COVID-19, Biodiversity and Climate Change: Indigenous Peoples Defining the Path Forward | Land Portal
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We believe in the inherent dignity of all people. But around the world, too many people are excluded from the political, economic, and social institutions that shape their lives. 

The Land Portal is a Foundation registered in the Netherlands in 2014.

The vision of the Portal is to improve land governance to benefit those with the most insecure land rights and the greatest vulnerability to landlessness through information and knowledge sharing.

The Tenure Facility

The International Land and Forest Tenure Facility is focused on securing land and forest rights for Indigenous Peoples and local communities. We are the first financial mechanism to exclusively fund projects working towards this goal while reducing conflict, driving development, improving global human rights, and mitigating the impacts of climate change.

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Indigenous Peoples and local communities manage more than half of the world´s land. These biodiverse ancestral lands are vital to the people who steward them and the planet we all share. But governments only recognize indigenous and community legal ownership of 10 percent of the world´s lands.  Secure tenure is essential for safeguarding the existing forests against external forces. This is specifically true for forests managed by Indigenous Peoples, where much of the world’s carbon is stored.



Recent research states that the recognition of customary tenure in these areas is a highly efficient and cost-effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by deforestation. Strengthening the land and resource rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities whose well-being is tied to their forests offers a unique and vital opportunity to combat climate change, and is one of the best nature-based solutions. Recent research – captured in reports by the IPCCIPBES, and others—shows that community land rights lead to lower deforestation rates, higher carbon storage, and higher biodiversity. Communities manage nearly 300 billion metric tons of carbon. Ensuring that Indigenous Peoples and local communities’ rights to these lands are recognized and protected is vital to keeping the forests standing, and the carbon from being released into the atmosphere. In countries that provide stronger legal rights to indigenous communities to own and manage forests, there is an overwhelmingly positive correlation with reduction of land degradation, and the stabilizing of forested landscapes.

As the world faces an urgent need to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, more than 26 million hectares of forest are still being cut down every year. To understand the connection between land rights and climate change, it is crucial to recognize that most of the world’s forests are managed by local and indigenous communities. However, environmental degradation from deforestation and loss of biodiversity, environmental pollution, contamination of rivers and water sources and extractive industries have had a negative impact on indigenous communities.

This webinar explored the resilience of Indigenous Peoples and their capacity to face the impacts of climate change indigenous landscapes and their community responses based upon fine-tuned local knowledge. It explored direct actions being taken by indigenous communities to defend their territories against those who seek to profit from the COVID-19 crisis and undermine these efforts.




Zoe Tabary, Property Rights Editor, Thomson Reuters Foundation


Zoe Tabary
Property Rights Editor
Thomson Reuters Foundation 






Dr. Carlos Zambrana-Torrelio, Associate Vice President for Conservation and Health, EcoHealth Alliance
Dr. Carlos

Associate Vice President
and Health
EcoHealth Alliance

Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim
Hindou Oumarou

Association for Indigenous
Women and Peoples
of Chad (AFPAT)​ 



David Kaimowitz, Senior Advisor, Climate and Land Use Alliance
David Kaimowitz
Senior Advisor
Climate and Land
Use Alliance


Calisto Ribeiro, Rural Association for Mutual Support (ORAM)
Calisto Ribeiro
Rural Association
for Mutual Support



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