April 22nd, 2021 | 9:00AM-10:30AM EST - 3:00-4:30 CEST
Improving tenure of forests by Indigenous and Tribal Peoples can lower deforestation rates and biodiversity loss, avoiding C02 emissions, but more investment is urgently needed to address rising threats.
Namibia is a large country on the West Coast of Southern Africa bordering South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Angola. It is 824,290 km² in extent with a small population of some 2.5 million people. Namibia’s climate is characterised by very hot and dry conditions with sparse and erratic rainfall. The Namib desert tracks much of Namibia’s coastline.
Located in southern Africa, Botswana is a large, mineral rich, yet sparsely populated, semi-arid and land-locked country of 560,877 sq. km in size. Botswana gained independence from Britain in 1966. The population was estimated to be 2.3 million people in 2019. Botswana is widely regarded as an economic and social success story. However, levels of unemployment and social inequality remain high, as economic benefits and resource rich land are inequitably distributed.
With the expansion of cities and urban infrastructure comes a growing need to better understand the relationship between people and land in urban and peri-urban areas.
With secure land tenure, Indigenous Peoples and local communities can realize human rights, achieve economic growth, protect the environment, and maintain cultural integrity. For centuries, Indigenous Peoples and local communities (IPLCs) have used, managed and depended on collectively-held land for food supplies, cultural and spiritual traditions, and other livelihood needs. Historically governed through customary tenure systems rooted in community norms and practices that often go back centuries, governments often consider such community land as vacant, idle, or state-owned property. Statutory recognition and protection of indigenous and community land rights continues to be a major challenge.