As Paris climate change talks approach, new web resource promises opportunities to protect human rights and limit emissions from deforestation

The launch of LandMark, the first online, interactive global platform that provides maps and other information on lands collectively held and used by Indigenous Peoples and communities. The platform was created to fill a critical gap in information on indigenous territories and community lands, and provide a reference guide on the legal rights to these lands. LandMark was developed under the guidance of a 13-member Steering Group including indigenous coalitions and land rights and research organizations around the world.

Launch events are also taking place in Jakarta, Indonesia, and Lima, Peru.

Watch livestream:


  • KEYNOTE: Liz Alden Wily, Independent Land Tenure Specialist, Kenya
  • Alda Salomão, Director General, Centro Terra Viva-Estudos e Advocacia Ambiental, Mozambique
  • Andy White, Coordinator, Rights and Resources Initiative
  • Barun Mitra, Director, Liberty Institute, India
  • Brian Keane, Adviser for Indigenous Peoples Issues, U.S. Agency for International Development
  • Fabrice Dubertret, World Atlas of Indigenous Peoples Territories
  • Katie Reytar, Research Associate, World Resources Institute
  • Mark Robinson, Global Director, Governance, World Resources Initiative
  • Samuel Nguiffo, Secretary General, Centre pour l'Environnement et le Développement, Cameroon

Tuesday, November 10, 2015, 9:00-11:00 AM

Capitol View Business and Conference Center
101 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001

Indigenous and community forest rights that are legally recognized and protected by governments translate to low rates of deforestation and the maintenance of healthy forests with high carbon storage. Research finds that while Indigenous Peoples and local communities live and rely on up to 65 percent of the global land area, they only have ownership rights to 10 percent, leaving the vast majority of their territories at risk of predatory and environmentally destructive development.

Many governments today acknowledge customary land rights, but few have established the strong legal protections needed to secure tenure systems. Without strong legal protections, Indigenous Peoples and communities – especially in Africa, Asia and Latin America – are at risk of losing their land for economic development and commercial purposes, including mines, palm oil plantations, and timber concessions.

As we draw closer to the Paris climate talks, the LandMark platform will help shine a light on collectively-held lands around the world and provide an interactive look at where indigenous and community tenure rights are strong. This new tool will be continuously updated with additional maps and information as new data is collected.

To schedule an interview with a speaker at the conference, contact:
Jenna DiPaolo Colley, RRI, +1 202-412-0331,
Lauren Zelin, WRI, +1 202-729-7736,

LandMark (Beta) was developed under the guidance of a 13-member Steering Group, including indigenous coalitions and land rights and research organizations around the world: Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara (AMAN, Indonesia), Forest Peoples Programme (FPP, UK), Foundation for Ecological Security (FES, India), Instituto del Bien Común (IBC, Peru), International Land Coalition (ILC, Rome), Liz Alden Wily (Kenya), Philippine Association for Intercultural Development, Inc. (PAFID, Philippines), Rainforest Foundation UK (RFUK, UK), Red Amazónica de Información Socioambiental Georreferenciada (RAISG, Brazil), Rights and Resource Initiative (RRI, USA), Union of Indigenous Nomadic Tribes of Iran (UNINOMAD, Iran) / Centre for Sustainable Development (CENESTA, Iran), World Atlas of Indigenous Peoples' Territories (WAIPT, France), and World Resources Institute (WRI, Global).