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RRI First Quarter Newsletter: January-March, 2012
(To see the full list of RRI impacts and activities from January to March, click here)
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
As global financial forces thrust the developing world's natural resources into focus, disenfranchised local communities are raising their voices to protect their right to use the land that has sustained them for generations.
Mere confrontation, however, is not their goal. Many local and Indigenous Peoples want the infrastructure and development that large-scale investments aim to provide-but they also need, more than ever before, to be included in the decisions that will radically change their lives and traditional means of livelihood.
We began the first quarter of 2012 by taking stock of the key questions, challenges and possibilities faced in 2011, and taking a long view of the future in RRI's annual review, TURNING POINT: What future for forest peoples and resources in the emerging world order?. The three billion people that currently live in the world's forests and drylands with little legal security for their customary rights are increasingly vulnerable to conflict, land-grabbing and widespread rights abuses. The emergence of new economic powers has propelled agribusinesses into regions that often lack mechanisms of redress for local people when their rights are ignored.
For example, Indonesia saw a rise of 18 percent in foreign direct investment in 2011, a significant portion of which was in agriculture. However, the nearly 2,800 land disputes recorded by the country's National Land Agency in the same period, and the 738 complaints of human rights abuses arising from such disputes, give cause for concern. The bar must be raised for accountability and oversight wherever community rights are at stake.
Fortunately, there is unprecedented opportunity to make things right. The success of community-managed forests over the past two decades is one of the few feats that can be celebrated when the world meets at the Rio+20 summit this June. Bolstered by strong evidence, there really are more governments, more investors and more large conservation actors who are increasingly aware of the risks of business as usual. And the grounds are riper than ever before for stakeholders in global development to realize that secure land rights are good for people, good for business, and good for the environment.
- Rights and Resources Initiative
Posted By Angela Strader at 2:41pm on April 30, 2012
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