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Indigenous Peoples have ownership, use and management rights over at least a quarter of the world's land surface according to a new study published this week in the journal Nature Sustainability.
The 38 million square kilometers (14.6 million square miles) are spread across 87 countries or politically distinct areas and overlap with about 40 percent of all terrestrial protected areas.
Results - Study - Evidence - Rights - Peoples
The results of the study provides strong evidence that recognizing the rights of Indigenous Peoples to their traditional lands and waters is not only an ethical obligation it is essential to meeting local and global conservation goals. The authors say that more collaborative partnerships between Indigenous Peoples and governments would yield significant benefits for conservation of ecologically valuable landscapes, ecosystems, and genetic diversity for future generations.
"Understanding the extent of lands over which Indigenous Peoples retain traditional connection is critical for several conservation and climate agreements," said Professor Stephen Garnett from Charles Darwin University in Australia who led the international consortium that developed the maps. "Not until we pulled together the best available published information on Indigenous lands did we really appreciate the extraordinary scale of Indigenous Peoples' ongoing influence," he said.
People - Indigenous - Populations - Country - Time
There are at least 370 million people who define themselves as Indigenous, are descended from populations who inhabited a country before the time of conquest or colonization, and who retain at least some of their own social, economic, cultural and political practices. The proportion of countries with indigenous people is highest in Africa and lowest in Europe-West Asia.
Said Dr. Ian Leiper, also from Charles Darwin University, who was responsible for assembling much of the mapping information: "We are not surprised this has never been done before. It has taken three years to track down credible...
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