The Global Forest Coalition supports and coordinates joint NGO/IPO campaigns for socially just and effective forest policy and the rights of Indigenous and other forest peoples. We work on the following campaigns:
Forests are home to people. Rural communities and Indigenous Peoples have been living with and protecting their forests for centuries. But their lands and way of life are under threat, and their rights to govern, live in, use and conserve their territories are often not recognised or respected. The Global Forest Coalition takes the rights of Indigenous Peoples and other forest-dependent peoples as a starting point in the fight to protect forests.
Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities’ Conserved Territories and Areas (ICCAs) cover 12-22% of the earth’s territory. There is convincing evidence that ICCAs not only sustain many unique cultures and livelihoods, but that they are also far more effective at forest conservation and restoration than conventional protected areas. It is also broadly recognised that Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs) play a central role in the implementation of ecosystem conservation and restoration strategies on the ground. We promote the legal and political recognition of ICCAs and the autonomous governance structures and rights of the communities that manage them.
GFC works together with a large number of women’s movements in the international Women’s Major Group (WMG) on sustainable development and on UNEP processes, and in the #Women2030 Programme. We are also part of The Gender & Sustainable Development Alliance which includes recognised organisations such as Women International for a Common Future (WECF) and the Gender Water Alliance. We aim to integrate gender considerations in all our other policies and activities.
GFC’s newest campaign aims to protect forests and the rights of communities through advocacy around relevant mining, infrastructure and mass tourism mega-projects. It was created at our Member’s Assembly in 2018 due to common concerns from many GFC member groups about the impact of extractive industries and tourism and associated infrastructure projects, in particular those financed through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Our Forests, Trees and Climate Change campaign focuses on the drivers of forest loss and land conversion to monoculture tree plantations that have arisen in the post-Paris Agreement climate mitigation context. This includes bioenergy generation to meet renewable energy targets, climate mitigation approaches centred around afforestation and carbon markets, and climate finance that is increasingly led by the private sector and directed towards commercial tree plantations.
The production of meat and animal feed for the intensive livestock industry is one of the main causes of deforestation, especially in South America, the continent with the highest rates of deforestation on Earth. We raise awareness of the impacts of unsustainable livestock production and campaign to end subsidies and perverse subsidies for these destructive practices. We also support the struggles of peasant farmers and Indigenous communities, who are often forcibly removed from their land by big agribusiness and poisoned by toxic fertilisers and herbicides, and we promote more sustainable, community-based alternatives.
International trade in commodities like soy, beef, wood and palm oil is a major driver of forest loss, land grabbing and climate change. The free trade agreements that fuel the trade in these big drivers of deforestation are also a major threat to forests, ecosystems, climate change and communities. We work to halt and reverse these trade agreements, and remove agriculture and forests from the control of the World Trade Organization (WTO). We do this through active advocacy strategies and by mobilising opposition amongst our member groups, and our social movement allies.