Restore nature for people and the planet by empowering Indigenous and local communities

Dr Johan Oldekop, Global Development Institute (GDI)

Dr Johan Oldekop

Dr Oldekop is Reader in Environment and Development at the Global Development Institute (GDI). He researches the kinds of policies, interventions and social processes that lead to better outcomes for people and the environment. He currently leads the Sustainable Forest Transitions project, a five-year research programme funded by UKRI and selected by the European Research Council.

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Although nature restoration holds immense promise for addressing the climate and biodiversity crises, it is essential that mainstream discussions acknowledge restoration impacts on Indigenous and local communities. Restoration initiatives must prioritise the rights and wellbeing of these communities to ensure a socially just transition to sustainability.

Now is the time to...

  • restore land and resource rights to Indigenous peoples and local communities;
  • ensure local communities lead conversations and decision-making processes for nature restoration projects developed on their lands;
  • remove barriers to education and economic support for communities in areas designated for nature restoration;
  • monitor and evaluate positive and negative effects of restoration on the natural world in tandem with wellbeing outcomes for local communities.

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Related research

  • Explore the Sustainable Futures platform to find out more about how the University is bringing together internationally-leading research communities to create truly sustainable solutions to urgent environmental challenges
  • Learn more about The University of Manchester’s global inequalities research; advancing our understanding of the world in which we live and addressing inequalities to improve lives

Read more about research in the Global Development Institute (GDI) at The University of Manchester.