A global effort to give small farmers and indigenous communities control over lands is the best hope we have to deal with climate change and feed the world’s growing population.
As governments converge on Lima for the UN Climate Change Conference, the brutal killing of Peruvian indigenous activist Edwin Chota and three other Ashaninka men this past September is shining a spotlight on the connection between deforestation and indigenous land rights. The simple truth is plain to see: the most effective and just way to prevent deforestation and its impacts on the climate is to recognise and respect the sovereignty of indigenous peoples’ over their territories.
Peru’s violent land conflicts also bring into focus another issue of equal importance to climate change that can no longer be ignored: the concentration of farmland in the hands of a few.
Small farms of less than 5 hectares represent 78%…
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