Ensuring that indigenous and community land rights are respected and protected is important, not only from a human rights perspective, but also as a sound climate mitigation strategy.
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.
Up to 65 percent of the world's land is held by Indigenous Peoples and communities. Yet most of it is unmapped and not formally demarcated, and therefore invisible to the world.
A broad partnership of indigenous coalitions and land rights and research organizations today launched LandMark, the first online, interactive global platform to map lands collectively held and used by Indigenous Peoples and communities. The platform was created to fill a critical gap in indigenous and community rights and make clear that these lands are not vacant, idle or available to outsiders.
Evidence From Brazil and Guatemala
This Working Paper presents the economic costs and benefits of securing community forestland rights in Brazil and Guatemala.
The relatively modest investments needed to secure the forest rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities will generate significant returns—economically, socially and environmentally—according to a working paper, which finds that protecting forest rights in Guatemala and Brazil will avert 5.4 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
The world’s legally recognized community forests hold about 37 billion tonnes of carbon, about 29 times the annual carbon footprint of all the passenger vehicles in the world.
While members of the Open Government Partnership have made notable progress toward government accountability over the past four years, there has been little attention given to making land holdings and land transactions more transparent.
An interactive StoryMap provides a visual look at the Yudja, one of many indigenous groups who sustainably manage Brazil's Amazon rainforest.