New data gathered from Afro-descendant community councils and state records reveal that the Colombian government has failed to address 271 claims for collective Afro-descendant land rights—threatening cultural and environmental sustainability, the rights of Afro-descendant community territories as established by Law 70 of 1993, and the successful implementation of the peace accords. Although all 271 communities have submitted formal applications for collective land titles, the government has largely delayed recognition of their claims—in some cases for over a decade.

A land rights storm brewing in Barbuda?
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.

Giving Visibility – and Land Rights – to the Indigenous
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.

Is This My Land?

For Amazonian and native communities, it is not a matter of ignoring or rejecting the land market, but rather finding the best way to relate to it while preserving their ancestral properties, rights, traditions, and knowledge (which are key for biodiversity and intellectual property).

A Year After Cáceres’ Assassination, Threat to Land Rights Defenders Remains

The assassination of Berta Cáceres, underscored the vulnerability of indigenous leaders, and in particular indigenous women leaders, who face violence and criminalization for defending their communities’ lands and livelihoods. A year later, the targeting of land rights defenders continues.

Knowledge and Tenure in Bailique
Knowledge and Tenure in Bailique

This November, two pieces of good news have come from Brazilian communities that are working with the sustainable management of their forests.

Don’t Forget: Our Forests Are Valuable and We Live There
Don’t Forget: Our Forests Are Valuable and We Live There

HONOLULU — Conservation organizations dedicated to protecting the world’s biodiversity hot spots often fail to take into account why the forests are still standing. Often,…