UN Climate Summit 2014: LIVE BLOG

WRI will be liveblogging during the 9/23 summit, tracking major announcements and offering expert commentary throughout the day.

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land rights

A Farmer In Africa: Balancing Property Rights With National Needs

Community land lies at the heart of rural life in Africa, so losing community rights to land can undermine livelihoods and trigger conflict. Most governments recognize customary tenure arrangements that establish communities' rights to land and natural resources, but few governments have the strong legislation needed to help communities protect the land they depend upon. A new video explains.

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Why Community Land Rights Belong in the Sustainable Development Goals

A U.N. working group of 70 member states recently adopted a proposed set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to succeed the U.N.’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set to expire in 2015. The “post-2015” SDGs will aim to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030 while also supporting inclusive economic development and environmental sustainability. While the proposal puts forward a plethora of targets for the international community to pursue between 2015 and 2030, it leaves out a critical component of improving rural livelihoods—securing community land rights.

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Forest Loss and Climate: Empowering Communities Can Help

In an op-ed written for LiveScience, Andrew Steer discusses how strengthening forest rights for indigenous communities can protect forests and combat climate change.

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Community Forests: An Undervalued Approach to Climate Change Mitigation

Governments around the world legally recognize at least 513 million hectares of community forests, land held collectively by either rural populations or Indigenous Peoples. This area stores about 37 billion tonnes of carbon—29 times the annual carbon footprint of all the passenger vehicles in the world.

Securing Rights, Combating Climate Change, a new report from WRI and the Rights and Resources Initiative, shows that by protecting and expanding the amount of officially recognized community forests, national governments can meet their climate goals while also improving citizens’ livelihoods.

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Securing Rights, Combating Climate Change

How Strengthening Community Forest Rights Mitigates Climate Change

Securing Rights, Combating Climate Change analyzes the growing body of evidence linking community forest rights with healthier forests and lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

This report makes a strong case for strengthening the rights...

Q&A: Why Are Community Forests So Important?

Governments, civil society, and donors are working to strengthen community forest rights in many countries.

A new report by WRI and the Rights and Resources Initiative, to be released on July 24th, shows governments can meet their climate change mitigation targets by protecting community forest rights.

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New Map Documents Natural Resource Rights in Sub-Saharan Africa

Many countries in Africa are rich with trees, wildlife, minerals, and other natural resources. But as new WRI research and an interactive map show, few national laws provide communities with strong, secure rights to the resources on their land.

WRI conducted a systematic review of the national framework laws for five natural resources—water, trees, wildlife, minerals, and petroleum—in 49 sub-Saharan African countries. The results are presented in our new Rights to Resources map.

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