The Community Land Summit was conceptualized as a result of the growing attention and effort towards securing the formal, legal recognition of land rights for Indigenous Peoples and local communities. Communities and Indigenous Peoples are estimated to hold as much as 65 percent of the world’s land area under customary systems, yet many governments formally recognize their rights to only a fraction of those lands. This unrecognition by many governments has resulted to conflicts, deprivation of their socio-economic rights, and to some, their cultures are endangered.
The Community Land Summit believes that meaningful engagement with various stakeholders will advocate for formal, legal recognition of indigenous and community lands to guarantee tenure security. This will requires that the different stakeholders will support, and enforce such protections through advocacy, communities’ engagement, funding, policy and legislation. Legal recognition does provide an essential foundation for securing community-based tenure rights.