Women's management practices and knowledge played an important role in sustaining forests [Photo/UNCCD]
Women's management practices and knowledge played an important role in sustaining forests [Photo/UNCCD]

Indigenous communities not given their due for conserving forests: UNCCD

ANI | Updated: Sep 01, 2019 11:40 IST

New Delhi [India], Sep 1 (ANI): Despite being conserving the forests globally, indigenous people almost never get their due, a report by United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) said.
"These communities are the custodians of around 40 per cent of protected and ecologically intact landscapes and manage nearly 300 billion tonnes of carbon on lands owned by them with almost negligible investment," the report titled 'Forest and Trees: At the heart of land degradation neutrality' stated.
On the other hand, the administration, which spends multi-billions of dollars for managing these green patches are unable to achieve similar results, it added.
Despite being of immense importance to forests, not only are indigenous communities' contributions unrecognized, but they are also forced to struggle for tenure rights, the report went on to say.
"Despite customary rights to more than half of the world's landmass, indigenous and local communities are legally or formally recognized as owning only 10 per cent of global lands," the report noted.
Instead of getting rewards, these indigenous people are punished for conserving the forest. They face criminalization and violence in terms of forced eviction from protected areas, the report read.
The UNCCD also recognized the role of women and stated that women's management practices and knowledge also played an important role in sustaining forests in spite of which, forestry was still a male-dominated sector.
The report was released in the last week of August 2019, just days ahead of the United Nations' Conference of Parties 14 in New Delhi from September 2 to September 14.
Degradation of forest and other lands cost around $10.6 trillion a year, or 17 per cent of the global Gross Domestic Product. The UNCCD report calculates it to be around 1,400 dollars per person globally.
Under the UNCCD, as many as 120 nations have decided to set a voluntary target of Land Degradation Neutrality by 2030. Under this, the world community wants to achieve a state where the amount and quality of land resources remain stable. (ANI)