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Land grabbing is worsening the climate change menace, says report

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Washington, Jan 11: Among various reasons that lead to climate change is land grabbing, a new report has found, and it has appealed to the governments to secure community land rights to protect forests that can help mitigating climate change, Washington-based Pulitzer Center said.

Land grabbing is worsening the climate change menace, says report

The Climate Lands Ambition and Rights Alliance (CLARA), a consortium of advocates, organisations and scientists concerned with climate mitigation and adaptation, has said in its report: "Securing community land rights represents an effective, efficient and equitable climate action that governments can undertake to protect the world's forests." Trees absorb carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas which is primarily causing global warming, and more number of trees means more relief to worsening of the climate conditions.

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The report which was released in end 2018 was prepared by CLARA members and it highlights the role of forest-based communities and indigenous people in protecting forests as it causes carbon to sink and why it is important to acknowledge their land rights.

"While half of the world's land is associated with a 'customary land use' claim, only 10% is legally under indigenous and community ownership," the CLARA report said, added the Pulitzer Center.

As per the report, although a large part of the remaining global forest estate is in the hands of indigenous people and local communities, land grabbing by multinational corporations mostly for "commodity agriculture and mining activities" in these communities is resulting in double tragedy by depriving them of their rights and also failing to win the battle against climate change as more and more trees are being destroyed.

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"In the 11 countries of the Nile basin, which stretch from the source of the Nile River in Jinja, Uganda up to Egypt, there were at least 396 "land grabs" since 2000 with contracts totaling 15,967,429 hectares of land, according to the Land Matrix database," the Pulitzer Center report added.

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