Indigenous people and local communities can be some of the most effective stewards of natural resources when given adequate support and agency. (Ding et al, 2016) This may include affirming their tenure rights and establishing enabling conditions that ensure tenure security. In Ethiopia, the Land Investment for Transformation program provides special support to women who are vulnerable to dispossession of land due to widowhood, divorce, and lack of documentation, among other reasons.
Community chief and members in Peru's forests. Photo: CIFOR, Flickr.
For projects and policies on managing, protecting, and conserving forest and water resources, including representatives from all identified stakeholder groups in the forest’s community management is important. Including these groups can make for better decision-making, and improve local livelihoods and protect forests. For instance, studies from Kenya, Uganda, Blivia, and Mexico, show that hen both men and women participate in forest user groups, the user groups are more likely to adopt behaviors that enhance the forest’s resources.