Influencing public forest policy with evidence and data

Indigenous leaders require hard data and analyses on the extent to which their territories are having a positive impact on forest conservation.


Amazonia Network of Georeferenced Socio-Environmental Information (RAISG)

Evidence is mounting on the various pressures facing the tropical forests of the Amazon basin.

Indigenous lands, representing close to 25% of the whole basin, are also threatened with deforestation and degradation.

A rigorous account of the drivers and spatial patterns of these pressures and “business as usual” future scenarios will provide indigenous organizations and their allies robust information essential to support advocacy and to be rightfully included in REDD+ considerations and financing and to influence national public policy to reduce or avoid altogether future forest loss in and around indigenous territories.

Why: Key forest C stocks at risk due to accumulating pressures on Amazonian Indigenous Territories

According to accurate deforestation analyses in the Amazon, an accumulated 13.3% of the original forest cover of the Amazon basin has been lost to deforestation. The loss only between 2000 and 2013 represents 3.6%.

Despite localized trends of lowering rates, deforestation continues with higher rates in countries of the Andean slope of the Amazon basin. Studies also show significantly lower deforestation rates within indigenous territories and protected areas. Carbon stock studies have also demonstrated that forest in indigenous territories store about a third of the whole carbon stock of the Amazon.


Norad intends to offer NOK 30 million in total for the period 2016-2020.

What: Building and channelling knowledge to support advocacy to secure indigenous rights and interests

Indigenous leaders require hard data and analyses on the extent to which their territories are having a positive impact on forest conservation and ecosystem service protection while serving towards current pressures and near-term threats that might otherwise lead to the loss of forest.

With the information we propose to compile and package, indigenous leaders can tailor advocacy messaging to national policy makers and the general public in order to influence them. In the case of national policy makers, better data combined with targeted messaging on the drivers of deforestation and degradation will facilitate the creation of more effective policies and programs.

For the private sector actors involved in deforestation and degradation, the results of the analyses proposed here and the subsequent advocacy will serve as an undeniable source of societal pressure that challenges their formal or informal “license” to operate in a business-as-usual manner, accelerating their movement away from and toward abandoning activities that result in forest loss in Indigenous Territories. However, political will is almost always a critical ingredient for change to occur and our work will, when presented and communicated in the impactful manner, serve as a catalyst.

This consortium’s previous analysis was used by COICA to craft their contribution to the global Indigenous Peoples commitment for the New York Declaration on Forests.

Expected results: Effective public policy and REDD+ implementation curb the rate of forest/carbon lossin Amazonian Indigenous Territories

Strong evidence has been used to support more effective and impactful public policies to address the drivers of deforestation and carbon loss in and around indigenous territories;

Effective reduction in the rate of forest/carbon loss in and around indigenous territories is achieved;

Newly protected or recognized Indigenous Territories;

Key elements of the indigenous proposal on REDD + in the Amazon have been technically supported and considered in Regional and National Strategies and Policies of Climate Change.


Members of RAISG: EcoCiencia (Ecuador), Instituto Socio Ambiental (ISA, Brasil), Instituto del Bien Comun (IBC, Peru), Fundacion GAIA Amazonas (Colombia), and the coordinating entity of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin (COICA), Environmental Defense Fund, and Woods Hole Research Center.

About the project descriptions

The project descriptions give insight in the NICFI portfolio for civil society organisations supported by Norad. 

The descriptions presented are written by the project partners. Only minor edits have been undertaken by Norad. Their presentations and conclusions do not necessarily reflect the views of Norad.

Published 14.07.2016
Last updated 07.09.2020