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Project Drawdown


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Biology, Civics

Resource Types

  • Articles and Websites
  • Charts, Graphs, and Tables

Regional Focus


Indigenous Peoples' Forest Tenure

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  • This article highlights and details the importance of "secure land tenure" as a socially-just climate solution that protects the rights of Indigenous people, while also protecting ecosystems and carbon sinks, and preventing emissions from deforestation.
  • Students will read about the potential amount of greenhouse gases that could be prevented or sequestered by the year 2050 using real-world calculations that take into account the land area involved, two adoption scenarios, and other factors that could affect the results.
Teaching Tips


  • This article highlights a climate solution that addresses both climate change and human rights.
  • This article is presented in a scientific paper format, which can be useful for both science and language arts classes.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Consider previewing the format of the article in order for students to better understand how the findings of the study are being reported.
  • Prepare students for this new content by activating prior knowledge on climate justice that explains how climate change disproportionally impacts those who are least responsible for it.
  • Have students review this table of climate solutions or any of these Climate 101 videos by Project Drawdown to gain additional insights and knowledge prior to reading this article.


  • This article contains a great amount of information and data, so it may benefit students to have a note-taking guide or T-chart to allow them to track the most significant data. 
  • Science classes can use this article to reinforce the importance of maintaining ecosystems and protecting forests to reduce greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere.
  • Teachers may consider pre-teaching new vocabulary in the article which would allow students to better focus on the comprehension of big ideas within the text.
  • Activate students' background knowledge before reading by asking them to journal briefly about what they know about Indigenous peoples, climate change, and human rights.
  • Consider having students view this powerful video about an Indigenous boy who is magically allowed to see what various degraded environments were once like as a way to emotionally connect with the content before reading the article.
  • After reading, put students in small groups to discuss both their reflections on this solution and the ways they might be able to get involved in this type of solution or others.
  • Other related resources on this topic include this article about the importance of knowledge from Indigenous communities about climate change and adaptation, and this article which highlights a young person who took action to create awareness about climate change and Indigenous rights.
Scientist Notes
This article details a study examining how securing land tenure for Indigenous communities can help reduce carbon emissions. The secure land tenure solution addresses both climate change and Indigenous peoples’ rights. The article is organized similar to a scientific paper in the way that it breaks down this climate solution into an introduction, methods, results, discussion, and conclusion sections. The limitations of the study are also included. In this way, this is a good resource to reinforce the scientific process. The article is a bit technical at times which could be harder to understand for some. References are included. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • HS-LS2-2 Use mathematical representations to support and revise explanations based on evidence about factors affecting biodiversity and populations in ecosystems of different scales.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.10.9-12 Analyze the impact and the appropriate roles of personal interests and perspectives on the application of civic virtues, democratic principles, constitutional rights, and human rights.
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.10.9-12 Evaluate how changes in the environmental and cultural characteristics of a place or region influence spatial patterns of trade and land use.
      • D2.Geo.9.9-12 Evaluate the influence of long-term climate variability on human migration and settlement patterns, resource use, and land uses at local-to-global scales.
    • Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
      • D4.7.9-12 Assess options for individual and collective action to address local, regional, and global problems by engaging in self-reflection, strategy identification, and complex causal reasoning.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language of a court opinion differs from that of a newspaper).
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.5 Analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of the structure an author uses in his or her exposition or argument, including whether the structure makes points clear, convincing, and engaging.
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