Land and forest tenure security has been recognized globally as a catalyser for stronger governance, improved livelihoods and increased conservation of natural resources. In the previous decades, governments have gradually recognized local peoples’ rights to forests and land. However, tenure rights remain unclear and with wide gaps across many countries. Uncertain land and forest tenure represent a great risk to sustainable landscape initiatives. Therefore it is crucial to address current tenure problems for local and indigenous communities by learning from previous experiences to accelerate recognition in countries where processes are underway.