05 Jun '12, 8pm

How Land Rights Are Turning the World's Rural Poor Into Unexpected Conservationists

© Deborah Espinosa/Landesa By Darryl Vhugen, Senior Attorney at Landesa It is as counterintuitive as it is true: Around the world, communities who have resided on the land the longest often have the most tenuous rights to that land. From the San in Botswana’s Kalahari Desert to the Maya in Guatemala’s highlands, an estimated 220 million indigenous people have lived on the same land since time immemorial but with no formal, documented rights to that land. As world leaders prepare for the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development , there is good reason for delegates to focus on local control and protections of the forests by these groups as a key element of conservation efforts. Indigenous groups have often served as informal guardians of large tracks of forest land or biodiversity hotspots. They have sometimes single-handedly preserved or managed these precious resources...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/environmental-policy/how-land-r...

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