Why are we running this project?

Indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) play a critical role in stewarding and safeguarding the world’s lands and forests. Scientific studies have highlighted that land securely managed by local communities suffers less degradation and deforestation than under other forms of stewardship. Securing IPLCs land tenure rights is an important strategy to increase carbon sinks, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve food security and nutrition, maintain biodiversity and to enhance the resilience of populations and ecosystems. Furthermore, with fair and clearly defined land and natural resource rights, disputes over boundaries and infringements of rights are less likely.

Recognizing and protecting the land and resource rights of IPLCs is also essential to the success of many international initiatives. Secure tenure enables national and sub-national governments to better meet the Paris Agreement Targets, their Sustainable Development Goals and to achieve the commitments related to Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+). 

What are our goals?

Our support contributes to two main objectives: Firstly, governments in targeted African countries are taking steps to make land and forest rights of IPLCs more secure. Tenure security is one prerequisite for sustainable land and forest management. Recognizing tenure rights and at the same time the knowledge, innovations, practices, institutions and values of indigenous peoples and local communities enhances their quality of life and the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of land. And secondly, "The Tenure Facility" enables greater and a more coherent support in securing IPLCs land rights across sectors and countries. It facilitates knowledge sharing and learning about cost-effective practical approaches for implementing land and forest tenure reforms among IPLCs, women organizations, and civil society as well as among governments, the private sector, funding agencies and other key stakeholders. 

How does the project work?

With our support "The Tenure Facility" provides grants and technical assistance directly to indigenous peoples and local community organizations to scale up implementation of land and forest tenure reform policies and legislation. Governments and communities will be enabled to test new models and approaches to securing such rights. 

Projects support those instruments that help clarify, establish and reach agreement on IPLC land and forest tenure rights, e.g. legal documentation, community mapping, monitoring, verification and demarcation of boundaries, conflict resolution and negotiation amongst stakeholders, adjudication, titling, and registration. Projects also support activities that develop more functional tenure systems, e.g. the establishment of local land councils, and more inclusive and gender-equal governance of tenure within communities. IPLCs are empowered to work with a range of partners, including government agencies and the private sector. Actively engaging national and local government administrations helps lay the groundwork for future efforts to expand land tenure security in the target countries. "The Tenure Facility" captures, disseminates and exchanges knowledge on tools, methods and approaches developed on the ground among key stakeholders to demonstrate feasible pathways to change.