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New Publication by Forest Peoples Programme: Numbers Across the World
Forests cover almost one third of the world’s land area and nearly
all are inhabited by indigenous and rural communities who have customary
rights to their forests and have developed ways of life and traditional
knowledge that are attuned to their forest environments. These
communities have been managing the environment through their own systems
based on traditional knowledge, practices, rules and beliefs for
generations (‘customary use’).
Yet in many countries forest peoples do not have secure tenure over these areas and are denied access and use of their territories because of inadequate government policies, extractive industries’ activities, or conservation initiatives, such as protected areas. At the same time, many indigenous territories are increasingly threatened by unsustainable activities such as logging, mining, cattle ranching and plantations. Where forest-dwelling communities lack legal recognition and where their rights are not protected by national laws, their land is vulnerable to land grabbers and their capacity to defend and sustain their forests and customary livelihoods in the face of corporate and government interests is seriously compromised.
By providing estimated figures for indigenous and forest peoples’ populations in countries and regions across the globe, this report seeks to raise awareness of the existence of peoples who primarily depend on forests for their livelihoods, and to enhance their visibility as key actors and rights-holders in the management and use of forests and forest resources. These figures may serve as a useful reference in advocacy for the recognition of forest peoples’ legal and human rights.
Forest Peoples Programme wishes to emphasise that the estimates provided in this report are by no means conclusive or authoritative and should be used as indicative estimates only. In seeking to address an important gap in the literature on forest peoples worldwide, this report should therefore be considered as a ‘work in progress’ to which any further contributions and comments are most welcome.
Download the report in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Bahasa Indonesia.
Posted By Madiha Qureshi at 10:02am on August 16, 2012
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