Consequential trends in global recognition of community-based forest tenure from 2002-2017
Rights and Resources Initiative, United States of America
Tenure reforms recognizing the rights of Indigenous Peoples, local communities, rural women, and smallholders are a prerequisite for the realization of global climate and development objectives. A new analysis on the distribution of global forest tenure in 58 countries over fifteen years finds that while the forest area legally recognized for Indigenous Peoples and local communities has grown nearly 40 percent since 2002—to a total of 15 percent of forests globally—the rate of recognition has remained slow since 2008. Despite limited progress, forests that were legally recognized between 2013-2017 have much stronger protections for community rights than those recognized during the previous 5 years, signaling an emerging upswing in recognition of community forest ownership. To take full advantage of the opportunities offered by recent legislative advancements that could robustly secure Indigenous Peoples’, communities’, and rural women’s forest tenure rights, more nuanced and appropriately disaggregated data is urgently needed.
From lessons learnt to future options for global forest governance
European Forest Institute (EFI), Germany
Deforestation remains one of the biggest global environmental challenges. Over the past 25 years a large variety of forest governance initiatives and institutions have evolved at global level, stemming from fields such as climate change, biodiversity conservation, forest management, as well as human rights and trade. Taking stock of lessons learned on these initiatives in a systematic way, and drawing on the insights of both, policy practitioners and academia is a step yet to be undertaken. Against this background, and building on a qualitative, transdisciplinary Delphi methodology, this article aims at (i) drawing lessons from past initiatives, and at (ii) identifying promising forest governance approaches. The findings include rankings of most important challenges and drivers of global forest governance, promising initiatives, influential actors, main effects thus far, ideal and most likely developments until 2030, underexplored research topics as well as key aspects for successful future initiatives on global forest governance.
Evidence on biodiversity conservation impacts: assessing theories, approaches, and outcomes from community engagement
1Arizona State University, United States of America; 2Chemonics, International
Community engagement is widely assumed to facilitate and enhance environmental and human well-being outcomes of conservation interventions. However, while community engagement is broadly applied, empirical evidence of their impact remains unclear. We sought to examine the connections between the dimensions of engagement, governance/land tenure, and outcomes via a systematic assessment of peer-reviewed literature. Our study illustrated that the current evidence base is insufficient to carry out such an analysis, and uncovered clear deficiencies in research on this topic. Community engagement approaches are not coherently defined such that they can be compared and evaluated, research efforts are widely focused on a few regions and lack longevity and robustness, and there is an overall trend towards surface-level community participation and continued state control of land. Our results suggest that increased cross-sector and historical learning is required in order to test rigorously test current assumed pathways to impact.
Producing useable knowledge for sustainable land governance: Potential contributions from land systems science
1Global Land Programme/University of Bern, Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), Switzerland; 2University of Bern, Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), Switzerland
Land systems lie at the intersection of diverse interests and claims concerning societies’ needs for sustainable development. Thus, implementation of the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) may ultimately translate, in many contexts, into competing claims on scarce land resources. Land system scientists are not oblivious to this: since 2015, the scientific community of Future Earth’s Global Land Programme (GLP) has produced over 5000 scientific publications (data from Scopus), many of which address aspects that are relevant to land governance.
With this in mind, we screened the 380 highest ranked articles published since 2015 by GLP’s scientific community to identify references on interactions between different SDG targets, assuming that the latter are representative of the development claims placed on land. Further, we surveyed 50 practitioners to assess their perception about the most important development goals related to land governance.