What do forest rights have to do with climate change?

Deforestation in West Kalimantan, Indonesia (Photo: Rainforest Action Network)

Deforestation is a major cause of global warming, and so we all have a stake in helping these communities defend their resources from wealthy ranchers, loggers, miners, farmers and drug traffickers. No matter how different our lives look in far-apart places, climate change affects us all. A new report by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) offers compelling evidence of this, showing clearly that one of the best ways to slow global warming is to give traditional communities the right to manage the forests where they have lived for generations. It is by far the most comprehensive assessment to date, drawing on 130 previous studies, as well as recent satellite data.

Most media attention on climate change focuses on energy and fossil fuels. But any realistic strategy to curb climate change must also address deforestation. The world’s forests store more carbon than the atmosphere—one recent estimate suggests that by stopping deforestation and reforesting we could reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent.

Read this article in full on Ford Foundation's website.


Related Project:

Climate Change

'Fever' is a unique set of videos for indigenous communities to raise awareness and build knowledge about the issue of climate change and how it relates to indigenous peoples, cultures, rights and territories. Dubbed into 6 languages, these videos have been disseminated to local communities in over 20 countries.


Land Grabs and Land Rights

The Territories of Life toolkit is a series of 10 short videos that share stories of resistance, resilience and hope with communities on the front-line of the global rush for land. These videos, available in English, Spanish, French, Indonesian and Swalhili and are currently being disseminated widely by community facilitators.


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