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Could Granting Indigenous Land Rights Save Us?

Indigenous lands have been a war ground for centuries, as differing interests fight over the richness in them. And in many cases, the tribes who originally lived there became warriors in a broader sense, as they fight to defend their traditional territories.

Indigenous peoples represent only 5 percent of the world's population, but the lands they live in are home to about 80 percent of the worldwide biodiversity - and are very rich on natural resources.

But ownership and control of indigenous territories remains unclear in large regions of Asia, Africa and Latin America.

As climate change comes into focus, indigenous peoples maintain that securing their land rights is critical not only for their communities, but also for climate protection.

Forests play a vital role in the planet's ecosystem, as they lock up atmospheric carbon dioxide, limiting global warming.

Eduardo Fonseca Arraes

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