Securing rights, combating climate change

Caleb Stevens, Robert Winterbottom, Jenny Springer, Katie Reytar | 2014 |
Securing rights, combating climate change

How Strengthening Community Forest Rights Mitigates Climate Change


The report makes the case for securing community forest rights as a priority strategy for climate change mitigation. The report — a joint venture between the World Resources Institute (WRI) and RRI — analyzes the growing body of evidence linking community forest rights with healthier forests and lower CO2 emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

Drawing on 14 forest-rich countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, it presents a case for expanding and strengthening Indigenous Peoples’ and local communities’ forest rights.

Some of the findings include:

  • One-eighth of the world’s forests — Indigenous Peoples’ and community forests — store 37.7 billion tonnes of carbon, or the equivalent of 29 years of emissions from all passenger vehicles.
  • In Indigenous Peoples’ and community forests with strong legal protection, deforestation rates are dramatically lower than those outside: 11 times lower in Brazil, 6 times lower in Bolivia, and 20 times lower in Guatemala.
  • Strong forest rights for Indigenous Peoples and local communities are a cost-effective way to reduce deforestation, create sustainable livelihoods, and mitigate climate change.