Forest Tenure

Responsible forest governance and secure forest rights are needed to reduce deforestation, combating climate change, and sustain the planet.

Responsible forest governance and forest tenure security are crucial in helping to reduce deforestation, combat climate change, and sustain the planet.

Forests are sources of multiple products and services of importance to a wide array of stakeholders, from local communities to urban citizens. In addition to contributing to human wellbeing and livelihoods, forests are important for people’s spiritual and cultural traditions. For many of the world’s poor, land and forests are important economic, social and cultural assets. In large parts of the world, however, local people’s use and ownership rights to resources are insecure, which undermines not only their livelihoods and sustainable resource management but also many development outcomes, such as biodiversity conservation, poverty reduction, improved food security and climate change mitigation.

Forest tenure and property rights determine who owns and manages forest resources. Forest tenure often is very complex, as there is an array of stakeholders with different interests to forests, such as the national and local state officials, the local users, local communities and Indigenous Peoples and seasonal users. Part of this complexity can be traced back to the colonial times, when many natural resources were taken over by the state while the rights of local resource users were unrecognized.  State control and management of land and forests persists in many areas today, yet these resources are claimed and managed by indigenous and local communities who base their tenure claims on community-based, customary rights that are commonly unacknowledged by states. Overlapping tenure rights often result from the co-existence of competing laws that emanate from the state and from communities.   The presence of multiple groups with overlapping and simultaneous tenure claims contributes to resource conflicts. In many countries, conflicts related to tenure and property rights are so grave that they result in social conflicts and violence, as well as environmental destruction.  


A stylized presentation of the bundles of rights

A stylized presentation of the bundles of rights (Courtesy of CAPRi)


Disclaimer: The data displayed on the Land Portal is provided by third parts indicated as the data source or as the data provider. The Land Portal team is constantly working to ensure the highest possible standard of data quality and accuracy, yet the data is by its nature approximate and will contain some inaccuracies. The data may contain errors introduced by the data provider(s) and/or by the Land Portal team. In addition, this page allows you to compare data from different sources, but not all indicators are necessarily statistically comparable. The Land Portal Foundation (A) expressly disclaims the accuracy, adequacy, or completeness of any data and (B) shall not be liable for any errors, omissions or other defects in, delays or interruptions in such data, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. Neither the Land Portal Foundation nor any of its data providers will be liable for any damages relating to your use of the data provided herein.


Dataset (source)
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    Latest News

    Cattle industry lags behind in addressing impact on deforestation

    Friday, March 17, 2017

    In almost every aisle of the grocery store, you can find products from the palm oil, soy, wood, and cattle industries. Together, these industries are responsible for more than a third of tropical deforestation annually, according to the non-profit organization Forest Trends. While strides have been made by all four industries toward establishing deforestation-free commodity supply chains, the cattle industry has lagged behind the others.

    2017 Small Grants Fund Applications Now Open

    Thursday, March 9, 2017

    Global Forest Watch (GFW) is thrilled to announce the 2017 call for proposals for our Small Grants Fund. Now in its fourth year, the Small Grants Fund supports non-governmental organizations by providing financial and technical support to optimize their use of GFW tools and data for better forest monitoring and management.

    Latest Blogs

    Tenure reform: Lessons from the Global South


    A Q&A with researcher Anne Larson on the changing conditions of rights and resources in discussion at the World Bank Land and Poverty Conference


    Over the past two decades, a global trend has seen increasing recognition of the rights of communities and local governments to manage their own resources, particularly in developing countries. An ongoing study by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) has followed this process across Asia, Africa and Latin America, finding key lessons for successful tenure reform.

    This map draws on Chinese infrastructure project location data from AidData and forest cover loss data from Hansen et al. (2013).

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    Latest Events

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    3rd International Conference on Scaling-up Global Efforts to Secure Community Land and Resource Rights

    2 October 2017 to 6 October 2017



    Join us for the 3rd international conference on scaling-up global efforts to secure community land and resource rights.

    In 2013, leading Indigenous Peoples, community organizations, NGOs, governments, private companies, and investors met in Interlaken to devise strategies to scale up global efforts to secure community land and resource rights. Last September, we met in Bern to assess and establish a new baseline from which to measure global progress.

    III Seminário Internacional Desenvolvimento Econômico e Governança de Terras

    7 June 2017 to 9 June 2017


    Universidade Estadual de Campinas
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    13083-970 São Paulo

    O tema para 2017 será a Regularização Fundiária

    O Grupo de Trabalho em Governança de Terras tem a honra de apresentar a III edição do seminário que esse ano o tema principal será Regularização Fundiária. A data programada para o evento é: 07, 08 e 09 de junho de 2017.

    Para ver a programação e mais informações clique aqui.

    Rally 2016: The National Land Conservation Conference

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    Hyatt Regency Hotel
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    Rally is the exciting annual gathering of nearly 2,000 inspired and passionate land conservation practitioners from the US, Canada, South America and beyond, who are dedicated to conserving cherished places in local communities.

    The Land Trust Alliance is proud to be hosting its 29th year of Rally: The National Land Conservation Conference, being held this year in Minneapolis, MN, October 28-30, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel located at 1300 Nicollet Mall.

    The Economic Case for Landscape Restoration in Latin America

    28 October 2016


    Woodrow Wilson Center, 6th Floor,
    1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
    20004 Washington DC
    United States

    Join us for an engaging discussion around the economic benefits of restoring productivity to deforested and degraded lands in Latin America and the Caribbean.

    Latin America and the Caribbean account for over 20 percent of the world’s degraded lands, with 300 million hectares of degraded forests and 350 million hectares now classified as deforested—an area almost double the size of Mexico. WRI research shows an effort to restore Latin America and the Caribbean’s degraded forests, savannas, and agricultural landscapes would result in substantial net economic benefits.



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    2016 DFID Land Portfolio Overview

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