Indigenous peoples’ collective rights to lands, territories and natural resources

Security of access to lands, territories and natural resources is fundamental to the autonomous development of indigenous peoples. A new report by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) looks at the collective rights of indigenous peoples.

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) published the report Indigenous peoples’ collective rights to lands, territories and natural resources – lessons from IFAD-supported projects in June 2018.

The heart of the identity of indigenous peoples lies in their relationship with their ancestral territories and the associated natural resources, which form the basis for their livelihood and are often governed by complex systems of laws and governance.

The IFAD and its work

The report is based on an analysis of an IFAD portfolio from the period 2012-2016 including 134 projects relating to 58 developing countries involving tenure security measures. Of these 134 projects, 118 are funded by loans and 16 by grants – almost 30% of total IFAD loans during this period. The financial investment in tenure security within the framework of these projects amounts to around USD 317 million, of which USD 177 million (56%) is directly funded by the IFAD.

Indigenous peoples are part of the target groups in 57 of the 134 projects (42%). The study also shows that of these 57 projects around 30 (53%) specifically support indigenous peoples’ collective land rights from multiple perspectives.

Indigenous peoples’ collective rights and international instruments

The history of indigenous peoples’ collective rights to their lands, territories and resources is rooted in the following international instruments:
• Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention (1989);
• Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) (1992);
• UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) (2007);
• Voluntary guidelines on the responsible governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests in the context of national food security (2012);
• The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2016);
• Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) (2016);
• Climate change – policies and funding:
    o Preamble of the Paris Agreement (2015)
    o Adoption by the Green Climate Fund Board of an Indigenous Peoples Policy (2018)

Finally, the report presents case studies from the Philippines, Nepal, Bolivia, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon and Tanzania.



For more information:

Link to the report “The collective rights of autonomous peoples to land, territory and natural resources

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