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Land Tenure and Use on IP & LC Lands and Territories

Tenure security and land use on Indigenous Peoples and local communities' lands and territories is a fundamental indicator of traditional knowledge, underpinning our ability to realize several Goals and Targets of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.


The Relevance of IP and LC Land Tenure and Use to the KM-GBF

The secure land tenure of Indigenous Peoples and local communities represents a fundamental enabling condition that underlies our ability to achieve a number of the Goals and Targets outlined in the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (KM-GBF). Land use on IP and LC lands and territories, likewise, is closely tied to the security of land tenure for these populations, with a number of favorable outcomes linked to the KM-GBF.

Historically, land has been recognized as central to the achievement of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and has been included in several foundational decisions and guiding documents. A compound land indicator – land use and land tenure – was first adopted in Decision XIII/28 and retained in the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, as well as the Aichi Biodiversity Targets:

Traditional Knowledge Indicator on Land Tenure and Use

Trends in land use change and land tenure in the traditional territories of indigenous and local communities

The land use and tenure indicator is considered one of four traditional knowledge (TK) indicators, together with trends in traditional occupations, trends in linguistic diversity and trends related to the full and effective participation of indigenous and local communities in implementation of the KMGBF.

Operationalizing the TK land indicator

A technical working group has formed to advance development and operationalization of the TK land indicator. The indicator, which includes components of land tenure and land use, is comprised of several elements and for each element, a stage-based approach to indicator development has been identified. Wherever possible, elements of the indicator drew from existing SDG methodologies and considered available data from diverse sources.

  • In the context of the TK land indicator, land tenure includes four components:
    • hectares recognized for IPs and LCs
    • total hectares used and occupied by IPs and LCs
    • IP and LC individuals or communities who perceive their tenure to be secure
    • total number of IP and LC individuals or communities
  • In the context of the TK land indicator, land use includes four components:
    • hectares of forest area owned or managed by IPs and LCs
    • total hectares of forest area
    • hectares of natural land in territories held or managed by IPs and LCs
    • total hectares held or managed by IPs and LCs

For both land tenure and land use, a stage-based approach to data development has been proposed. This allows country to report numerical data from national datasets while more precise, georeferenced, community-level data is gathered to better capture local realities.

Each of the elements listed above would follow a similar phase-based approach to data collection, starting with numerical and secondary sources that may rely on a wider sample or scope than the ideal phase for each element.

A stage-based approach to land use and tenure data*

Stage 0: Relies on global datasets, reported numerical data, national samples

Stage 1: Uses key informants or FGD at the national level, with IP and LC representatives

Stage 2: Uses key informants or FGD with nationally-representative same of IP and LC leaders

Stage 3: Indicative or preliminary maps accompany numerical data; FGD with a convenience sample of IP and LC leaders in the community

Stage 4: Precise, georeferenced maps; interviews with defined sample of IP and LC community members

*Not all phases apply to all elements of the indicator

Data sources

The indicator is built to accommodate data from diverse sources, including from administrative data, independent monitoring initiatives, as well as CBMIS. Primary data sources for each component are listed and linked below:

Land use and tenure data is specifically relevant to existing headline indicators, as well as several Goals and Targets, including Goal A, Goal B, Targets 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 9, 10, 22 and 23. It provides potential for disaggregation for IP and LC tenure against several headline indicators and contributes to the realization of Section C, which recognizes the central contributions of IPs and LCs to implementing the KM-GBF while ensuring a whole-of-society approach to biodiversity monitoring.

The indicator provides relevant data on land tenure, land use, land use change, spatial planning, links to carbon sequestration, key biodiversity areas and global ecosystem types, while disaggregating for gender, age and disability where applicable. Inclusion of the indicator provides opportunity for cross monitoring and analysis, contributing to a better understanding of links across Targets and Goals.


Organizations and data collectors that have been contributing to the technical working group on the land use and change indicator are the International Land Coalition (ILC), the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), Prindex, LandMark, Indigenous Navigator, Forest Peoples Program, UN-Habitat and RRI, among others.

If the indicator is retained within the KM-GBF, FAO is a probable custodian of the indicator, which would contribute directly to global land monitoring done through the Global Land Observatory.