Land & Resource Rights

Photograph Courtesy of Bread for the World

Photograph Courtesy of Bread for the World


Responding to climate change can impact the control and management of land in all societies. Responses can improve livelihoods and align with key Sustainable Development Goals while incorporating local and traditional knowledge. 

But aggressive schemes to commodify carbon for market trading, or to mobilize massive stores of biomass for proposed carbon schemes, can have unjust outcomes that lead to the dispossession of communities—loss of lands, resource access, and livelihoods. Some seek to blame ‘shifting cultivators’ for deforestation when in fact trend-lines over the past two decades show a sharp shift toward commodity agriculture—oil palm, beef, soy production—as the leading cause of forest loss. 

The Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform launched at the UNFCCC is intended to “strengthen the knowledge, technologies, practices and efforts of local communities and indigenous peoples related to…climate change, facilitate the exchange of experience and the sharing of best practices….and to enhance the engagement of local communities and indigenous peoples in the UNFCCC process.” Ideally the Platform will also become an arena for reviewing the adequacy of rights provisions in responding to climate change. CLARA member RRI commented on the LCIP Platform at the conclusion of COP23.  (LINK)

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