Land grabbing still violates the rights of indigenous people


desecrating Indigenous American Land, culture and practices have been an ugly US tradition for centuries. A study However, the study, published earlier this summer, has highlighted the destructive impact modern agricultural and industrial practices are having on indigenous communities around the world.

Although indigenous people make up only about 6% of the world’s population, they are negatively impacted by at least a third of all industrial development projects worldwide, according to researchers from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in Spain and nine other universities around the world in the diary scientific advances.

The international study analyzed hundreds of indigenous communities to find out how land grabs – or large-scale land acquisitions from investors for agriculture and other industries – affected them. They found that there are many industrial projects around the world negatively impacted indigenous communitiesincluding through the loss of land and livelihoods, with the biggest culprits being mining, fossil fuels, agriculture and ranching.

“Our findings provide comprehensive evidence of the magnitude of the environmental pressures faced by many indigenous peoples around the world and bring to the fore the violations of indigenous peoples’ rights associated with these pressures,” the multi-author study reads.

The unfortunate reality here is that governments overall are not doing enough to protect tribal communities from displacement. While in many countries land is reserved for the indigenous people, they are also often willing to quickly confiscate this land as soon as they “need” it for industrial purposes.

“Governments should adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards violations of the rights of tribal peoples and seek trade deals that are conditional on meeting the responsibilities of the UN Declaration [on Indigenous rights] by the companies involved,” said Álvaro Fernández-Llamazares, researcher and co-author of the study, in one report about the research.

Forcing Indigenous communities to leave the lands they have lived on and farmed for generations can have a significant impact on their connection to their cultures, but it inevitably impacts their well-being as well. In countries like IndonesiaRampant deforestation is forcing indigenous peoples to move to cities, often under less than ideal conditions. In BrazilViolence, including kidnapping or even killing of tribal peoples, can be used as a tactic to confiscate tribal land and make way for industry.

Of course, the US is also notorious for mistreating tribal peoples and their lands – even despite long-standing contracts – to extract resources or build luxury projects. During his tenure, former President Donald Trump attempted to throw himself several times sacred indigenous land for mining companies, and the wall he wanted to build between Mexico and the US would do cover hundreds of kilometers of Native American land.

Indigenous communities deserve autonomy, and governments should not be able to withdraw their protections if they decide they need more land. Efforts to protect indigenous land should be taken seriously run by the indigenous communities who will be most affected by them.

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