Policy-makers’ decisions and attitudes towards rights and tenure reform are influenced by a number of actors at different political and social levels. Networks can strengthen stakeholders’ positions in national, regional, and international dialogues, and they have proven to be an effective and cost-efficient tool to enhance mutual learning and change.
RRI brings together actors with the influence and knowledge to advance tenure and policy reforms at many levels and in different spheres. Building on its convening power and extensive contacts all around the world, RRI engages with many different constituencies each serving a different niche.
Connecting people from regions across the world allows for a unique opportunity to build capacity, promote new tools, and bridge the gap between global perspectives and local realities, with the objective of reinforcing movements and enabling change.
An informal network of the largest forested countries’ forest agency leaders, MegaFlorestais works to advance international dialogue and exchange on forest governance and public forest agency reforms. Its members represent 70% of the world’s forests. RRI is the acting secretariat of the group and ensures that members participate in key RRI events related to their reform interests. Through this network, RRI also engages with the next generation of leaders of these countries to make them better advocates for rights recognition. Learn more about the suite of MegaFlorestais activities here.
Through the MegaFlorestais initiative, RRI has increased the awareness of the need for forest tenure reform among public forest agencies in Brazil, Cameroon, China, Indonesia, and Peru. According to its Independent Monitor, RRI is increasingly seen by such agencies as a credible source of information and training on global issues in governance, trade, and tenure:
“With its great ability for articulation and networking, RRI plays a key role in improving forest management worldwide, bringing together world leaders of forestry agencies for frank, open, and technical debates and the exchange of experiences and lessons learned. RRI plays a unique role in raising the debate and the generation of knowledge on topics of great relevance, supporting diverse actors to improve forest governance.”
-Antônio Hummel, Brazilian Forest Service
Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples Networks
RRI is involved with several civil society and Indigenous Peoples networks, such as the Global Alliance of Community Forestry (GACF) and the Africa Community Rights Network (ACRN), to support their participation and engagement in key international and regional events where community voices need to be heard. More broadly, RRI support their initiatives to influence climate change negotiations, the European Union’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) action plan and its accompanying Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPA) processes, etc.
Next Generation of Community and Indigenous Peoples Leaders
RRI and other organizations in Asia, Africa and Latin America are collaborating to organize international training seminars to discuss the challenges faced by local communities and Indigenous Peoples. The objective of this network is to engage the next generation of leaders in cutting-edge analysis for a deeper understanding of global transitions that impact their rights, livelihoods and resources, and to better prepare them to lead by giving them a wider understanding of strategies for engagement with influential actors around the globe. This seminar enables these leaders to strengthen their voices and increase their impacts, while building strong relationships and learning from each other.
RRI is involved with several gender networks such as the African Women’s Network for Community. Management of Forests (REFACOF) and TENFOREST, to build their capacity and make sure their voices are heard during key international events. RRI supports their advocacy efforts by providing them with strategic analysis on gender justice in collective tenure reforms and community-based forest enterprise for their advocacy. RRI actively identifies key constituencies and women’s groups at the local, national and international levels addressing land and forest tenure, and connects them with key government agencies, international institutions and multilateral organizations to advocate for gender justice.
Lawyers for Community Tenure
Lawyers for Community Tenure is a global coalition of lawyers and advocates for securing community tenure. Its members review specific questions and challenges related to the recognition of community tenure rights and provide recommendations to the international legal community. The group serves as a legal reference group for RRI, other networks and organizations, as well as Indigenous Peoples’ groups and local communities. The Ateneo School of Government in the Philippines is currently the Secretariat of the group and collaborates with RRI to organize annual meetings.