A land rights storm brewing in Barbuda?

Millions have learned of the existence of the small island of Barbuda (161 sq. km), through the havoc that Hurricane Irma wreaked on the island, destroying most buildings, roads, water, and power installations. What they may not know is that the less than 2,000 Barbudans collectively own their island; this ownership is under threat, which has been heightened by Hurricane Irma.

Stepping Forward to Lead on Indigenous Rights

When nine women farmers from the Kendeng community in Central Java encased their feet in cement blocks last year, many indigenous advocates understood how that felt. Dressed in their traditional clothing, these women protested outside the State Palace in Jakarta to block a proposed cement plant that would pollute the rivers flowing through their villages. Their livelihoods as farmers were under threat, as was their cultural heritage.

Over half the world’s land is lived on and managed using customary and traditional systems. Yet indigenous peoples and local communities have formal, legal ownership of just 10 percent of land globally. Insecure land rights can often lead to protracted conflicts with governments and companies, climate change — when land is not protected from deforestation — and human rights abuses.

Giving Visibility – and Land Rights – to the Indigenous

“Include us, so that we can protect our lands for our children and protect the planet’s biodiversity for all the world’s children,” said by Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples during the launch. Recognising the land rights of native and traditional peoples is a low-cost solution toward achieving the world’s development, environment and climate agendas.

To address the climate crisis, we must address inequality

For most people, the mega-hurricanes we have witnessed – along with their devastating consequences – have put an exclamation point on the urgency of climate change. But an even bigger exclamation point came in the form of a new scientific study showing how the carbon released by tropical deforestation and degradation has been underestimated.

World Bank supports the establishment of the International Land and Forest Tenure Facility

On behalf of The World Bank Group, I congratulate the Government of Sweden and the organizers of this event on the launch of the Tenure Facility. Securing indigenous, community, and women’s land rights is fundamental to the Bank’s mission to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity.

Expert views: Why do land rights matter to communities and companies?

More than half of land rights conflicts in the developing world are not resolved, pitting companies, governments and businesses against indigenous communities, according to research published at the conference.

Here are the views of 10 experts interviewed by the Thomson Reuters Foundation during the two-day conference on the role of local communities, technology and business in ensuring secure land rights.

Building a regional roadmap: Africa’s land commissions come together to tackle tenure insecurity

For many governments, upholding commitments to demarcate and recognize community lands is both vitally important and no small task—particularly in environments where land commissions face constrained funding, political or economic roadblocks, or other obstacles. After a number of representatives from land commissions in Africa voiced a desire to exchange experiences and learning with their colleagues from across the continent, we joined forces with the African Union’s Land Policy Initiative to hold a three-day workshop in Accra, Ghana.