Beyond tenure: Rights-based approaches to peoples and forests, some lessons from the Forest Peoples Programme
Land tenure reforms have been implemented in several forested landscapes to support livelihood security among forest-depended communities. However, while these reforms have led to some improvements in tenure and livelihood security, they have also increased social exclusion and marginalization in some contexts. This paper argues that tenure reforms should be implemented within a rights-based framework, but one that integrates a range of human rights and is not solely focused on property rights.
Research goals & methods
The paper is based on a review of the work of the Forest Peoples Program in Africa, Asia, and Latin America for close to two decades on the interlinkages between community-based forest livelihoods, land tenure, and well-being.
Conclusions & takeaways
The authors argue that for land tenure reforms to be successful, they must be framed about a wider understanding of human rights, including first, second, and third generation human rights, dealing with civil and political, social and economic, as well as self determination and development. Forests peoples’ rights to be legally recognized, hold tenure according to their customary laws, and give or withhold their consent to any actions that may affect their lands, among others, should be upheld. The paper also makes recommendations to governments such as investing adequate resources into recognizing land claims, ensuring transparency in land titles, and reforming laws to enable community-led management of resources.
Colchester, M. (2008). Beyond Tenure: Rights-Based Approaches to Peoples and Forests, Some lessons from the Forest Peoples Programme. Rights and Resources Initiative. Forest Peoples Programme
- Forest Peoples Programme