Territories of Life as Key to Global Environmental Sustainability
Territories and areas that Indigenous peoples and local communities govern, manage, and conserve (hereafter territories of life) are increasingly recognized by scientists, international agencies, nongovernmental, and grassroot organizations, as central to the future of a healthy and sustainable Earth. Hundreds of thousands of such social–ecological systems exist worldwide, covering millions of square kilometers of land and seascapes on all five continents, contributing to the conservation and sustainable use of a significant proportion of the world’s biodiversity. Nevertheless, these systems are facing many threats and often have little-tono formal recognition or support from nation-state governments. In order to address this growing need, this review provides the most complete, recent, and updated global overview of territories of life. The review advocates for a holistic
approach of territories of life and identifies key opportunities for researchers to favor action- and policy-oriented research in
support of such vital systems for global sustainability.