“By mapping such community lands, LandMark aims to “make clear that these lands are not vacant, idle or available to outsiders,” according to a statement by the World Resources Institute (WRI), a member of the steering group.
“This is a unique and path breaking tool,” Andy White, Coordinator of Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), said at the launch of LandMark in Washington DC on November 10. Data of this kind has never been so accessible on a single platform, he added.
In September, a report released by RRI showed that indigenous communities have legal rights to only a fraction of the land they manage: while the communities hold around 65 percent of the world’s land area through customary systems, they have legal rights to only 10 percent of their land.
This huge gap makes the communities vulnerable, destroys their livelihoods, leads to environmental destruction, accelerates climate change, and increases strife and conflict, the report notes.”