WAGENINGEN, Netherlands – The annual Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) event in Bonn, Germany this week focused on rights and rights-based approaches to draw attention to a discrepancy that is still common in many countries: while local communities and Indigenous peoples depend on forest resources for their livelihoods, they do not have the legal right to use and manage them.
However, change is in the air.
In recent years, the call of civil society organizations to formalize rights of local communities and Indigenous Peoples to forests has been growing louder. They argue that formalizing local forest rights will have positive outcomes for livelihoods as well as forest conservation. In response to these calls, many governments have started forest reforms. This has become known as the forest tenure transition.
With the transition on its way, it is time to take stock. How far have we come with the recognition and formalization of local forest rights? What are the expectations? What are the outcomes? And, what are the conditions required to make formalization a success?
Tropenbos International set out to find answers to these questions based on a review of the literature, and interviews with some of the world’s experts. The results have now been published in a book, titled Formalizing community rights to forests: Expectations, evidence and conditions for success.
The book was presented at GLF in Bonn on 22-23 June 2019, where Tropenbos International and the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) hosted a session in the Learning Café titled “Community Rights Bingo: What are the conditions for success?”
Together with the audience and Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) scientist Anne Larson we reflected
on what is needed to make community forest rights work for the benefit of people and nature.