New: WRI statement on diversity, equity and inclusion

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human rights

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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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The need is growing for public access to environmental information, public participation in environmental decision-making and enforcement of environmental laws. Without these rights, explain WRI Managing Director Manish Bapna and UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment John Knox, people are left marginalized and powerless.

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