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  • Muhammad Zain Rasheed

Indigenous Peoples, Land Rights and Climate Change

Indigenous peoples around the world have a deep connection to the land and its resources, which are essential to their cultural and physical survival. Climate change, however, poses a significant threat to these lands and resources, as rising temperatures, sea levels, and extreme weather events can lead to the loss of traditional territories and the destruction of important ecosystems. As a result, indigenous peoples are disproportionately affected by climate change.

One of the main ways that indigenous peoples are impacted by climate change is through the loss of their traditional lands. Rising sea levels, for example, can flood low-lying areas and force communities to relocate. In addition, extreme weather events such as droughts, wildfires, and floods can damage or destroy important resources, such as crops and freshwater sources.

Indigenous peoples also have a unique relationship with the land and its resources, as they often have traditional knowledge and practices that have been passed down for generations. Climate change can disrupt these traditional ways of life and make it difficult for indigenous communities to continue to live in their traditional territories.

In recognition of these impacts, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) recognizes the rights of indigenous peoples in relation to climate change. This includes the right to participate in decision-making processes, the right to access information, and the right to benefit from climate-related funding and other resources.

However, indigenous peoples often face significant barriers to effectively participating in climate change decision-making processes, including lack of access to information and limited resources.

Overall, climate change poses a significant threat to the lands, resources, and ways of life of indigenous peoples around the world. It is important for governments and other actors to respect and protect the rights of indigenous peoples in relation to climate change, and to ensure that their voices are heard and their needs are met in the development and implementation of climate change policies and actions.

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