Collective letter: Centering the Right to Land and Tenure Rights in the Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework

Publish Date: 
Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Ahead of upcoming intersessional meetings in Geneva in March 2022, ESCR-Net members have adopted a collective letter calling on all Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to recognize, respect, protect and promote the overarching right to self-determination, including free, prior and informed consent, the right to land and tenure rights in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, which is currently being negotiated. This letter was written in solidarity with the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity (IIFB), and sent to all national focal points, relevant Permanent Missions in Geneva, and the CBD secretariat. A template or model letter was also shared widely with ESCR-Net members and allies to adapt and send to relevant national level representatives to ramp up pressure in capitals to influence global outcomes during the March meetings. 

Global data indicates that Indigenous and community rightsholders’ lands have lower rates of deforestation, store more carbon, and hold more biodiversity than lands managed by either government or private entities. Indigenous Peoples, Tribal Peoples, peasants and other land-dependent local communities play an outsized role in conserving biodiversity and combating climate change. Recognizing and enforcing their right to land and tenure rights is, in any case, a human rights imperative, and in line with the latest science, a key solution to the climate and biodiversity crises. 

Join Us To Take Action to Protect the Right to Land!

Tell your Government that the Right to Land and Tenure Rights must be central to the Global Biodiversity Framework. We have created this template letter which you can adapt and personalize and send to your National Focal Point and/or your Permanent Mission in Geneva. 

>> Key target States include: Australia, Bolivia, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, European Union, Finland, Guatemala, Indonesia,  Italy, Iran, Kenya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mexico, Micronesia, Morocco, Norway, New Zealand, Palau, Philippines, Slovenia,  South Africa, Sweden, UAE and Uganda

>> A list of National Focal Points with contact emails is available here and a list of Permanent Mission with contact emails is available here.

+ Read the full letter here in English (also available in Spanish, French and Arabic).

Numerous ESCR-Net members contributed to the strategy, research, drafting, and/or reviewing of this open letter with special thanks to: African Indigenous Foundation for Energy and Sustainable Development (AIFES), Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact, Comité Ambiental en Defensa de la Vida, Confederación Campesina del Perú, Consejo de Pueblos Wuxhtaj, FIAN International, Forest Peoples Programme, Indigenous Peoples Rights International, Minority Rights Group International, Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni Peoples, Nia Tero, Ogiek Peoples’ Development Programme, Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum and Tebtebba.