Indigenous communities, environmental activists, and social rights groups from 25 different countries held a week of protests rights this year in support of the Land Rights Now initiative, a global campaign launched in March 2016 with the goal of doubling the amount of land owned or controlled by Indigenous Peoples by 2020.
Worldwide, indigenous communities only possess full rights and access to roughly one-fifth of the heritage lands to which they are legally entitled. The security of these land rights is both a cultural and climate justice issue. Research shows is that where indigenous communities control their land both carbon storage and biodiversity is correspondingly higher and deforestation rates are lower.
Around the globe indigenous communities face existential threats to both their land rights and cultural sovereignty from unchecked commercial interests including hydroelectric dams, mining and logging operations, cattle ranchers, and palm oil plantations. Now is the time to support those whose ancient cultural heritage of ecoliteracy defends the precious vitality of our planet.