The central roles of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in achieving global commitments on biodiversity

SDG 15 Policy Brief
SDG 15 Policy Brief

The central roles of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in achieving global commitments on biodiversity

Technical policy brief for the HPLF on Sustainable Development Goal 15

SDG 15, with its environmental dimensions, is a critical measure of overall progress against the 2030 Agenda, as well as a key enabler of many other goals and targets. Importantly, it is also central to the lives and well-being of many indigenous communities, pastoralists and others traditionally viewed as excluded, marginalized or at ‘risk of being left behind.’ 

There is mounting empirical evidence, particularly from Central and South America, which confirms that secure legal title for indigenous peoples and customary landowners is often associated with intact forest cover and low or zero deforestation rates, even in the face of intense pressure at the forest frontier where land is being cleared for commercial farming. Scientific studies show that indigenous titled lands managed through community governance frameworks are often more effective -in sustaining healthy and intact forests, wetlands, mountains, drylands, and other ecosystems- than conventional government-run protected areas. IPLC’s collective actions and securing their land and resource rights can be one of the most effective ways to secure Life on Land.

Moving towards 2030 requires enhanced collaboration across broad sectors of society, and IPLCs have an integral role in achieving SDG and other global targets related to biodiversity and well-being. The general recommendations in this briefing paper provide key suggestions for policy making, better and more effective and inclusive partnerships across all sectors, and more coordinated and integrated actions at all levels towards global biodiversity goals.

View or download the briefing paper here.