Fostering Our Coalition: A Global Outlook

What does it mean to nurture a coalition?

In our case, it’s a coalition that’s grown from a handful of individuals and organizations in 2005 to over 150 members across five continents. With RRI’s 20th anniversary approaching in 2025, this question is more pertinent than ever before.

Two years ago, our Indigenous, Afro-descendant, and local community members helped us inform our Blue Skies vision and current Strategic Program. And throughout 2023, the coalition came together—through national and global planning meetings, workshops, and regional conferences—to inform the strategies we must pursue to achieve this vision.

An aerial view of the self-sustaining Afro-descendant community of the Agua Blanca-Alsacia river basin in Northern Cauca, Colombia. | Photo Credit: Angie Larrahondo (ASOM) for RRI.

Our annual Global Strategy Meeting brought RRI partners, collaborators, fellows, donors, and board members together in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to identify RRI’s key priorities for this year (read these along with our 2024 workplans here). We found that despite each territory’s unique characteristics, our members’ agendas are aligned across many thematic areas. Themes like the need to decode carbon markets for communities; increase direct funding for rightsholders, particularly women; strengthen community livelihoods; and empower youth leadership were among the topics our members were eager to prioritize.

When asked how to strengthen the coalition, members agreed that we need more opportunities for meaningful knowledge sharing and collaboration, and the creation of new intergenerational spaces for learning. We ended the year with a strong sense of collective power, ready to be channeled toward coordinated advocacy, research, and networking.

"We are here to learn from each other, for each other, and for our Mother Earth. We are not divided, but united."

— Jenifer Lasimbang Kadazan from Sabah, Malaysia–Borneo and representative of Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP)

We also took a big step toward ensuring the healthy functioning of the coalition and promoting collaboration, transparency, and learning. In 2023, we undertook a coalition-wide mapping project, interviewing over 40 members about their work, priorities, and achievements, and we used these insights to create a unique online platform to help our members, donors to help our members, donors, and allies gain a better understanding of our wide-ranging and diverse efforts to advance community land, territory, fresh water, and natural resource rights. The tool showcases the power of our coalition to funders and allies in community land rights, climate, and conservation spaces.

From the mountaintops of the Peruvian Andes to East Africa’s desert plains and the coastal mangroves of Indonesia, our coalition is hard at work to create conditions that enable the recognition of rights.

By continuing to leverage our diverse strengths, we will go on to catalyze real change for the betterment of the planet and its people.