The crisis of insecure land rights–most immediately felt by the millions of Indigenous Peoples and other local communities who risk losing their lands and livelihoods–profoundly impacts our ability to confront climate change, increase food security, and overcome poverty.
And while the level of recognition of this crisis, including the Voluntary Guidelines and commitments from the G8 and the World Bank, are beacons of hope as we look to 2014, continued mobilization to ensure these commitments are acted upon will be necessary.
The recent international conference to dramatically scale-up efforts to secure community land and resource rights built shared agendas among key players including governments, civil society, the private sector, and conservation organizations, all of whom have a direct, common, and urgent interest in clarifying and securing the ownership of the developing world's lands and resources. The conference, which brought together 180 participants from 40 countries, was an important milestone toward the kind of consistent and coordinated action that we hope will characterize efforts to support community tenure in the years to come.
Conference co-conveners–RRI, Oxfam, the International Land Coalition, IUCN, and HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation–recognize that what we, and the entire international community, have been doing on this issue is not enough, and have called for doubling the amount of land recognized as owned or controlled by Indigenous Peoples and local communities by 2018.
The examples of ongoing work in Africa, Asia, and Latin America highlighted below–many implemented by conference participants–can benefit from the increased coordination and commitments from key stakeholders to scale-up efforts to secure land and resource rights. But the conference was just a starting point. We owe it to the roughly 2 billion people whose rights are at risk to push the momentum forward.
– Rights and Resources Initiative