Skip to main content

page search

CommunityDonor Pledge to Advance Indigenous Peoples’ and Local Communities’ Tenure Rights and their Forest Guardianship
Donor Pledge to Advance Indigenous Peoples’ and Local Communities’ Tenure Rights and their Forest Guardianship
Pele lobeliad thriving in native wet forest habitat in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park NPS Photo/Janice Wei

Recognizing a critical need to increase support for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLC), a historic announcement was made at COP26 by 22 bilateral and philanthropic donors pledging $1.7 billion between 2021-2025 to advance forest tenure rights in tropical forest countries.

The IPLC Forest Tenure Pledge is a commitment to mobilize greater and more effective donor support for forest communities. This responds to a demand from IPLCs and civil society to increase the share of climate finance that supports IPLCs as guardians of forests and nature. 

Why is greater donor support needed for IPLC forest guardianship?

Approximately 1.6 billion people live and use forest and land resources for their livelihoods, with an estimated 36% of intact forests within Indigenous Peoples’ lands. However, forest communities receive less than 1% of climate funding directed at reducing deforestation.

The Pledge is significant in its ambitions to advance the critical role of IPLCs in protecting forests and vital ecosystem services, and their global contribution to climate change mitigation, biodiversity preservation, and sustainable development. 

The Pledge is independent from but linked to the COP26 Global Forest Finance Pledge, with the shared focus of protecting forests and preventing deforestation.


How will the Pledge be delivered?


The $1.7bn Pledge is not a new independent fund. Donors will decide how they allocate and spend their individual contributions.

Pledge contributions will include:

  • Funding that channels increased support to IPLCs, including for capacity building, development of collective governance structures and sustainable livelihoods
  • Activities that strengthen and protect IPLC land and resource rights, including support to forest tenure reforms and implementation

The Pledge also emphasises the importance of effective participation and inclusion of IPLCs in decision-making, programme design and implementation.


Who are the Pledge donors?

  • Federal Republic of Germany
  • Kingdom of Norway
  • Kingdom of the Netherlands
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • United States of America
  • Ford Foundation
  • Good Energies Foundation
  • Oak Foundation
  • Sobrato Philanthropies
  • The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
  • The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • The Christensen Fund
  • Children’s Investment Fund Foundation
  • The Wellspring Philanthropic Fund
  • The Protecting our Planet Challenge (which includes Arcadia, the Bezos Earth Fund, the Bobolink Foundation, International Conservation Fund of Canada, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Nia Tero. Rainforest Trust, Re:wild, Wyss Foundation and the Rob and Melani Walton Foundation)

What is the Forest Tenure Funders Group?


The Funders Group has been established to coordinate donor collaboration on Pledge ambitions. This includes collective action to scale-up mechanisms enabling a greater share of donor funding to reach IPLC stakeholders. 

The Funders Group is committed to ongoing dialogue with both IPLC leaders and wider stakeholders to facilitate exchanges of information, feedback on Pledge progress, and increase opportunities for collaboration.

Donors need to be held to account on delivery of Pledge Commitments. The Funders Group will report annually on Pledge progress to increase transparency, with the first report launched at COP27.

The Funders Group is currently chaired by the UK, and Ford Foundation as Vice Chair. The Funders Group meets quarterly to advance progress on Pledge commitments.


Updates on Pledge activities

The first Funders Group Annual Report  was published at COP27. This provides an update on Pledge progress over 2021, including many examples of Pledge donors providing direct support to organisations representing Indigenous Peoples and local communities. With nearly 20% - one fifth – of funds spent, donors are on track to meet financial commitments. However, only 7% of donor spend went directly to organisations led by IPLCs, highlighting that a lot more is needed from donors to increase effective support for forest communities

The Funders Group is taking forward key priority action areas in 2022. These include:

  • Reviewing the current funding and support landscape for IPLC forest tenure, identifying more effective mechanisms to scale-up donor funding to be accessed by IPLCs
  • Developing good practice guidelines on how donors can best fund and support IPLC groups
  • Maintaining ongoing dialogue with IPLC leaders and stakeholders, increasing opportunities for exchanges of information and feedback
  • Ensuring IPLCs and their rights and vital protecting forests and nature remains high on the agenda at COP15, COP27 and other global events
  • Ensuring transparency of Pledge progress – the first annual report will be published at COP27

Hear from Donors on why they joined the Pledge






Related content:


2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference: COP26

02 November 2021
The UN Climate Change Conference (the official name for climate Conferences of the Parties) has happened every year since 1995. The two-week summits are an important space for stakeholders to discuss the climate crisis on a global level. These annual conferences bring together those that have signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), an international environmental treaty addressing climate change .Each year representatives from every party come together to discuss action on climate change in what is known as a COP. The 26th COP was meant to take place in Glasgow, UK last November, but it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
LandLibrary Resource

UN Climate Change Conference COP26

31 October 2021 - 12 November 2021

The 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26) to the UNFCCC was originally scheduled to take place from 9-19 November 2020, in Glasgow, UK. On 28 May 2020, the COP Bureau decided that it would take place from 1-12 November 2021, in Glasgow, UK.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
LandLibrary Resource

A Glimpse into the IPLC Forest Tenure Donor Pledge

Institutional & promotional materials
August, 2022

Approximately 1.6 billion people live in and around forest areas and use forest and land resources for their livelihoods: an estimated 36% of intact forests are within Indigenous Peoples lands. Clarifying land and resource rights and community forest management is critical for sustainable management of forests and natural resources, safeguarding livelihoods and supporting economic development. At COP26, a joint-donor Pledge was announced committing $1.7 billion to advance IPLC forest tenure rights from 2021 to 2025.