Failure to Secure Forest Inhabitants' Rights Risks Carbon Spike
Securing the land rights of indigenous people and forest dwellers is crucial to keeping global rises in temperature below the agreed 2 degree Celsius threshold, according to a report.
Community forest lands from Brazil to Indonesia contain at least 54,546 million metric tons of carbon, equivalent to four times the global carbon emissions in 2014, according to analysis by the Rights and Resources Initiative, Woods Hole Research Center and World Resources Institute.
Without secure rights for the communities that live in these forests, there is a risk that the people will be displaced and the lands destroyed, releasing the carbon into the atmosphere, said the report published on Wednesday.
"The global community needs to recognise the scientific evidence: keeping tropical forests intact prevents carbon emissions, and forest peoples do the job better than anyone else," Katie Reytar, a research associate at World Resources Institute, said in the report.