"Who Owns the World's Land?"- new report says post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals will require recognition of community based land rights

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Article
14 October 2015

Lack of local land rights harms fight against poverty, climate change-researchers

Author: Megan Rowling, Reuters

Indigenous people and local communities lack legal rights to almost three quarters of their traditional lands, sparking social conflict and undermining international plans to curb poverty, hunger and climate change, researchers said...The first of 17 new global goals adopted by the United Nations on Friday, on ending poverty, commits to ensuring that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to ownership and control over land by 2030...[Andy] White[, coordinator of the Rights and Resources Initiative] said that most of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were connected with land, because it is the basis of survival for the world's poor..."It's very clear now that the SDGs will fail unless governments address this crisis," he said.

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Report
14 October 2015

New report: "Who Owns the World’s Land? A global baseline of formally recognized indigenous & community land rights"

Author: Ilona Coyle & Jenny Springer, Rights and Resources Initiative

Ownership of the world’s rural lands and natural resources is a major source of contestation around the globe, affecting prospects for rural economic development, human rights and dignity, cultural survival, environmental conservation, and efforts to combat climate change...Communities are estimated to hold as much as 65 percent of the world’s land area through customary, community-based tenure systems. However, national governments only recognize formal, legal rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities to a fraction of these lands...This report is designed to inform policy debates and action on community land rights by identifying how much land national governments have formally recognized asowned or controlled by Indigenous Peoples and local communities. It documents the land area under formally recognized community-based tenure regimes, where formal rights to own or manage land or terrestrial resources are held at the community level.

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Report
14 October 2015

UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples' report on impact of intl. investment & free trade on indigenous peoples' rights

Author: Victoria Tauli Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples

“Report of the Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council on the rights of indigenous peoples on the impact of international investment and free trade on the human rights of indigenous peoples”, 7 Aug 2015

…[T]he Special Rapporteur…dedicates the thematic section of the present report to an analysis of international investment agreements and investment clauses of free trade regimes and their impacts on the rights of indigenous peoples…[T]he report discusses a number of areas of concern, relating both to direct violations of the rights of indigenous peoples and the systemic impact of those regimes on their lives and communities.  The Special Rapporteur contends that investment clauses of free trade agreements and bilateral and multilateral investment treaties…have actual and potential negative impacts on indigenous peoples’ rights…[The report] discusses how indigenous peoples, as some of the most marginalized in the world, bear a disproportionate burden of a system that contains systemic imbalances between the enforcement of corporate investors’ rights and human rights.  The report concludes that both a more thorough review of implications of international investment and free trade agreements and deeper policy and systemic reforms are needed to ensure the respect, protection and fulfilment of indigenous peoples’ rights...

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