Forests are essential both for the protection of biodiversity and as a natural solution to climate change. Despite efforts to protect the forests, deforestation continues to accelerate. This global challenge requires support from many different stakeholders, and the most critical partners can be found in and around the forests every day.
Indigenous peoples and local communities are the most effective guardians of the world's forests. They have lived in closest harmony with nature for generations, and growing evidence demonstrates that respect for indigenous peoples’ rights to land and natural resources leads to lower deforestation rates than in areas managed by the government. With their rights, forest stewardship roles, and traditional forest management systems recognized and supported, indigenous peoples and local communities can play an informed and active role in managing forests sustainably.
To enhance their role in forest management and climate action, self-selected representatives of indigenous peoples and local communities created the Dedicated Grant Mechanism for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (DGM). Through their design and implementation of the DGM, these community leaders are actively working to protect forests and to strengthen their capacity to participate in climate action at local, national and global levels.
The DGM operates at the national level through a collection of country projects, each designed according to the context and priorities of communities in that country. Drawing on the expertise of communities from these countries and beyond, the DGM also has a global project which facilitates knowledge sharing, strengthens networks, and elevates community voices and successes to regional and global scales.