European Union leaders are wrestling in with a surge in “boat people,” tens of thousands of refugees from Africa and the Middle East crossing the Mediterranean in dangerous boats in the hopes of finding a better life. While media reports have focused on the political crises spurring this migration, there's another driver—land degradation and food insecurity.
The Bonn Challenge, a global movement aimed at starting to restore 150 million hectares by 2020, is on track to meet or exceed this ambitious goal. International partners meet in Bonn this week to discuss progress already made and a vision for what should happen after 2020.
Local communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America can lose access to critical resources when land rights are weak, threatening food and incomes for more than two billion people. Three fundamental goals must be achieved to improve land rights.
Alda Salomao is the director general of Centro Terra Viva, an organization working to secure community land rights in Mozambique. In an interview with WRI's Celine Salcedo-La Viña, she describes the tension between communities in the Afungi Peninsula and a natural gas project.
Local communities are key to protecting the world’s last remaining forests. Indigenous peoples hold legal or official rights to one-eighth of the world’s forests, about 513 million hectares (1.3 billion acres).
Read more about how researchers used Global Forest Watch maps to identify lower rates of deforestation where governments protect communities’ rights.