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Indigenous people look after more than 80 percent of the planet’s biodiversity. Science even shows that they know better than many how to protect nature. They are the world’s most knowledgeable and influential conservationists. Sadly, their land and forest rights are not legally recognized in many parts of the world. By providing Indigenous communities with funding and legal advice, Tenure Facility hopes to secure these rights.
Without legal recognition, Indigenous communities often stand alone in the fight against illegal logging and mining activities happening on their land. Because of this, people often die protecting valuable ecosystems.
“With their deaths, and the deaths of forests, something is also lost in us — the ability to survive the climate crisis,” said Nanette Royo, Tenure Facility’s executive director, while speaking at the recent 2022 TED Conference.
In 2017 Tenure Facility completed its pilot projects that secured land tenure for nearly 1.8 million hectares of land and forest in Cameroon, Indonesia, Liberia, Mali, Panama, and Peru.
Fast Company writes that the group has helped Indigenous peoples advance their collective legal recognition of land and forest rights for up to 14 million hectares, which benefits 700 million people across 12 countries.
Tenure Facility is about to expand its work. It will protect up to 50 million hectares of land and forests across the Congo Basin, tropical Asia, and Amazonia during the next five years. According to Fast Company, this will benefit 15 million people who live in and protect these regions and prevent 140 million metric tons of carbon from being released into the atmosphere over a decade.