Land for Communities: Fulfilling Human Rights and Protecting the Planet

Half the land in the world today, including forests, grasslands, and small farms, belongs to and is managed by local communities and indigenous peoples. Two and a half billion people depend on this land for their livelihoods. Yet it is estimated that these communities have recognized rights over only one fifth of their land. National governments are obligated by international human rights law to recognize the rights of indigenous peoples and to protect the right to food and other rights of rural communities. In addition to fulfilling human rights, there are many additional benefits of protecting community land rights: reduction of conflict, reduction of involuntary migration pressures, and protection of the ecosystems that cool our warming planet. Unfortunately, much community-held land is at risk of being grabbed by business interests, with the complicity of governments.

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  • Date Published March 2019
  • Number of Pages 4
Burned – Deception, Deforestation and America’s Biodiesel Policy

A trip down a dusty dirt road in northern Argentina provides a picture of the reality of the modern biodiesel industry. On the left-hand side lies a pristine forest, teeming with wildlife: howler monkeys, tapirs, and jaguars. On the right, new soy fields are being carved into pristine forest. Burnt trees and the white ash they leave behind stretch for as far as the eye can see.

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  • Date Published January 9, 2018
  • Number of Pages 16
Land Rights, Palm Oil and Conflict in Guatemala

Indigenous peoples and small-scale farmers in Guatemala, especially women, are facing an ongoing threat to their existence due to loss of their land to agribusiness plantations. Indigenous communities in the municipality of Raxruhá in Alta Verapaz are confronting land grabbing by palm oil companies. The State of Guatemala must recognize community land rights, and governments… read more

  • Date Published September 2017
  • Number of Pages 4
Implementing the Tenure Guidelines for Women and Small-scale Food Producers

This report assesses the legal framework and tenure governance arrangements in Mozambique, Tanzania, Senegal, and Haiti, with a concentration on women and small-scale food producers.

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  • Date Published October 8, 2015
  • Number of Pages 61
New Alliance, New Risk of Land Grabs: Evidence from Malawi, Nigeria, Senegal and Tanzania

Ten African countries have signed up to the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition – the G8 countries’ main strategy for supporting agriculture in Africa that was launched in 2012. As the New Alliance has been under way for three years, some of its likely impacts are becoming clearer.

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  • Date Published June 3, 2015
  • Number of Pages 44
Take Action – Stop EcoEnergy’s Land Grab in Bagamoyo, Tanzania

Rural communities in the Bagamoyo district of Tanzania are opposing a much-lauded sugar cane plantation project planned by EcoEnergy, a Swedish-owned company that has secured a lease of over 20,000 hectares of land for the next 99 years and which is about to push smallholder producers off their land.

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  • Date Published March 18, 2015