Why Securing Land Rights For Indigenous People Can Accelerate Sustainable Development (Podcast)

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Originally published on World Resources Institute blog.
by

Small forestry in the Peruvian Amazon. Photo by Juan Carlos Huayllapuma/CIFOR cifor.org forestsnews.cifor.org

About half of the world’s land is collectively held. Most of that land is not legally recognized under national laws, and even less of that land is formally documented with a land title.

In a recent commentary, Peter Veit, Director of the Land and Resource Rights Initiative in the Governance Center at World Resources Institute, makes a strong environment and development case for securing indigenous and community lands.

LAND AND RESOURCE RIGHTS INITIATIVE

Veit recently sat down with WRI Vice President for Communications Lawrence MacDonald to talk about his research on community and company procedures for acquiring formal land rights.

They discuss the many ways land rights can be secured. Much of the indigenous land in the U.S. is registered in a government cadaster and documented with a formal title to prove ownership. But in much of Africa, Asia and Latin America, significant amounts of community land is not registered or documented with the state.

“Most collectively held land is held under customary tenure arrangements, which means it’s vulnerable to be taken,” Veit explained. “If the land is contested, a title or certificate is much more likely to hold weight in a court of law.”

One of Veit’s recent reports investigated the rate of deforestation on tenure-secure indigenous land in the Amazon. “To my surprise we saw significantly lower deforestation rates on tenure-secure indigenous land than on similar, but not secure forestland,” Veit said. “What we found were rates that were two to three times lower.”

In 2015, 193 member nations of the United Nations made commitments with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “What we’re finding is that progress on the SDGs is very uneven,” Veit said. “Overall, we’re not making the progress we need to achieve these goals by the target 2030 date.”

There is a need to think about new approaches to achieving the SDGs. “One strategy would be to help communities secure their land rights,” Veit explained. “That would help advance  several SDGs. Tenure security is not a silver bullet, but it is fundamental to achieving positive sustainable and development outcomes.” Veit also notes that very few Nationally Determined Contributions (to address climate mitigation) include tenure security as key to achieving their outcomes, while five SDGs recognize land as critical to achieving them.

Listen to the podcast now:


Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Latest CleanTechnica TV Video


I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it!! So, we've decided to completely nix paywalls here at CleanTechnica. But...
 
Like other media companies, we need reader support! If you support us, please chip in a bit monthly to help our team write, edit, and publish 15 cleantech stories a day!
 
Thank you!

Advertisement
 
CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.

World Resources Institute

WRI is a global research organization that spans more than 50 countries, with offices in Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, and the United States. Our more than 450 experts and staff work closely with leaders to turn big ideas into action to sustain our natural resources—the foundation of economic opportunity and human well-being. Find out more at www.wri.org

World Resources Institute has 134 posts and counting. See all posts by World Resources Institute