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Most national governments can legally acquire land for public needs such as roads, schools and other infrastructure, in a process known as expropriation. But in many countries, weak laws allow governments and companies to take land for private interests without adequately compensating and resettling displaced people. Here are six ways to bring those laws up to global standards.

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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.

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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.

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Despite the encouraging expansion of environmental democracy around the world, there are still areas where environmental laws are not being properly or fully implemented. The Environmental Democracy Index reveals four areas where practice is not living up to legal standards.

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As climate impacts mount, so does the urgency of resolving the equity challenge. Those least responsible for climate change are often the most vulnerable to changes in weather patterns, sea level rise, and other impacts, further exacerbating existing inequities.

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