The following is a list of resources on issues in community land rights, forestry, natural resource management, governance, and climate change from experts from around the world.

  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008

Linking FLEGT and REDD+ to Improve Forest Governance

April 7, 2014

For the past decade or so, developing countries have engaged in a variety of newinternational initiatives aiming at improving forest management and governance.The prevailing international forest initiatives at the moment are FLEGT and REDD+.FLEGT focuses on combating illegal logging; REDD+ aims to reduce deforestation andforest degradation and enhance carbon stocks. These initiatives offer innovativeapproaches to longstanding challenges in the land-use sector for policy-makers andforest stewards in developing countries. Increased cooperation betweenthe initiatives at the national level could advance forest governance reforms, strengthenstakeholder engagement and balance competing interests.

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Briefing: Exploring the Connection between Climate Change and Political Instability

March 19, 2014

This briefing is extracted from a January 2014 address to RRI members and staff by Arun Agrawal. Arun coordinates the International Forestry Resources and Institutions network, which is a coalition partner of RRI. He has written critically on indigenous knowledge, community-based conservation, common property, population and resources, and environmental identities.

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Human rights and resource conflicts in the Amazon

March 18, 2014

This report investigates an alarming increase in human rights violations in the Amazon region, where human rights defenders, environmental activists and indigenouspeoples are facing attacks and are being put under systematic pressure; and rights to land and to consultation are regularly encroached.

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(Español) Muchas Palabras, Poca Acción

March 14, 2014

Sorry, this entry is only available in Español.

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Lessons Learned from Community Forestry in Latin America and their Relevance for REDD

January 22, 2014

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-supported Forest Carbon, Markets, and Communities (FCMC) Program commissioned this review of lessons learned from community forestry inLatin America. This review analyzes experiences and key lessons learned over three decades following the introduction of legal and policy reforms supporting community rights over forests as well as community involvement in the management of forests. It presents some key lessons from community forestry that are highly relevant for REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation).

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POLICY BRIEF

January 2, 2014

It is widely understood that forests throughout the world are under growing pressure as societal demands increase and diversify. If the drivers for this pressure are not coherently addressed, forest destruction, and their ecological, economic, and social implications will continue. It is ever more recognized that local people (here local people refers to communities and smallholders) living in and around forests can play a significant role in facilitating the sustainable management of these forests. In many ways their knowledge of and their connection with the forest makes them ideal stewards of the forests in their locality. This belief is underscored by the understanding that if they have access to the forests, have an enabling environment and support to manage and make a living from the forests, and the capacity to take advantage of the livelihood opportunities that the forests offer then they will ensure that their investment in the future, namely the forests, is managed in a sustainable manner. The cornerstone of this assumption is that the communities and smallholders will be allowed to make a better living from these forests. Unfortunately evidence shows that often this is not the case. This leads to the question of Why are local people unable to make a better living from forests? The Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) and RECOFTC – The Center for People and Forests have been conducting research in five Asian countries (Cambodia, Indonesia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Vietnam) in order to answer the question.

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A Systemic Analysis of Land Markets and Land Institutions in West African Cities

December 20, 2013

This paper presents a new type of land market analysis relevant to cities with plural tenure systems as in West Africa. The methodology hinges on a systemic analysis of land delivery channels, which helps to show how land is initially made available for circulation, how tenure can be formalized incrementally, and the different means whereby households can access land. The analysis is applied to the area of Bamako in Mali, where information was collected through (i) interviews with key informants, (ii) a literature review on land policies, public allocations, and customary transfers of land, (iii) a press review on land disputes, and (iv) a survey of more than 1,600 land transfers of un-built plots that occurred between 2009 and 2012. The analysis finds that land is mostly accessed through an informal customary channel, whereby peri-urban land is transformed from agricultural to residential use, and through a public channel, which involves the administrative allocation of residential plots to households. The integrated analysis of land markets and land institutions stresses the complexity of procedures and the extra-legality of practices that strongly affect the functioning of formal and informal markets and make access to land costly and insecure, withnegative social, economic, and environmental impacts over the long term.

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IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON LIFE & LIVELIHOOD OF DALITS

December 19, 2013

Dalit stakes in environment are high due to their dependence on natural resources for livelihoods. Though climatic uncertainties have implications on many sectors, rural livelihoods are most affected by changes in climatic patterns. Dalits, who are highly dependent on earnings from agricultural labour and, livestock rearing dependent on forests and other common lands have fewer resources and options to combat the damages to the resourcebase because of climate change. The internalization of discrimination and exclusion continue to deprive them of their social, economic and political rights and opportunities. Their locational, social and economic vulnerabilities place a greater strain on their adaptive capacity to climate change and ability to deal with shocks, stresses and change.

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Scaling-Up Strategies to Secure Community Land and Resource Rights

December 13, 2013

This report provides a summary of the main outcomes and discussions from the Interlaken conference, with a focus on the priorities for action developed within five thematic strategy sessions, which ran in parallel and provided the main structure and organization of the conference. More information about the program, presentations, media coverage and related supplemental information including two short films made on the conference is available at the website: http://communitylandrights.org/.

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Current forestry laws do not allow Papua New Guineans to develop their own forest resources

December 10, 2013

In Papua New Guinea (PNG) 97% of land (including forests) is under customary ownership. However Papua New Guineans (PNGs) are often excluded from meaningful forestry development due to the forestry laws and regulations that have been in place since gaining independence in 1975. The laws have been developed from the view point of large scale forest industry and business, therefore have effectively removed the customary rights of the PNGs. This has resulted in increased state control and private ownership by large businesses over an increasing majority of PNGs forested land.

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Policy Brief Cambodia – សេចក្តី េសខេបេម្រាប់ សោលនសោបាយ

December 1, 2013

See attached document to have a description of the policy brief

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Policy Brief Vietnam – ĐỔI MỚI CHÍNH SÁCH KHAI THÁC VÀ LƯU THÔNG LÂM SẢN: Lợi ích gì cho cộng đồng địa phương?

December 1, 2013

Từ năm 2004 đến nay, Luật Bảo vệ và Phát triển rừng với những điều chỉnh, bổ sung gần đây đã quy định cụ thể hơn về việc GĐGR cho người dân. Chính sách về khai thác và kinh doanh lâm sản cũng được điều chỉnh với xu hướng đơn giản hóa các thủ tục hành chính về kinh doanh lâm sản cho đối tượng là hộ gia đình và cộng đồng nhận rừng. Tuy nhiên, câu hỏi được đặt ra là sau những điều chỉnh và bổ sung mang tính tích cực, khung chính sách hiện nay đã đủ đơn giản và rõ ràng cho người dân nhận rừng hưởng lợi, thông qua việc tham gia vào hoạt động khai thác và kinh doanh lâm sản hay chưa.

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Policy Brief – Nepal

December 1, 2013

This is the policy brief on Regulatory barriers in Nepal. The brief is in Nepali.

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Enabling Forest Users to Exercise Their Rights: Rethinking Barriers to Communities and Smallholders Earning Their Living from Timber in Indonesia

November 27, 2013

Indonesia has undergone gradual changes in the administration and management of its forest resources. Being typified as a reference for a centralistic forest tradition and exclusionary policy (Peluso 1992), the country began to devolve a certain degree of authorities and management responsibilities to local communities and indigenous groups through a number of community forestry schemes. Numerous official forest documents, notably the 1999 Forest Law, political commitments from Forest Ministry (e.g. Rusli 2003, Wardojo 2003) mention that the community forestry aims to integrate socio-economic community development in forest management, that local communities can obtain economic benefits for improving the welfare andquality of life. Looking at the chronic poverty in forest regions in Indonesia, the implementation of community forestry generates enthusiasms that the program can contribute meaningfully to the efforts on poverty alleviation.

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Rethinking Regulatory Barriers to Communities and Smallholders Earning their Living from Timber in the Philippines

November 27, 2013

This policy paperidentifies regulatory barriers to communities and smallholders attaining their livelihoods from the sale of timber and timber products.It is based on the hypothesis that regulations severely constrain and reduce the viability of community forestry and smallholder forestry making them economically uncompetitive and thereby reducing their potential to contribute to, improved forest conditions, the maintenance of environmental services, and improved livelihoods.Drawing from the results of two case studies, a national policy forum attended by key stakeholders, and a review of relevant policies and literature, the paper identifies the fundamental formal (e.g. regulations) and informal (e.g. corruption) constraints to local communities and smallholders exercising rights regarding selling timber. The economic costs involved along the forestry value chain are also identified. Finally recommendations will be presented that systematically address the constraints found, the recommendations are aimed towards unlocking the potential of communities and smallholders to benefit economically from their timber resources.

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La silvicultura comunitaria en Mexico

November 27, 2013

A pesar de sus muchos exitos, las EFC mexicanas enfrentan retos importantes.

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Mexican Community Forestry

November 22, 2013

In spite of many successes, the Mexican CFE sector faces significant challenges.

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Enabling Forest Users to Exercise Their Rights

November 22, 2013

In many Asian countries, communities and smallholders are faced with barriers to exercising their tenure rights and to making a living from selling timber and other forest products. This study puts forward an effort to respond to the issue of restrictions, in the form of regulatory barriers, in the pursuit of sustainable forest management. When local communities (and smallholders) gain appropriate benefits from forest management and utilization, their motivation to invest in, improve and sustain their productive base increases can lead to “triple win” of improved forest conditions, maintenance of ecological services and improved local livelihoods. The program of work looks at sharing knowledge on the current impacts of regulatory barriers, with particular reference to costs of missed opportunities through restricting rights, governance and market access issues. The study was conducted in six Asian countries (Cambodia, Indonesia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Vietnam) and Mexico.

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Land and Forest Tenure Reforms in Central and West Africa

November 6, 2013

For the past few decades, statutory tenure systems in African countries were subjected to small legalchanges whose main feature was the devolution of rights and responsibilities to peripheral actors; localcommunities, in particular. In countries in other sub-continents (Latin America, South-East Asia, andthe Far East) more decisive and substantive changes have signi!cantly affected the structure of land andforest tenure rights by recognizing and allocating property rights to local and indigenous communities.In order to lay the foundation for more relevant legal developments and to seek a common vision, Westand Central African countries organized an international conference on “Forest Tenure, Governance,and Enterprise” which took place in Yaoundé in 2009. New challenges – such as those related tolarge-scale land acquisitions – were discussed and recommendations were proposed. This report provides a preliminary assessment of their implementation. Major emphasis was put on two bold recommendations: that Central and West African countries take steps, by 2015, to fundamentally reform their tenure systems, in order to legally recognize community owned forests and to double the land area under community ownership within that timeframe and that sub-regional and continental organizations develop tools that promote community tenure rights and harmonize national legal frameworks.

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International Law Principles for REDD+

November 6, 2013

These principles of international law on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) address the questions that rights holders and stakeholders may have regarding the legal obligations and rights implications of REDD+ initiatives. This working paper was produced as a starting point for further discussions and will be revised as needed by the Indian Law Resource Center. Please direct feedback to dcoffice@indianlaw.org.

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Dépossédés à tout prix

October 22, 2013

Le rapport analyse les contours de la réunion, étape décisive dans le processus d'attribution de la concession foncière à SGSOC. Il évalue sa conformité aux dispositions du décret N° 76- 166 du 27 avril 1976 fixant les modalités de gestion du domaine national; les conflits entre les dispositions de la convention d'établissement entre SGSOC et le Cameroun et les textes en vigueur en matière de concession foncière au Cameroun; et formule des recommandations pour l'action.

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Dispossessed at all costs?

October 22, 2013

The report analyzes the allocation of land concession in the SGSOC process. It assesses compliance with the provisions of Decree No. 76-166 of 27 (April 1976), which describe the procedures for administering state land, conflict between the provisions of the settlement agreement between SGSOC and Cameroon, and the legislation in force on land concession in Cameroon. It also provides recommendations for action to advance these efforts.

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Loss and Damage, Women and Men

October 18, 2013

As greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise and, with them, super storms, weather extremes, and continued and unpredictable seasonal changes, the impacts of climate change are increasingly surpassing people’s ability to cope or adapt. Them manifested impacts that go beyond current or future adaptive capacity are known as ‘loss and damage’. This paper is a direct contribution to those discussions andpresents four main areas in which gender should be considered.

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La Forestería Comunitaria en Honduras

October 11, 2013

Durante los últimos diez años, se han visto múltiples esfuerzos e iniciativas orientadas a mejorar la gobernanza forestal en Honduras. En la primera mitad de la década pasada, las protestas y marchas organizadas por un movimiento ambientalista1 (a las que se unieron miles de ciudadanos hondureños) tuvieron éxito en colocar los temas de la tala ilegal y la degradación forestal en el centro del debate político del país. En 2005, el Comisionado Nacional de los Derechos Humanos de Honduras (CONADEH) inició un proyecto de Monitoreo Forestal Independiente (MFI), el cual ha publicado casi un centenar de informes que han mejorado en gran medida la comprensión y la exposición de las actividades forestales ilegales. Los años siguientes estuvieron marcados por un proceso de consultas públicas sin precedentes, que ayudó a diseñar una nueva Ley Forestal2 y promovió el impulso político para su aprobación en septiembre de 2007.

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Community Forestry in Honduras

October 11, 2013

This Information Brief suggests that forest governance goals can be achieved by strengthening community forestry in Honduras.

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Liquidating the Forests

October 10, 2013

The report tracks the extent and nature of illegal logging in the last remaining tiger habitat in the Russian Far East, through manufacturing centers in China to the showroom of US-based Lumber Liquidators, Inc.

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Mesoamerica at the forefront of community forest rights: Lessons for making REDD work

October 8, 2013

Mesoamerica stands out for the enormous progress it has made in the recognition of community forest rights. Forest communities and indigenous peoples either own or manage over 60% of the region´s forests, in tenure reforms that have demonstrated a broad diversity of pathways to community rights (ejidos, usufruct contracts, municipal forests, indigenous territories, reserves and Comarcas, community forestry concessions, forest cooperatives etc.). Several decades of experience have already been generated from these reforms, and confirmed that the recognition of community rights has enormous potential not only in reconciling local environment and development dilemmas, but also for enhancing livelihoods, combating climate change, increasing resilience, and strengthening forest governance. These experiences contain critical lessons for large forested regions in other areas of the world – in particular for REDD+ – where many large forests are in the hands of governments with little capacity to manage them effectively.

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Mesoamérica a la delantera en derechos forestales comunitarios: Lecciones para hacer que REDD+ funcione

October 8, 2013

Mesoamérica se destaca por el enorme progreso que ha logrado en el reconocimiento de derechos forestales comunitarios. Comunidades forestales y pueblos indígenas, poseen o manejan más del 60% de los bosques de la región, en el marco de reformas de tenencia que han demostrado una amplia diversidad de vías para acceder a derechos comunitarios (ejidos, contratos de usufructo, bosques municipales, territorios indígenas, reservas y comarcas, concesiones forestales comunitarias, cooperativas agroforestales, etc.). Varias décadas de experiencia se han generado a partir de estas reformas confirmando que el reconocimiento de los derechos comunitarios tiene un enorme potencial, no sólo para conciliar los dilemas del desarrollo y el medio ambiente local, sino también para mejorar los medios de vida, combatir el cambio climático, aumentar la resiliencia y fortalecer la gobernanza forestal. Estas experiencias contienen lecciones críticas para grandes regiones boscosas en otras áreas del mundo, en particular para REDD+, donde la mayoría de las grandes áreas de bosque están en manos de los gobiernos con poca capacidad para manejarlos efectivamente.

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Women and Land Rights: Legal Barriers Impede Women's Access to Resources

October 2, 2013

A woman’s ability to own, inherit and control land and property is absolutely vital to her ability to access resources and participate in the economy. Yet many women do not have legal ownership rights to the land on which they live and work. This can increase women’s dependence on husbands and male, land-owning relatives and limit their access to credit and productive inputs.

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Community Guide to Getting a Fair Deal from Companies and Investors

September 26, 2013

The purpose of this guide is to help communities decide if they want to share their community lands and natural resources with outside companies or investors. Some companies or investors may want communities' lands or forests to grow oil palm or rubber, or to do logging. This means deciding not only if a company or investor should operate in one's community, but how and where they should operate and what the community should receive in return. This guide helps make those critical decisions.

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