About the Initiative

Core Beliefs

Based on our experience, we find that empowerment of rural people and asset-based development are part of a process that is dependent on a set of enabling conditions, including security of tenure to access and use natural resources. As a coalition of diverse and varied organizations, RRI is guided by a set of core beliefs.

  • Rights of Poor Communities Must Be Recognized and Strengthened

We believe it is possible to achieve the seemingly irreconcilable goals of alleviating poverty, conserving forests and encouraging sustained economic growth in forested regions. However, for this to happen, the rights of poor communities to forests and trees, as well as their rights to participate fully in markets and the political processes that regulate forest use, must be recognized and strengthened.

  • Progress Requires Supporting and Responding to Local Communities

We believe that progress requires supporting, and responding to, local community organizations and their efforts to advance their own well-being.

  • Now is the Time to Act

We believe that the next few decades are particularly critical. They represent an historic moment where there can be either dramatic gains, or losses, in the lives and well-being of the forest poor, as well as in the conservation and restoration of the world’s threatened forests.

  • Progress Requires Engagement and Constructive Participation by All

It is clear that progress on the necessary tenure and policy reforms requires constructive participation by communities, governments and the private sector, as well as new research and analysis of policy options and new mechanisms to share learning between communities, governments and the private sector.

  • Reforming Forest Tenure and Governance Requires a Focused and Sustained Global Effort

We believe that reforming forest tenure and governance to the scale necessary to achieve either the Millennium Development Goals, or the broader goals of improved well-being, forest conservation and sustained-forest-based economic growth will require a new, clearly focused and sustained global effort by the global development community.


-    Millennium Development Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty

-    Millennium Development Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability, with a target of halving the proportion of people whose income is less than US$1 a day by 2015  

The experience and beliefs of the founding Partners are the basis for the Initiative’s focus on rights and governance. They are also the basis for its Mission, Goals and Targets.