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WRI State Amazon Land Rights Brings Billions In Climate and Economic Benefits

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There is new evidence from a report created by the World Resources Institute that suggests the modest investments needed to secure land rights for Indigenous Peoples in the Amazon will generate billions of dollars in returns.

The benefits would be economic, social and environmentally sound for governments, investors and communities.

The report Climate Benefits, Tenure Costs: The Economic Case for Securing Indigenous Land Rights quantifies the economic value of securing land rights for the Indigenous communities who live in and protect forests, with a focus  on Colombia, Brazil, and Bolivia, and implications for the rest of the world.

We now know that there is a clear economic case to be made for ensuring that Indigenous Peoples have secure rights to their land.

“Not only is securing land tenure the right thing to do, it’s one of the world’s most cost-effective climate mitigation strategies,” said Andrew Steer , President and CEO, WRI. “National governments should take note–and move quickly–to secure Indigenous lands and incorporate land rights into their climate change strategies and commitments to the Paris Agreement.”

“In the pursuit of inclusive growth and climate action, we must recognise the profound value of securing land rights for those communities who best protect our forests,” said Lord Nicholas Stern , Chair, Grantham Research Institute, London School of Economics. “Rising to the challenge of the climate crisis requires that we find new and sustainable ways to develop and grow.”

Previous WRI research found that when Indigenous Peoples and communities have secure rights to land, both deforestation rates and carbon emissions in those lands often go down significantly. In the new report, matching analysis data show that the average annual deforestation rates in Bolivia, Brazil and Colombia were significantly lower in tenure-secure indigenous forests than in similar areas without secure tenure: 35% lower in Bolivia, 40% lower in Brazil, and 50% lower in Colombia.

Building on this analysis, the authors calculated the economic value of carbon and other ecosystem services benefits of secure indigenous lands in the Amazon and found billions of dollars in value. The report finds the total estimated benefits of secure indigenous lands in Bolivia are $54 to 119 billion, Brazil $523 billion to 1.165 trillion, and Colombia $123 to 277 billion over the next 20 years, when factoring in global carbon benefits and ecosystem services like clean water, soil retention, pollination, biodiversity, flooding control, and recreation and tourism fees.

The numbers are even more staggering because the costs to secure indigenous land rights in the Amazon are just a few dollars per hectare of forest per year, less than 1 percent of the total economic benefits. The report did not include additional social benefits such as job creation and increased social services, like healthcare and education for local communities.

Moreover, WRI’s report finds that securing indigenous and community lands is cost-effective when compared with other climate mitigation options like carbon capture and storage (CCS). Analysis shows that using CCS to reduce emissions costs 5-29 times more in coal-fired power plants and 7-42 times more in natural gas-fired power plants than achieving the same emissions reductions through securing indigenous forestland tenure.

“Indigenous Peoples and local communities have a long history in using natural resources wisely and adapting to the changing climate in an integrated and sustainable manner,” said Naoko Ishii , CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility (GEF). “Protecting and enhancing the land rights of Indigenous Peoples is a necessary step towards greater economic prosperity and safeguarding our global commons.”

As attention shifts toward implementing the Paris Agreement, too few national climate contributions take secure land rights into account. The new report finds indigenous lands with secure tenure can reduce deforestation and sequester carbon, lowering greenhouse gas emissions and helping curb climate change. The report estimates avoided emissions over 20 years would be at least 31.76 Mt CO2 per year in Brazil, the equivalent to taking more than 6.7 million cars off the road per year.

Estimates for Bolivia are 8.04 Mt CO2 per year and for Colombia 3.01 Mt CO2 per year. Had the Indigenous Peoples in these countries not maintained secure tenure over their lands, the CO2 emissions of each country would be higher — about 9 percent more per year in Bolivia, and 3 percent more per year in Brazil and Colombia. Securing indigenous lands is an effective and cost-effective carbon mitigation strategy that can help countries meet their contributions to the Paris Agreement.

However, analysis by RRI found that only 21 of 197 Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) included clear commitments to implement community-based tenure or natural resource management strategies as part of their emissions reduction plans; including only Bolivia and Guatemala from Latin America. The only country to set a measurable target for the expansion of secure tenure rights was Cambodia.

WRI’s new report shows that securing indigenous land rights could help Colombia meet its national climate commitment. Colombia committed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2030, a total of 67 Mt CO2. The authors calculate that through avoided deforestation on indigenous lands, Colombia could save a minimum of 45 Mt CO2 between 2016-2030, which could achieve 69 percent of its NDC emissions reduction target.

“Securing land rights for indigenous communities in the Amazon truly would have a global impact,” said Helen Ding , lead author and Environmental Economist,WRI. “At the local level, secure land rights would mean clean water, reduced pollution, revenue from ecotourism and forest products, and more. In terms of global carbon mitigation, there are billions of dollars to be gained from slowing deforestation and sequestering carbon in Indigenous forests.”

The report sets forth recommendations for decision-makers from government and other sectors who can establish laws and direct resources toward titling and protecting indigenous and community lands. It also recommends that donors, international development funds and climate finance mechanisms have a role to play to direct new resources to secure indigenous and community lands.

The full report is available at: http://www.wri.org/publication/climate-benefits-tenure-costs

Environment

Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage

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water conserving

While some states are literally flooding due to heavy rains and run-off, others are struggling to get the moisture they need. States like Arizona and California have faced water emergencies for the last few years; water conserving efforts from citizens help keep them out of trouble.

If your area is experiencing a water shortage, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile.

Repair and Maintain Appliances

Leaks around the house – think showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, and more – lead to wasted water. Beyond that, the constant flow of water will cause water damage to your floors and walls. Have repairs done as soon as you spot any problems.

Sometimes, a leak won’t be evident until it gets bad. For that reason, make appointments to have your appliances inspected and maintained at least once per year. This will extend the life of each machine as well as nip water loss in the bud.

When your appliances are beyond repair, look into Energy Star rated replacements. They’re designed to use the least amount of water and energy possible, without compromising on effectiveness.

Only Run Dishwasher and Washer When Full

It might be easier to do a load of laundry a day rather than doing it once per week, but you’ll waste a lot more water this way. Save up your piles of clothes until you have enough to fully load the washing machine. You could also invest in a washing machine that senses the volume of water needed according to the volume of clothes.

The same thing goes with the dishwasher. Don’t push start until you’ve filled it to capacity. If you have to wash dishes, don’t run the water while you’re washing. Fill the sink or a small bowl a quarter of the way full and use this to wash your dishes.

Recycle Water in Your Yard

Growing a garden in your backyard is a great way to cut down on energy and water waste from food growers and manufacturers, but it will require a lot more water on your part. Gardens must be watered, and this often leads to waste.

You can reduce this waste by participating in water recycling. Using things like a rain barrel, pebble filtering system, and other tools, you can save thousands of gallons a year and still keep your landscaping and garden beautiful and healthy.

Landscape with Drought-Resistant Plants

Recycling water in your yard is a great way to reduce your usage, but you can do even more by reducing the amount of water required to keep your yard looking great. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to the area. In California, for example, succulents grow very well, and varieties of cactus do well in states like Arizona or Texas.

Install Water-Saving Features

The average American household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every single day. You obviously can’t cut out things like showering or using the toilet, but you can install a few water-saving tools to make your water use more efficient.

There are low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucet aerators. You could also use automatic shut-off nozzles, shower timers, and grey water diverters. Any of these water saving devices can easily cut your water usage in half.

Research Laws and Ordinances for Your City

Dry states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada must create certain laws to keep the water from running out. These laws are put into practice for the benefit of everyone, but they only work if you abide by the laws.

If you live in a state where drought is common, research your state and city’s laws. They might designate one day per week that you’re allowed to water your lawn or how full you can fill a pool. Many people are not well versed in the laws set by their states, and it would mean a lot to your community if you did your part.

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Environment

Cyprus is the Forerunner for Ecotourism

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When I was looking for a second citizenship, I happened to see One Visa’s offer on Cyprus Citizenship by investment program. I had heard about Cyprus being a beautiful country, but I did not know much else, so I decided to start my own research about this gem of a place.

After I did some research, I discovered that Cyprus is a popular destination for tourists. Unfortunately, heavy tourism and the associated development affected villages here and there, with some communities being slowly abandoned. To avoid this from happening any further, Cyprus went into ecotourism, and today, it is the forerunner in this arena. Let’s look in further detail at ecotourism in Cyprus here.

How was it started?

It all started in 2006 with the launch of the “Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative.” This program has the sole scope of promoting ecotourism developments in the tourism industry. It concentrates on those areas which require conservation and environmental safety. At the same time, it helps develop social, as well as economic statuses in the rural parts of Cyprus. Through this program, the government was able to acknowledge that ecotourism will play an essential role in the future of Cyprus, with the concept gaining momentum among tourists from all over the globe.

How to go about it?

So, now you are interested in going for an ecotourism vacation in Cyprus. How will you go about it? I would immediately say that everyone should visit the quaint Cypriot villages spread throughout the island. These communities have a smaller population, and not many tourists visit. They make for a great relaxing spot. Enjoy seeing the bustle of village life go by where simple pleasures abound. Most hamlets are linked by specific minibus tours which ferry tourists to these havens. These trips will have a regular schedule, aimed at promoting ecotourism further. Such tours will be regulated to ensure that while the villages can benefit and develop, they do not get overpopulated or overcrowded with tourists. Therefore, you can be sure to enjoy the beautiful sceneries that nature has to offer here.

If you are wondering if there are any activities to do here, my answer would be: “Yes, plenty.” You can go for some guided walks across various regions here. Here you will be able to explore the diversified natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Several agritourism activities and services are planned to open shortly. Once launched, you will be able to engage in picking olives, milking goats, and several other such events here.

What can be learned?

Although we are aware that natural resources need to be preserved, we do not always remember it in real life. When we go on tours such as these, we can realize the significance of protecting nature. Also, when more and more people visit these places, the concept of ecotourism will become popular among more people. Awareness about ecotourism is set to grow and spread throughout the world. Subsequently, sustainable tourism will gain popularity around the globe with Cyprus being the forerunner for ecotourism .

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