At least a quarter of the world’s land area is owned, managed, used or occupied by indigenous peoples and local communities. While nature in these areas is degrading less quickly than in others, the impact of climate and ecosystem change has a direct impact on local livelihoods.
By 2100, says United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, “We risk a ‘climate apartheid’ scenario where the wealthy pay to escape overheating, hunger and conflict while the rest of the world is left to suffer.” Many, he projects, will be forced to choose between starvation or migration.
Siham Drissi is a Programme Management officer at the Ecosystems division at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Her work focuses on integrated landscape approaches for agriculture, food security, land and resource tenure, and landscape governance. In this interview, she discusses the relationship between indigenous peoples and the land they inhabit.