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.
Yesterday, the day before Indigenous Day, the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) included indigenous rights in its Special Report on Climate Change and Land.
This is a landmark action. In doing this, the IPCC have recognized that Indigenous peoples are crucial in combatting global climate change, by preventing deforestation and preserving ecosystems.
On the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, IPS correspondent Stella Paul speaks to indigenous women in Korchi village in western India, about what it means to own their own land.
In Brazil, a struggle over the future of the Amazon is taking place. The struggle will have global impact.