© 2018 by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), a global coalition of 15 Partners, 7 Affiliated Networks, 14 International Fellows, and more than 150 collaborating international, regional, and community organizations dedicated to advancing the forestland and resource rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities. The views presented on this site are not necessarily shared by the agencies that have generously supported this work, nor by all the Partners and Affiliated Networks of the Coalition. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0.

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About the Authors

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz is the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a position she has held since 2014. An indigenous leader hailing from the Kankanaey Igorot people in the Philippines’ Cordillera region, she has been fighting for the rights of Indigenous Peoples and rural women since the 1970s, when she helped build an indigenous movement that successfully stopped major dam and logging projects in the Cordillera region. 


Since then, Tauli-Corpuz has founded and managed several civil society organizations dedicated to the advancement of indigenous and women’s rights, including the Tebtebba Foundation, of which she serves as founder and executive director. She was engaged in the drafting and adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007, and served as the Chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues from 2005 to 2010. In 2009, she received the Gabriela Silang Award from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples in recognition of the work she has done at the forefront of the struggle for Indigenous Peoples’ rights.


In March 2018, Tauli-Corpuz was placed on a list of “terrorists” by the Philippine government, alongside hundreds of other indigenous and human rights defenders, as retaliation for speaking up against the Duterte administration’s human rights violations. She continues to fight for Indigenous Peoples, local communities, and women around the world.

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Dr. Janis Alcorn is a well-known international expert on issues of Indigenous Peoples, governance, and forest conservation. A biologist and anthropologist, Alcorn began her career as a Peace Corps Volunteer in India and served as Asia and Pacific Director for the Biodiversity Support Program at WWF. She has also worked with the Inter-American Development Bank, Ford Foundation, Global Diversity Foundation, IUCN, USAID, and others. Prior to her recent retirement, Alcorn served as Senior Director of Country and Regional Programs at the Rights and Resources Initiative, as well as the interim Executive Director of the International Land and Forest Tenure Facility, the world’s first and only international, multi-stakeholder institution exclusively focused on securing land and forest rights for Indigenous Peoples and local communities.

Photo: IISD

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Photo: IISD

Dr. Augusta Molnar is a cultural anthropologist who has focused her career on forest and mountain communities, their tenure and rights, resources, and livelihoods. Previously, she worked at the World Bank for 16 years as a project manager for land, forest, agriculture, and Indigenous Peoples grants and loans in Mexico and Central America, and as a social specialist on forestry projects in South and Southeast Asia. She co-founded the Rights and Resources Initiative in 2005 and retired in 2014 as Senior Director of Country and Regional Programs. Molnar currently serves as Secretary on the Board of the International Land and Forest Tenure Facility, and as Chair on the Board of The Mountain Institute.

Case Study and Resource Authors

Simon Counsell

Executive Director

Rainforest Foundation UK

Anne-Sophie Gindroz

Southeast Asia Regional Facilitator

Rights and Resources Initiative

Christine Halvorson

Program Director

Rainforest Foundation US

Silvana Baldovino and Andrea Calmet

Sociedad Peruana de Derecho Ambiental [Peruvian Society for Environmental Law] 

Fergus MacKay

Senior Counsel

Forest Peoples Programme