Tenure Facility secures more funding from Norway to secure Indigenous Peoples and local communities’ land rights and forest guardianship

Tenure Facility has signed a multi-million-dollar agreement with the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) to help secure the land rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities in tropical forest areas.

The NOK 180 million (about USD 17.5 million) grant will both expand and bolster Tenure Facility’s support for projects conducted by Indigenous Peoples, local communities and partner organizations in countries identified as top priorities for Norad acting on behalf of Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative, whose mission is stopping tropical forest loss.

”Thank you to Norad,” said Dr. Myrna Cunningham, chair of Tenure Facility’s Board of Directors. “Now we are really joining hands to make climate finance fit for purpose for Indigenous Peoples and local communities, with governments, especially those who joined the Forest Declaration of COP27, to realize our targets for indigenous-led solutions.”

The Norway’s climate and forest initiative, known as NICFI, has pledged billions of Norwegian kroner since its launch in 2008 to help save the world’s tropical forests as well as improve the livelihoods of those who live in and rely on them. NICFI is administered by the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and the Environment, with Norad managing grants and offering technical advice. NICFI and Norad officials said supporting Tenure Facility and its partners is vital if global promises, like halting and reversing forest loss and land degradation by 2030, are to be kept.

Photo by Frank Radosevich / Tenure Facility

“Indigenous Peoples and local communities tend to be the most effective guardians of the rainforest. I am happy to announce a new three-year period of Norwegian support to the Tenure Facility’s work to secure Indigenous Peoples and local communities forest territories,” said Bård Vegar Solhjell, Director General of Norad, on the occasion of the signing of the agreement between Norway and Tenure Facility. “The Tenure Facility and its partners have demonstrated strong results that we want to see scaled up in the years to come.”

Projects funded by Tenure Facility are proposed and principally designed by its partners – many of whom are indigenous-led organisations. These projects can facilitate the implementation and improvement of government policies that strengthen a community’s land and forest rights, both directly and indirectly. Projects can also help secure tenure by improving a community’s capacity to defend their rights, govern their territories, and administer their resources.

Research shows that where Indigenous Peoples and local communities have secure tenure and the tools needed to manage their lands there is less deforestation, better forest cover, lower carbon emissions and biodiversity loss, fewer conflicts, and improved food security.

"Now we are really joining hands to make climate finance fit for purpose for Indigenous Peoples and local communities,"

- Dr. Myrna Cunningham, Tenure Facility’s board chair

Photo by Shutterstock

Nonette Royo, Tenure Facility executive director, signed the agreement on March 3 with Jorun Nossum, acting head of Department for Climate and Environment at Norad. Royo expressed her deep gratitude for the grant as well as an explanation why indigenous and community land rights matter for everyone.

”Deforestation rates can be up to three times lower when Indigenous Peoples’ and local communities’ land rights are recognised and enforced,” she said. “That means, thanks to Norway’s support, we can swiftly support partners to continue their work to secure their territories and stop several hundred million tons of greenhouse gases from being emitted over the next decade.”

The funding will be allocated over a 3-year period and is the third grant of its kind awarded to the Tenure Facility. Norway previously supported Tenure Facility with a NOK 40 million grant in 2017 and again with NOK 100 million in 2019.


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