Why SDG indicators on land are crucial

Originally published at: http://namati.org/why-sdg-indicators-on-land-are-crucial/
Protecting people’s land rights is also about measuring them in the right way. The upcoming Sustainable Development Goals are a historic opportunity to improve the livelihoods of the most marginalized women and men in the world. To do this, we need indicators that do not go below existing international benchmarks that protect people’s land rights. The problem is that we are not yet there… After reading Luca Miggiano’s blog post, do you have questions about the SDG process? Do you think the SDG process will have an impact on land rights efforts? How could we make SDG indicators more meaningful for land protection?

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Thank you Luca for a great update and assessment of the SDGs. I am most concerned about the lack of an indicator that would actually track progress towards increased community/Indigenous land tenure.

Overall, I think there should be a much greater acknowledgement of the rights of Indigenous Peoples in the SDG goals. Indigenous Peoples are some of the most effective and organized land and forest defenders in the world - the international community should do more to empower Indigenous Peoples and support their land rights. The U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples raised similar concerns a few days ago here:

Speaking at U.N. Headquarters on Apr. 27 as part of the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues – which started last week and lasts through Friday – the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz expressed disappointment with the scant efforts to enshrine Indigenous People’s rights in the post-2015 development agenda. “It is very regrettable that out of the 17 (Sustainable Development) Goals, there is no reference to Indigenous People. This does not speak well for the U.N. and its member states,” she said.

(Note that there are references to Indigenous Peoples in the indicators and targets that stem from the goals, but not yet in the goals themselves)

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