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01-13: Can Modern Tools Help Protect Tribal Lands?
Indigenous Peoples and Fragmented Landscapes: Empirical Evidence from 22 Tribal Groups in India
Visiting Scholar, Wageningen University
This evidence-based research, as part of the Landing Together* initiative, is about forest and land governance of India’s 22 Indigenous Communities in 10 states. It analyses how recognition through various legislations is fostering and/ or fragmenting traditional land and forest tenure.
Between 2015 and 2016, for 20 months, the author conducted an extensive ethnography study, including audio-visual recording of interviews with 22 marginal tribal groups, pastoralists, government officials, former militants, political leaders and civil societies in 16 tribal districts all over India. Each of the case studies highlights specific issues such as conflicts due to Eco-Sensitive Zone in Assam and Elephant corridors in Tamil Nadu, collective forest resources of pastoralists in Gujarat, opencast mines in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, oil palm plantation replacing shifting cultivation in Mizoram, timber plantations in Odisha under the new CAMPA Bill, the weak functioning of Gram Panchayats, and inappropriate land acquisitions in Rajasthan.
The analytical framework of this paper underlines two aspects of ‘recognition’: (1) traditional forest and land rights, and (2) indigenous self-identity for Forest Citizenship. It shows that national demand for timber and mineral resources influence the policy decision to recognize indigenous peoples’ land rights and forest citizenship.
Impact of land rights and titles on agriculture in tribal villages in India
1Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, India; 2National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (NIRD & PR), India; 3Griffith University, Australia
The paper examined the status of land rights (land title) and its impact on the agricultural productivity and food security in tribal (indigenous people without land rights) villages in India. The study is an outcome of an intensive field survey of 36 tribal villages without land rights and another 24 non-tribal villages adjacent to the tribal villages by interviewing 714 tribal and 479 non-tribal farmers.
Overall, in tribal villages (without land rights and titles by households), farmers mostly follow low-input and low-output cultivation for subsistence purpose. The share of uncultivated land was higher, out migration from the villages was also higher. Agriculture is mostly primitive, with less adoption of improved technology compared to non-tribal villages with proper land rights and titles. Tribals without land rights and titles are not able to benefit from government as well as private institutions in getting credit, farm extension, seed and other inputs.
There is a need for increasing effectiveness of land rights and titles among the tribal villages and indigenous people in India to increase investment, productivity and food security and to reduce poverty among the tribal population in India.
“The Rural Environmental Registry (CAR) - an Opportunity for Integrated Environmental Land Management for Traditional Peoples and Communities in Brazil?"
1GIZ (German Development Cooperation), Brazil; 2Ministry of Environment, Brazilian Forest Service, Brazil; 3Ministry of Environment, Secretariat for Extractivism and Rural Development, Brazil; 4University of Brasilia, Brazil
Tropical forests in Brazil are not only important for sequestrating carbon, thus reducing net emissions and mitigating global climate change effects, they are also a space for securing livelihoods and preserving the cultural, spiritual and religious practices of traditional peoples and communities. The New Forest Code of 2012 established the obligatory rural environmental registry “CAR – Cadastro Ambiental Rural” for the protection and restoration of forest areas on rural land in Brazil. Traditional peoples and communities require that their cultural and territorial specificities are inclusively considered in the CAR system and in the process of environmental regularization so that their land rights are secured and they can also benefit from public socio-environmental programs. This paper discusses how the CAR can be truly inclusive of diverse traditional communities and how it can best contribute to improving their access to public policies and to promoting Integrated Environmental Land Management.
Avoiding the Worst-Case Scenario: Whether Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in Africa and Asia are Vulnerable to Expropriation without Compensation
University of Groningen
This paper examines whether national expropriation and land laws in 30 countries across Asia and Africa put Indigenous Peoples and local communities at risk of expropriation without compensation. In particular, this paper examines whether national laws ensure that communities are eligible for compensation, and whether eligibility requirements effectively close the door on communities seeking compensation. The analysis is based on an assessment of national-level expropriation and compensation procedures, and also draws on research findings from the legal indicator data available on LandMark, a global platform of indigenous and community lands. The analysis measures national expropriation and land laws against a set of "compensation security" indicators. The indicators ask questions about whether laws impose restrictions on the rights of communities to receive compensation upon expropriation. The indicators were developed based on the principles established in the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure (2012) (VGGTs). By measuring national laws against international standards, and examining whether these 30 countries’ national laws provide potential loopholes through which governments may expropriate community land without compensating affected communities, this paper highlights legal gaps that must be filled in order for the VGGTs to be adopted in these 30 countries.
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Conference: Land and Poverty 2017
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