Ensuring that forest dwellers have rights over their land is vital for slowing deforestation that may be causing up to a fifth of the world’s emissions of greenhouse gases, says a new report by the nonprofit organization Rights and Resources Initiative, that is RRI, reports Elain Kurtenbach of the Associated Press. The report hopes to encourage June’s U.N. Rio de Janeiro summit to tackle the politically contentious issue of land reforms. Studies in China, India and Brazil show local residents must have a say over how forests are used to ensure sustainability, says RRI. China has made significant progress in restoring its forest cover while also allowing residents to make a living from plantations, forest products and tourism, it continues. In southwestern China, local communities are allowed to vote on whether to manage the forests collectively, much as they would traditionally, or to manage sections individually. Such reforms have aided replanting, increasing both India’s and China’s forests slightly over the past decade. During that time other Asian countries saw no change, or declines, where often corrupt governments deny local land rights and practice destructive forest exploitation.
Land rights key to saving forests and climate, study shows. Ensuring that forest dwellers have rights over their land is vital for slowing the deforestation that may be causing up to a fifth of the world’s emissions of greenhouse gases, according to a report aimed at encouraging next month’s U.N. summit in Rio de Janeiro to tackle the contentious issue of land reforms. Associated Press http://newsletters.dailyclimate.org/t/88947/26488/92293/0/