The role of Indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) in sustainably using and managing natural resources is becoming broadly recognised within some international platforms (e.g., the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services). However, the support for IPLCs to continue managing their land is either completely absent or scanty. This paper presents the value of only four ecosystem services, estimated at USD 1.16 trillion per year, that are delivered from IPLCs managed lands alone (excluding coastal, marine, and other resources). These four ecosystem services (ES), i.e., carbon sequestration, biocontrol, air, and water regulation offer offsite benefits to the wider regional and global populations yet without returns to the IPLCs themselves except for facing more climate and natural disaster-related challenges mainly caused by the actions of mainstream society. It further outlines key challenges and advocates for establishing stewardship mechanisms to promote and support IPLCs land management practices that will effectively help in protecting and preserving biodiversity, water, and other natural resources on Earth to sustain and enhance human well-being.
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