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Whose Water? Global Launch of a 15-Country Analysis on the Status of Indigenous Peoples’, Afro-descendants’, and Local Communities’ Legally Recognized Freshwater Tenure Rights


August 28, 2020



Rights and Resources Initiative and Environmental Law Institute

Clearly defined and legally secure freshwater tenure rights are essential to Indigenous Peoples’, Afro-descendants’,  and local communities’ livelihoods, food security, and territorial governance; as well as to countries’ efforts to achieve sustainable development priorities and ensure climate resilience. However, the extent to which such rights are legally recognized remains largely unknown and unmonitored. A new report, Whose Water, provides an innovative methodology and comparative assessment on the extent to which the national-level legal frameworks of 15 countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America recognize communities’ and community women’s rights to use, govern, and protect their freshwater resources.

Co-authors of the report from Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) and the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) explored findings from this pathbreaking analysis on the status of Indigenous Peoples’, Afro-descendants’, and local communities’ legally recognized rights to freshwater and insights for further securing these rights. Participants also heard perspectives from across regions concerning the value of this framework and opportunities to leverage the data to advocate for stronger legal protections for both communities’, and women within communities’, water tenure rights. Learn more.