Land Rights for People in Rural Areas can Improve Forest Management, Halt Deforestation – New Policy Recommendations Published
In 2019 the world lost 46,000 square miles of forest – an area the size of a soccer field every six seconds, according to researchers. The destruction of these forests – which shelter a kaleidoscope of plant and animal species, offer livelihoods for indigenous and local communities, and store vast amounts of carbon necessary to mitigate climate change – is preventable. With strong land rights, women and men across the globe can slow down deforestation and contribute to restoring forests.
Landesa has released a new policy brief detailing the ways that stronger land rights for people living in rural areas can improve climate mitigation efforts, contribute to the success of Community Forest Groups, encourage adoption of Climate Smart Agriculture, and create opportunities for women to invest in their land.
A proof point can be found in Myanmar, where Landesa is partnering with the Forest Department and local civil society groups to help secure rights to forestland for rural communities, part of on an ambitious effort to certify 1.5 million acres of community forest.
Ma Phyu, who lives in the Tanintharyi Region in southern Myanmar, recently received a land certificate guaranteeing her right to land she had been farming for two decades.
After years living with the uncertainty of insecure land rights and the threat of eviction by more powerful interest groups, she now feels empowered to take control of her land to boost her family’s income and preserve vital forest.
“Before, we always had to worry about whether our farms would be removed or if we would be sued for trespassing,” she said. “Now, I am confident… and dare to announce to anyone that this is my farm.”