Across the world, the outbreak of COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges for RRI members and their communities. In many cases though, it has also led to opportunities for empowering local communities. This was the case for Social Entrepreneurs for Sustainable Development (SESDev), a Liberian non-profit that works on natural resource governance rights.
Africa is currently experiencing what can be called its “third great land transformation.” This follows the first one inaugurated by colonial powers, and a second one launched by postcolonial states for developmental and infrastructural purposes. The 21st century wave of land grabs, which has exploded in recent years, constitutes the third.
On September 19, Liberian President George Manneh Weah signed into law the Land Rights Bill (LRB), a landmark piece of legislation that recognizes the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities to their customary lands and gives customary land the same standing as private land in Liberia. This historic victory sets a precedent for land rights recognition in West Africa and can serve as a model for the region and beyond.
The 15th Free Land Camp (Terra Livre, or ATL for its Portuguese acronym) brought 3,000 Indigenous Peoples and their allies together from all regions of the country at a massive encampment in Brasilia to call for justice for indigenous communities. Participants used the gathering—one of the largest ever—to create and present a unified political agenda before the Brazilian government.
Civil society organizations and communities affected by oil palm concessions across Liberia have grouped themselves in addressing urgent issues in the oil palm sector, demanding more access to mechanisms that can make concessionaires more accountable in line with laws and regulations.
The theme of this year’s UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues was “Indigenous Peoples’ collective rights to lands, territories, and resources.” Indigenous leaders from across the globe noted the crucial role that secure rights play in their lives and livelihoods, and in the advancement of sustainable development and climate change mitigation.
In just 29 months, the Alliance of Indigenous Peoples of the Archipelago, or AMAN, advanced community tenure security over 1.5 million hectares of land.
As Nepal wrote a new constitution and laid out guidelines for three tiers of elections, community forest users worried that the new government would leave little room for the voices of traditionally marginalized groups, like rural women and Dalits, a historically persecuted community in Nepal and India. The power to sit at the bargaining table and make important policy decisions, they agreed, had to come from adequate representation, particularly at the local government level.
That’s why women leaders and activists at a civil society organization called FECOFUN decided to run for office.
Given that the 1989-2003 civil wars were in part driven by disputes over land and resources, observers are worried what the future holds as a UN peacekeeping mission prepares to leave Liberia in March.
Indonesia faces a deforestation crisis: an estimated 55 percent of forests located in concession areas were lost over a period of 15 years (2000-2015), with an estimated total loss of more than 6.7 million hectares within and outside of concession areas. The country has been losing its forests at a rapid rate for decades, and in turn, adat and local communities’ livelihoods are under threat, and the wildlife and plant diversity in their traditional territories is being lost….
View the full photo essay here.
We asked six experts about the biggest opportunities, moments, and potential catalysts for change they see for community land rights in 2018. Here’s what they had to say.
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.
Both the conclusions of the conference and the collaboration that went into organizing it attest to the willingness of the current government and civil society to collaborate toward these goals. In the face of globalization and efforts to promote economic growth in Indonesia, full recognition of the land and forest rights of local and adat communities remains of the utmost importance. There is hope that this collaborative effort represents a step in the right direction toward securing the land rights of adat and local communities across Indonesia.
The community of Santa Clara de Uchunya, in Ucayali, Peru, is fighting back against both land trafficking and human rights abuses in the region.
Tomorrow, October 4, participants from 65 countries—including representatives from Indigenous Peoples, local communities, women’s groups, governments, NGOs, civil society, multilateral banks, and the private sector—are convening in…
Como se ve en Mongabay el 26 de Abril, 2017 Doña Neria, del campamento El Chiclero, está contenta. Es la primera vez que un grupo…
The US government has failed to adequately consult with Indigenous Peoples and gain their consent for extraction, energy, and infrastructure projects on their lands, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, said in a press release.
Ghana’s forests and the people who depend on them face an illegal logging and mining epidemic.
Community advocates in Brazil, Guatemala, Kenya, Taiwan, and 21 other countries call on governments, private sector to recognise that secure land rights are vital to the global struggle against climate change
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).
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.
Amid last year’s political shocks and challenges to the primacy of human rights, one consistent and inspiring global trend emerges: the growing recognition that the land rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities are key to ensuring peace and prosperity.
Defending nature is a dangerous occupation, especially in Latin America.
Experts at Dakar event point to a significant cause of investment losses, work stoppages and violence across Africa: the failure of governments and companies to respect the land rights of indigenous and local communities