Nonprofit Group Secures Funding and Land Rights for Indigenous Peoples
The Tenure Facility is a nonprofit that works with Indigenous Peoples and local communities to help secure their rights to lands and forests, as well as necessary funding. According to an article from Fast Company, the facility has helped 700 million people and supported legal land recognition of over 14 million hectares for indigenous groups.
With newly allocated funding from TED’s Audacious Project, the Tenure Facility plans to protect “50 million hectares of land and forests across Amazonia, the Congo Basin, and tropical Asia over the next five years,” effectively preventing the emission of 0.5 to 1.3 gigatons of carbon.
CongoPeat: Exploring the Central Congo Basin Peatlands, November 9, 2021.
Global Conservation: Saving the Last Forests and Wildlife of Asia, August 31, 2021.
Forest 500: A climate wake-up - but business failing to hear the alarm on deforestation, January 12, 2022.
Why This Matters
Climate change and injustice are disproportionately felt by Indigenous groups, who are also some of the world’s most important environmental stewards, currently protecting more than 80% of global biodiversity. Conserving and restoring biodiversity provides a front line of defense against natural disasters and can serve to protect human life, wellbeing, and property.
Maintaining biodiversity is more crucial than ever, with species disappearing at higher rates than ever before. While many elected officials view protecting wildlife and the environment as secondary to more immediate concerns, Indigenous groups disagree. The Amazon, for example, is already at risk of becoming a dry Savanah, with 75% of the forest having lost its stability and resilience. Protecting biodiversity, and supporting Indigenous rights is crucial in addressing the climate crisis.
WW0 COP26 Talks: Dr. Cécile Girardin, Science Lead, Oxford Biodiversity Network, November 10, 2021.
Conservation International: Biodiversity and Pandemics, September 23, 2021.
The Danger Of Advocacy
Environmental advocacy has become increasingly dangerous in recent years. In 2020, 227 climate activists were murdered. "Despite representing just 5% of the world's population, [Indigenous advocates accounted for] 30% of all fatal attacks on environmental defenders,” Front Lines reported. According to Global Witness, an environmental justice organization, "over half of the attacks took place in just three countries: Colombia, Mexico, and the Philippines.” Over that year, Columbia saw a record high death toll of 65, making it the most dangerous country to be an environmental activist. All but one attack took place in the Global South, another critical reminder that the impacts of climate change are not equally felt across the globe.
Tenure Facility: Mali | Living Forests. Thriving Communities, March 23, 2022.
Tenure Facility: Guyana | Living Forests. Thriving Communities, March 21, 2022.
Tenure Facility: Indonesia | Living Forests. Thriving Communities, March 21, 2022.
Tenure Facility: Panama | Living Forests. Thriving Communities, March 21, 2022.
Tenure Facility: Peru | Living Forests. Thriving Communities, March 21, 2022.
Tenure Facility: Belize | Living Forests. Thriving Communities, March 21, 2022.