One year ago, thanks to a Solutions Journalism Network LEDE Fellowship and in collaboration with the Land Portal, I started a project to find stories of responses to the damage caused to the land and environment. During this time, I affirmed that communities and people around the world are working to protect and heal the environment, even if those stories hardly make it to the mainstream media.
In the last 15 years, Paraguay lost a greater share of its forest than almost any other country on Earth. While soy farming once drove deforestation in the east, the focus of Paraguay's forest loss has since moved west to the low-lying, thorn-forested Chaco, where cattle ranching has claimed over 3.7 million hectares (9 million acres) of forest for pastureland – an area about the size of the Netherlands – between 2001 and 2015.
In Mozambique, community land rights are recognised under the country’s progressive land laws. Yet many private-sector companies also hold long-term leases on wide swathes of land that once belonged to communities. Here, Sarah Lowery of USAID’s Land and Resource Governance Division discusses how USAID partnered with agroforestry firm Green Resources to help it responsibly divest its land-use rights back to local communities.
How private-sector leaseholds affect community land rights
Written by Eka Nozadze and Erekle Shubitidze for Georgia Today. Originally posted at https://georgiatoday.ge/forest-fires-and-climate-change-in-georgia-potential-ways-forward/
The Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as the global pandemic, have diverted the world’s attention, and in general put climate change and the green economy onto the back burner of the political agenda.
Opening remarks for the GIZ Land Governance Knowledge Exchange Workshop delivered by
Dr Arno Sckeyde, Head of Program, Strengthening Advisory Capacities for Land Governance in Africa (SLGA)
Dr. Klaus Ackermann, Head of Global Program Responsible Land Policy
Your Excellency, Madam Minister, Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
International Day of Forests: 21 March
A new study, published ahead of the International Day of Forests, warns that the Amazon is now nearing its tipping point; its ability to recover from disruption, such as droughts or fires, is rapidly reducing, increasing the risk of dieback of the Amazon rainforest and potentially releasing up to 90 billion tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Indigenous Peoples and local communities have proven experience at maintaining and improving the carbon density of forest landscapes, often under dire and violent circumstances. Like much of the front line workers that have been so crucial in the current global climate, Indigenous Peoples and local communities are first responders in their own right, on the front lines of the fight to protect the planet’s remaining tropical forests.
With crucial United Nations conferences due this year on both climate change and biodiversity, experts have called for Indigenous People to be included in the meetings, for current laws protecting forests and the wildlife within to be enforced, and for money to be allocated towards the further protection of such lands by those who live there.
Whether or not governments agreed enough to slow global warming at the COP26 meeting in Glasgow is up for debate. But Indigenous Peoples, at least, did not come away empty-handed: their views were listened to and, in some cases, appear to have been taken into consideration.
It was clearly stated, for example, in the $12 billion “Global Forest Finance Pledge” signed by 11 rich countries and the European Union, that part of the money would be used for supporting “forest and land governance and clarifying land tenure and forest rights for Indigenous Peoples and local communities”.
Prindex Co-Director Anna Locke and Researcher Lizzy Tan break down the summit’s final text after their time on the ground at COP26.
The mood is mixed coming out of Glasgow. There’s relief that the world didn’t step back from the 1.5°C goal and that rich countries will provide more climate finance. There’s delight that the check-ins on progress will now happen every year. There’s resigned acceptance that the coal phase out was phrased down to make it into the final text.
But there’s real frustration and fear as well.
A new data story based on a recent study by the FAO demonstrates how the forests of indigenous and tribal territories in Latin America are key for mitigating climate change and conserving biodiversity.
Community forestry has the potential to contribute to sustainable livelihoods in poor and marginalized communities in and near forests. In practice, however, the benefits of collectively managed forests may end up in the hand of local elites. Based on presentations from Bolivia, the Philippines and Nepal, participants in this session discussed, among others: (i) What is the role and importance of individual benefits in a model that is based on collective forest rights?