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.
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Hundreds of people gathered on Samoa's biggest island on Saturday to protest the abuse of customary land rights.
A spokesperson for the Samoa Solidarity International Group said 700 people came from across Savai'i to push for a repeal of the Lands and Titles Registration Act 2008.
According to Unasa Iuni Sapolu, the act allows communally held customary lands to be leased to third parties without the consent of all landowners.
She said this alienated some of the owners from their land and the opportunities it offered.
ONDON/BOSTON, April 16 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Activists are urging Commonwealth leaders meeting in Britain this week to throw their weight behind a campaign to preserve a centuries-old communal land ownership system on the Caribbean island of Barbuda.
After Britain abolished slavery in its colonies in 1834, Barbudans developed a system of communal land ownership, now threatened by government plans to introduce private land ownership to boost development and tourism.
Protecting the land and resource rights of indigenous peoples will not only provide security for historically exploited groups but also help the global fights against climate change and biodiversity loss, said speakers on Monday at the annual United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.