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1.3 billion people rely on forests to survive

May 29, 2012

Full Article at http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21812-13-billion-people-rely-on-forests-to-survive.html

by Michael Marshall

Hands off our forest! The UN has adopted a series of voluntary guidelines to protect indigenous peoples’ rights to the land on which they live. And not before time, as a recent report suggests hundreds of millions could be evicted by modern-day land grabs.

Many indigenous peoples have lived in the same place for centuries, but they do not have legal tenure. Forest peoples, who live in the rainforests of South America, Africa and south-east Asia, are particularly vulnerable. Their forests are often sold or leased to companies or foreign countries for farming, logging or mining. The local people are usually evicted.

The sheer scale of the problem is highlighted in a report from the Forest Peoples Programme in the UK. The FPP estimates that roughly 1.3 billion people – more than one-seventh of the global population – are directly dependent on forests.

At least 350 million could lose their homes in land grabs, says Sophie Chao of the FPP, because their rights to the land are not recognised under national law.

Full Article at http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21812-13-billion-people-rely-on-forests-to-survive.html

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