Deforestation significantly lower in indigenous, tribal territories: Report

Deforestation rates are significantly lower in Indigenous and Tribal territories where governments have formally recognized collective land rights, according to a report recently published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Fund for the Development of Indigenous Peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean (FILAC).

Titled ‘Forest Governance by Indigenous and Tribal Peoples’, the report says that improving the tenure security of these territories is an efficient way to lower carbon emissions.

The new report reveals indigenous people in Latin America and the Caribbean are the best guardians of their forests as compared to those responsible for the region´s other forests, adding their protective role is increasingly at risk.

“Indigenous and tribal peoples and the forests in their territories play vital roles in global and regional climate action and in fighting poverty, hunger and malnutrition. Their territories contain about one third of all the carbon stored in the forests of Latin America and the Caribbean and 14 percent of the carbon stored in tropical forests worldwide,” said FAO’s Regional Representative, Julio Berdegué.