Secure land rights for Indigenous Peoples and rural communities are a key ingredient in achieving the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals adopted last year. Yet as the continued killings of environmental activists around the world show, strong land tenure faces an uphill battle.
Under international human rights laws, indigenous communities must be able to approve any development project that directly affects their lands or resources. There are a few reasons why this doesn't always happen in practice.
The LandMark mapping platform reveals some of the underlying reasons why community land rights are insecure in many countries around the world. Without legal rights to the lands they call home, Indigenous Peoples and communities are vulnerable to expropriation and "land grabbing" by outsiders.
Today, more than 300 individuals and organizations launched the Global Call to Action on Indigenous and Community Land Rights. The campaign aims to double the amount of land legally recognized as owned or controlled by Indigenous Peoples and communities by 2020, and eventually, secure lands for all communities and Indigenous Peoples.
Indigenous peoples and communities manage their forests and other ecosystems well if they have secure rights over their land, but getting legal recognition of these rights is often a challenge. LandMark, a new online platform, can help address this challenge.
Community forests serve as a vital source of livelihood, nutrition and medicine for the world's Indigenous Peoples. New research shows these forests have another advantage: generating billions of dollars in benefits for rural peoples and society.