Even though burning of fossil fuels supports rapid economic growth for decades, it has in part, along with global warming set-off dangerous consequences, with climate change today threatening to roll back decades of development progress. From higher temperatures and rising sea levels to changing rainfall patterns, with more frequent events of extreme weather; climate change is seemly not something that was cook-up by scientists, as it is being doubted in some quarters.
The debilitating impact is now unambiguous and very real on many countries’ rapidly growing cities and their populations, making the need to respond more urgent. But Progress towards climate change since 1992 till today has proved disappointing. Environmental damage has worsened, the poorest has become even poorer, with the gap between the rich and the poor ever widening.
The effect of climate change is also boomeranging on land asset as the two are intricately linked together. When the world watch helplessly and sharply divided over climate change and control, relationship among land and social actors continues to conduce into conflicts, as we have seen from conflicts over the control and distribution of access to land or renewable resources (forests, water, grazing, etc.), arising from historical inequalities or recent land grabbing to conflicts over the regulation of different uses of the same space: between farmers and herders, between extraction and agriculture, between extraction and forest use, and between urban, industrial and agricultural uses of water, and to conflicts over insecure rights and lack of legal recognition (customary rights, tenants’ rights, claims arising from the regularization of irregular neighbor-hoods, etc.) Forced evictions, land dispossession, inadequate compensation for livelihoods and biodiversity losses, environmental degradation, as well as other related activities, resulted in landless or limited access to land. These developments negatively impacted social cohesion and peace and, increased the burden of household food provision on the shoulders of women, as the latter sometimes had to take full responsibility of malnourished kids, as well as ensure that there was food on the family table.
As the search for solution continues, CIAN believes that, the twin goals of ending extreme poverty and overcoming the problem of land governance cannot be achieved without first tackling climate change. With this understanding, we also wish to affirm that, without urgent action to reduce vulnerability, provide access to basic services, and build resilience; climate change impacts could push millions of people more into poverty. For this reason, we advocate for adoption of climate-smart agriculture, better management of water and other natural resources, expansion of climate-responsive social protection, as well as sustainable forest management that supports livelihoods and economic growth.