  • Christine Halvorson, Program Director, Rainforest Foundation US

Related Video

Rainforest Foundation US presented the following #IndigenousLandNow video featuring indigenous communities of Guyana fighting for land rights and the rainforest.

About the Series

WRI’s Greening Governance Seminar Series explores how good governance – inclusive, transparent decision-making processes, equal access to justice, strong institutions and a vibrant civil society – not only help policymakers advance more effective, equitable policies, but also implement ambitious commitments like the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals.

Greening Governance seminars bring diverse panels of experts together to grapple with tough questions and identify successful strategies at the intersection of governance, environmental sustainability and human well-being. Interested in attending or watching remotely? Subscribe to our Greening Governance newsletter and follow us on Twitter to stay updated on upcoming events.