Half of the world’s land is held by Indigenous Peoples and other local communities (IPLCs), but they have legally recognized rights to only 18%. Much of the rest is held under customary arrangements alone. Whether customary or formally recognized, forestlands are subject to intense competition, for resources above and below ground, for the land itself, and both for clearing and for conservation. Unequal power relations and differences in interests and priorities – from the household to communities, regions, countries and the global arena – shape access, rights and decisions over the future of these forests.
As a cornerstone of sustainability, CIFOR is committed to addressing inequalities pertaining to gender, ethnicity, age, and so on, by understanding processes and institutions that affect the ability of IPLC women and men to effectively and equitably govern and manage forest landscapes.