Forests are essential, both for the protection of biodiversity and as a natural solution to climate change, but they are at risk. Deforestation continues to accelerate, and efforts to protect the forests have achieved mixed results. This is a global challenge requiring support from many stakeholders, but the most critical partners can be found in and around the forests every day.

Indigenous peoples and local communities depend on forests for their cultures, economies, and sustenance. They have managed their forests sustainably for generations, and forests managed by these communities have better outcomes than those in protected areas. Indigenous peoples and local communities have demonstrated great skill and enthusiasm for sustainable forest management, but they are often left out of relevant policy- and decision-making opportunities.

To enhance their role in sustainable forest management and climate action, members of these communities created the Dedicated Grant Mechanism for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (DGM). Through their design and implementation of the DGM, communities are actively working to protect forests and to address any obstacles to their leadership and participation in current and future forest protection efforts.

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 encourages knowledge sharing, strengthens networks, and elevates community voices and successes to regional and global scales.

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