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Interactive Map of Indigenous & Community Territories To Secure Land Rights and Boost Forest Conservation



A broad partnership of indigenous coalitions and land rights and research organizations today launched LandMark, the first online, interactive global platform to map lands collectively held and used by Indigenous Peoples and communities.

The platform was created to fill a critical gap in indigenous and community rights and make clear that these lands are not vacant, idle or available to outsiders. These communities often lack the legal rights to their land and can be pushed aside by the exploitative development of natural resources, including mines, palm oil plantations, and timber concessions.
LandMark arrives at a critical juncture, when research provides convincing evidence that Indigenous Peoples and local communities are good stewards of their land and natural resources, keeping carbon in the trees and ground, and thus slowing climate change. The international talks addressing climate change, however, are building towards a treaty conference in Paris but have yet to include Indigenous Peoples’ land rights as an agreed-upon tool to limit the amount of carbon that human activity releases into the atmosphere.

“To us, the detailed mapping of our ancestral territories, led by local indigenous communities, help us articulate our constitutionally recognized rights,” said Abdon Nababan, Secretary-General of the Indonesia’s Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN). “But these maps do us no good unless they become public knowledge and indigenous rights are recognized by all who have ambitions to grab our lands and these rights are actively protected by government. LandMark is an important tool for us in the process of gaining legal recognition of our constitutional rights.”

In the beta version being launched today, LandMark compiles data from hundreds of sources and shows detailed boundaries for thousands of indigenous and community lands in countries around the world, with many more to be added as data becomes available. In addition to the boundaries of indigenous territories and community lands, the platform features the percentage of national land held and used by Indigenous Peoples and communities, and a detailed overview of the legal security of indigenous and community lands rights in many countries around the world.

“There are practical reasons why legal recognition of community lands is imperative for a safer twenty-first century”, said Liz Alden Wily, an international land specialist resident in Kenya. “The notion that without paper title millions of hectares are unowned has become an intolerable fiction and an abuse of human rights that cannot be sustained in today’s connected world. Secure rural tenure for all is also a logical platform for more inclusive economic growth. Securing community lands is as much about looking forward to a sounder future as about remedy of legally dubious and unjust pasts.”

Research has shown that while Indigenous Peoples and local communities have customary rights to up to 65 percent of the global land area, they have ownership rights to just 10 percent, leaving the vast majority of their territories available to environmentally destructive development.
A new analysis released last week shows that the economic benefits to securing these rights outweigh the costs of not granting them. Forest nations around the world—from Democratic Republic of Congo to Indonesia—can secure land rights as part of a developmental strategy that would also make a dent in emissions from deforestation.

“Collectively held land is a global issue – not a northern or southern issue,” said Peter Veit, director of the World Resources Institute’s Land and Resources Rights initiative. “By visualizing the locations of Indigenous Peoples and local communities—involving perhaps 2 billion people—LandMark pushes their existence into the calculations of those making decisions about climate change, economic development, poverty alleviation, and natural resources conservation. LandMark provides Indigenous Peoples and communities the opportunity to be proactive in their efforts to protect their lands, not just reactive to imminent threats.”


A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon




energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”



IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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