Land Portal Launches a Portfolio on Land, Climate Change and Environment

Climate change has negative consequences for sustainable development, undermining the gains of intensive farming in developing countries and destabilizing existing land and resource governance institutions and property rights. In recent years, climate change has received a significant amount of media attention, and the impacts of climate change on the ground are now more real than ever. These impacts include sea-level rise, changes in temperature and rainfall patterns, water scarcity, natural disasters, and extreme weather events. Due to climate change, many rural communities have incurred substantial social, economic, and environmental costs from transformations in local production systems.  Climate change has also been a catalyst for changes to tenure systems, causing increased competition for access to rights to natural resources, conflict, displacement, land degradation and long-term migration.

Given that tenure security has been shown to mitigate climate change by decreasing deforestation rates and contributing other climate benefits, a firm knowledge base is needed to better understand and identify options for using land and resource governance institutions at national and local levels to support the design of appropriate policies, laws and programmes that combat climate change. Climate-proofing land management means respecting the integrity and safe-keeping customary, statutory, indigenous and informal property rights, as well as ensuring that knowledge on climate change is incorporated into land administration systems.

To raise awareness on these issues, the Land Portal is launching a Land, Climate Change and Environment Portfolio.  The Portfolio contains a broad range of indicators, datasets, publications, news articles, blogs and other resources related to land, climate change, and the environment. For the first time ever, this Portfolio brings together data and 7,205 Land Library Resources on the subject matter and provides a unique entry point for experts, researchers and practitioners to learn more and exchange information on these issues.

The Portfolio also contains a compelling narrative written by Dr. Nayna Jhaveri, Independent Land Tenure Specialist.  The narrative discusses the nexus between climate change and tenure rights, and more specifically, delves into the specific role that tenure and property rights play in building resilience in the face of climate change.  According to Dr. Jhaveri, “proactively bringing a climate lens to understanding how tenure regimes can strengthen the ability of communities to sustain livelihoods and protect the natural resource conditions is essential. The key is working towards secure enough tenure regimes where rights to land and natural resources are not arbitrarily contested but do not necessarily require formalization of tenure.”

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