Reconciling conservation and global biodiversity goals with community land rights in Asia

Globally, Indigenous Peoples and local communities have long been custodians of biodiversity. Their customary territories are estimated to contain 36% of the world’s remaining intact forest landscapes and 80% of remaining biodiversity. Yet, just about 8.7% of territories held by Asia’s Indigenous Peoples and local communities are legally recognized. This report is a product of an extensive collaboration between 20 Indigenous and local community organizations across South and Southeast Asia. It frames conservation beyond being an issue of natural resource management and highlights the question of governance, autonomy, and sovereignty of Indigenous Peoples and local communities to achieve their self-determined development aspirations. It brings together data and stories from communities on the ground to re-position global human rights and conservation discourses at the center of Asia’s unique political realities.