Rights-based rainforest protection: Why securing the rights of forest peoples is the right way to save the forest
Rainforest Foundation Norway, September 2012

This report aims to show how a rights-based approach is both the most effective way to protect the rainforest, as well as the best way to avoid that forest protection leads to human rights violations. It outlines the key elements of a rights-based approach to protecting rainforests, including: the importance of secure tenure rights; the value of traditional management practices and local knowledge; the necessity of real participation; and conflict resolution. Rights-based rainforest protection takes as its starting point the customary rights of local forest communities to their traditional lands, resources and culture. It is built on the acknowledgement of the key role of local communities and indigenous peoples in the management of forests. Chapter one and two give an introduction and a brief overview of the state of the world’s rainforests, the forest-dependent people living in the world’s rainforest regions and the international legal and regulatory framework for forest peoples’ rights. Case studies from the Xingu Indigenous Park in Brazil and the Bukit Duabelas National Park in Sumatra show how people protect forests in practice. Chapter three discusses the key elements of a human rights-based approach to rainforest protection. Case studies from DR Congo and Papua New Guinea show practical experiences. Chapter four looks at the role of the state and national policies. Examples from the work to protect uncontacted indigenous peoples in Peru, and the struggle for participation in forest conservation in DR Congo show how realities on the ground are shaped by national and international policies. In chapter five, the findings and experiences are summed up. Download the report [pdf] …