Few – if any - resources are infinite. As climate change, population growth and other factors increase the pressure on our planet, it is vital that we use what we’ve got without destroying the earth or each other. Global Witness is urging governments, policy makers and consumers to put long-term global and generational interests above short-term political and economic ones.
The world has recently woken up to the vital importance of forests in mitigating and adapting to climate change. If we don’t end and reverse the trend in deforestation, a planetary life support system will be lost and climate change will be severe and irreversible. This grave threat is also a huge opportunity to redefine the political and financial landscape of forests.
But how forests are managed is not just an environmental concern – it’s a human rights and development issue too. Over 1.6bn people live in the world’s forests, and many of them rely on them for everything – the poorer the people, the greater the reliance.
Global Witness is working to ensure forests are managed sustainably, and benefit the communities that directly depend on them. Most critically, this means keeping industrial loggers out of the 20 per cent of forests that have not yet been logged. And it means making sure that governments listen and give all citizens a proper say in what happens to their land.
Protecting forests also depends on properly managing the land on which they stand. Land is the ultimate finite resource but it is rapidly being sold off to investors, leading to widespread human rights and environmental abuses. Global Witness’ land campaign launched in 2012, aims to expose and end the culture of secrecy that surrounds land deals. We want to make it unacceptable for deals to be done behind closed doors, ignoring the rights of communities who have lived off the land for generations.
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