Documents - Land Rights

What Future for Reform?

Who owns the world’s forests, and who decides on their governance? The answers to these questions are still deeply contested. To many Indigenous Peoples and local communities who have lived in and around forests for generations, the forests belong to them, under locally defined systems of customary tenure. In most countries, however, governments have claimed ownership of much of the forest estate through historical processes of expropriation, and those claims have been formalized in statutory laws. While governments are increasingly recognizing local ownership and control of forests, forest tenure arrangements remain in dispute or unclear in many places, including low, middle, and high income countries. (Rights and Resources Initiative, 2014)

Indigenous peoples’ rights to lands, territories, and resources

The new study by ILC confirms what we knew: indigenous peoples entertain special relationships with their lands, territories and resources, as these are central to their world view, their cultures, livelihoods, spirituality, identity, and their continued existence as distinct peoples. The author of the present study, Birgitte Feiring, is a renowned anthropologist who has worked on indigenous peoples’ rights and development for more than 25 years in several agencies worldwide, including as the ILO Chief Technical Adviser on Convention No. 169 and as an adviser to bilateral and multilateral agencies and to indigenous peoples themselves. (International Land Coalition, 2013)

Opening Pandora’s Box

Mining, oil and gas: the impact of these extractive industries has always raised serious social and environmental concerns. However, this report signals a wake-up call to the fact that, today, the scale, expansion and acceleration of these industries are far greater than most of us realise. We are no longer talking about isolated pockets of destruction and pollution. Nowadays, chances are that, no matter where you live on Earth, land acquisitions for mining, oil and gas might soon be at your door. This trend is now a major driver of land grabbing globally, and poses a significant threat to the world’s indigenous communities, farmers and local food production systems, as well as to precious water, forests, biodiversity, critical ecosystems and climate change. (The Gaia Foundation, 2012)

The Global Land Grab

A concise and indispensable critical guide to the global phenomenon of land grabbing. Find out how the global land grab is justified, what is driving it, why transparency and guidelines won't stop it, and learn about alternatives that could enable people and communities to regain control of their land and territories. (Transnational Institute, 2013)

Conflict or Consent?

Oil palm has become one of the world’s most controversial crops. Lucrative for some, its social and environmental impacts are often severe. To avert criticism, some of the more progressive companies have promised to only finance, produce, trade and buy palm oil that is ‘sustainably’ produced. Since 2005, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) has required that member companies respect communities’ legal and customary rights and only develop oil palm on their lands with their free, prior and informed consent. Are the companies keeping their promises? Have they changed the way they develop and manage lands since this new standard was adopted? This volume of 16 detailed case studies from six countries seeks to answer these questions. ( FPP, Sawit Watch and TUK Indonesia, 2013)

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