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Recognizing Indigenous and Community Rights: Priority Steps to Advance Development and Mitigate Climate Change

By: Rights and Resources Initative (RRI)

This brief published by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) describes an emerging consensus amongst stakeholders of contrasting motivations, including governments, investors, and the development community, in favor of securing local community land rights. There is an increasing general awareness that ensuring community and indigenous ownership or management of land and natural resources catalyzes environmental, social, and economic benefits. Furthermore, technological innovations and streamlined mechanisms have significantly reduced the cost of mapping, demarcating, surveying, and registering community lands. In order to safeguard and expand community and indigenous rights to land and natural resources, RRI calls for further investment in tenure reform projects, greater support for community organizations, and concerted engagement with governments, companies, and investors.

Keywords: customary land tenure, economic costs of securing land tenure, rights-based business model, overlapping land claims.