Day 1 – Saturday, 5 December    15.30 - 17.00    Room: Amphitheater Bleu

Indigenous Peoples’ rights and land tenure: Fostering partnerships to tackle climate change

  Watch the video

Hosts:  International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC), The Nature Conservancy (TNC)


The respect and recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ rights, customary land tenure and traditional knowledge have significantly contributed to more sustainable use and management of various ecosystems. This has been documented in a variety of studies and most recently in a report from the Rights and Resources institute (RRI).

Harboring some of the world’s most carbon-rich and undeveloped places, lands managed by Indigenous Peoples and local communities play a crucial role in stewarding the world’s natural carbon stores. Private sector interests in these landscapes create both enormous risks and opportunities for these communities.

There is ample evidence that government development plans and projects, private corporations’ investments (esp. extractive industries) have and are continuing to cause Indigenous Peoples’ criminalization, displacement and the depletion of resources.

Speakers at the session will represent both Indigenous Peoples’ organizations and corporate representatives to explore the crucial question: Is a triple-win – where the economy, people and the climate all benefit – possible, despite the many documented and potential conflicts.

The session encourages exchange with the audience and discussions are designed to continue at TNC’s booth (Finance and Trade pavilion) and the Indigenous Peoples’ Pavilion on the second day of the Forum (6 December 2015).

Key questions addressed

  1. Given that extractive, hydropower and agricultural development projects are putting tremendous pressure on natural landscapes and Indigenous and community territories, how can stakeholders work together to achieve a triple win for people, private sector and climate?
  2. What is the role of governments in supporting customary/Indigenous land tenure through the regulation of community/corporate relations?
  3. What are good practices and challenges for implementing rights-based approaches to private sector engagement in Indigenous and community territories? And what is the role of companies, government and Indigenous and local communities?
  4. What are the opportunities and challenges faced by Indigenous Peoples in relation to the respect and recognition of rights, land tenure and traditional knowledge?
  5. What has been done by Indigenous Peoples to contribute to sustainable management of various ecosytems and landscapes within their territories?

Background reading

AIPP website

Tebtebba website

Rights and Resources Initative

AMAN website

Guidelines for Good Corporate Practice with Indigenous Peoples (Brazil)

New paradigm of Indigenous Peoples and business dialogue (Brazil)

Australia Clean Energy Regulator

Savanna burning carbon methodologies

The science behind savanna burning: Carbon Accounting and Savanna Fire Management

Protecting Forests for Orangutans – Bringing Together a Historic Team of Forest Guardians in Borneo