Programme will support Indigenous and local livelihoods

Thriving Forests initiative will safeguard million hectares of threatened land


Posted By:

Craig Burnett


A man in a forest holds a coconut and a farming tool

The Thriving Forests initiative, announced today and launching in autumn 2024, is set to protect or restore one million hectares of threatened forest around the world, by strengthening the rights and incomes of local and Indigenous communities.

The programme will bring resources to the frontline organisations embedded in these communities – and nurture new global support for their vital work.

Thriving Forests is a partnership between Ashden and funder The Nature Recovery Project (TNRP).

The three-year initiative will support local organisations with proven experience enabling sustainable livelihoods for forest communities. These activities – which can range from beekeeping to nut growing – give local and Indigenous people the power to inhabit and protect their traditional territories. This ensures forests can continue to absorb carbon, and reduces the threat posed by climate change.

Participating organisations – which may be based in in Latin America, Africa or South-East Asia – will be chosen in the second half of 2024. They will receive capacity-building grants and in-kind support, helping them to strengthen and widen their work.

Thriving Forests will also support collaboration between those taking part, and tell their story to an international audience of funders and policymakers, generating further investment and global action.

The initiative is a core part of TNRP’s ambitious work to support conservation, restoration, protection and diversity of the natural world, on land, in the air, in our waterways and oceans. The organisation is a playing an active role in every stage of the partnership. TNRP’s investment, support and strategic guidance will be complemented by Ashden’s experience working hand-in-hand with climate innovators.

Together, the two partners will develop and deliver bold and inclusive action in support of our planet’s forest guardians.

Ashden CEO Ashok Sinha said: “Research has proven the importance of local and Indigenous communities in protecting the earth’s forests, a vital defence against climate change. The more these communities can grow the value of their territory, the greater their resilience – and the greater their ability to protect it from land grabs or destructive logging and mining.

“Boosting these communities’ economic security protects us all from the climate crisis – and Thriving Forests will do just that. It’s an ambitious project that supports locally-led solutions, and will push international funders and policymakers to step up their support too. We can’t wait to get started.”

James Berry, Head of Strategy at The Nature Recovery Project, said: “Deforestation and forest degradation mean biodiversity loss, interrupted water cycles and exacerbate climate change. Reversing the negative human impact on these habitats is not only through the restoration of wild habitats but also embracing nature in human activities.

“The Nature Recovery Project has partnered with Ashden to accelerate the symbiosis of humans and nature across 2,500,000 acres in the Global South. This will be achieved through the provision of resources to organisations within Indigenous communities, supporting their rights as forest guardians and accelerating the recovery of these landscapes.”

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