Our forests are under threat.

Forest-dependent communities around the world play a key role in protecting forests, the wildlife they support and the carbon they store. However, their rights to these resources are often not properly recognised by governments and corporations.

At ClientEarth we support local and indigenous communities and empower them to sustainably manage their land, because we believe it’s the best long-term approach to protecting forests.


tonnes of carbon is stored by legally recognised community forests.


of people around the world rely on forest resources for their livelihoods.

What we do

Community management of forests has many benefits. It can help halt deforestation, mitigate climate change and preserve plant diversity and wildlife. Strong, clear and inclusive laws that empower communities to use, manage and benefit from their forests are essential to the success of community forestry.

At ClientEarth, we promote robust, inclusive laws that uphold the rights of forest-dependent communities and work with these communities to help them actively participate in decisions that impact the health of their forests.

  1. Empowering people

    We work with the most vulnerable groups, particularly women and indigenous people, to empower them to actively take part and benefit from their community forests. We support them to have open conversations with logging companies and make sure the agreements are upheld and benefit the communities.

  2. Designing community forestry laws

    We collaborate with national non-profits to support the design of community forestry laws to ensure that the rights of people who depend on forests for their livelihoods are recognised in law

  3. Championing best practice

    We identify the best examples of successful community forestry around the world and offer guidance to those involved in establishing community forestry agreements.

What we've achieved

We helped to create a first-of-its-kind forest law in Gabon that officially recognised the rights of forest-dependent people to defend their forests and livelihoods. We supported forest communities to input into Ghana’s new forest law. Now Ivory Coast and the Republic of Congo have followed suit.

“The men can’t – and legally should not – do it alone.”

Law and Policy Advisor Caroline Haywood examines how our work is bringing together women involved in community forestry and natural resource management, to learn about their rights to forest land and resources.

At ClientEarth we believe communities are the best last chance to protect our forests.
Brian Rohan, Regional Head of Africa and South America
Brian Rohan, ClientEarth