This Commentary discusses how securing community land across the world will enable countries to accelerate progress on many SDGs as well as their climate targets. Given the looming threat climate change poses to both environmental and development progress, the time to secure these lands is now.
Las comunidad de Santa Clara Uchunya lleva varias generaciones viviendo en una zona remota del Amazonas peruano.
The Santa Clara de Uchunya community has lived in a remote section of the Peruvian Amazon for generations, relying on the forest for hunting, fishing and natural resources. But in 2014, someone started cutting down large sections of their ancestral lands. They've been struggling for their land rights ever since.
From clean water provision to storm protection, forests provide benefits for everyone—even those who live in the concrete jungle.
He endured kidnappings, assaults and attacks. But after more than a decade of protests and court battles, Prafulla Samantara stopped an open-pit bauxite mine from threatening India's Dongria Kondh tribe.
Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act required that oil, natural gas and mineral extraction companies report payments made to foreign governments. Congress and President Trump eliminated it last week.
New research from World Resources Institute finds the average American could cut their diet-related environmental impacts nearly in half just by eating less meat and dairy. Shifting Diets for a Sustainable Food Future presents solutions to the challenge of feeding a growing population by reducing animal protein consumption, especially beef, and helping shift billions of people to more sustainable diets.
The LandMark mapping platform reveals some of the underlying reasons why community land rights are insecure in many countries around the world. Without legal rights to the lands they call home, Indigenous Peoples and communities are vulnerable to expropriation and "land grabbing" by outsiders.
Nitin Pandit, CEO of WRI India, explains how limiting urban sprawl, investing in natural infrastructure and scaling up clean energy can create a better future for India.
Decision-makers oftentimes treat the services that ecosystems provide—like water filtration or flood protection—as a free benefit. A new issue brief can help them account for nature's full worth.
Snow-capped mountain ranges no longer have snow. Citizens fear they'll lose access to water. And farmers continue to draw scarce groundwater.
So what can California do to shore up its dwindling water supply?
In much of Africa, rural farmers and communities are losing their land to government, investors and others. It's creating profound impacts on local livelihoods and the environment.
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.
According to data from Global Forest Watch, an online mapping platform that tracks tree cover loss and gain in near-real time, industrial development and forest fires in Canada’s tar sands region has cleared or degraded 775,500 hectares (almost two million acres) of boreal forest since the year 2000. That’s an area more than six times the size of New York City. If the tar sands extraction boom continues, as many predict, we can expect forest loss to increase.
The “resource curse" describes the paradox where countries rich in oil, gas, and minerals remain largely impoverished. Better transparency—both in how governments spend extractive revenues and how natural resource decisions are made—could help tackle this problem. While some new initiatives are making progress on this front, more needs to be done to ensure that drilling and mining doesn’t come at the expense of communities and the land, water, and wildlife they rely on.
In much of Africa, the bundle of land rights that most rural people legally hold is relatively small—usually limited to surface rights and certain rights to some natural resources on and below the surface, such as rights to water for domestic use. Many high-value natural resources—such as oil, natural gas, minerals, and wildlife—are governed by separate legal regimes and administered by different public institutions. Africa’s governments often allocate these rights to outside, commonly foreign companies for large-scale operations. In other words, while many communities hold rights to the land, foreign companies hold the rights to the natural resources on or under the same plot. These overlapping rights oftentimes lead to conflict, unsustainable use of resources, and injustices.
Bringing together some of the world’s foremost economic experts to contribute to the global debate about climate change and economic policy, and to inform government, business and investment decisions.
Canada’s Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, took a significant step toward promoting transparency and reducing global poverty. He announced yesterday that Canada will implement mandatory reporting requirements for Canadian extractive companies operating both in-country and abroad.