Worsening land inequality widens gender, climate change gaps

by Rina Chandran

Source : Thomson Reuters Foundation News

Land inequality is growing worldwide, threatening the livelihoods of 2.5 billion people who directly rely on farming and widening disparities in gender, health and climate-change impacts, researchers warned on Tuesday.

The widening gap in ownership and access to land especially hurts small and marginal farmers, women, and indigenous and rural communities, according to a report by the International Land Coalition (ILC) and anti-poverty charity Oxfam.

While rural and indigenous communities are being squeezed into smaller parcels of land or uprooted entirely, land is increasingly concentrated in fewer hands, mainly those of large agriculture businesses and investors, the research showed.

“As corporate and financial investments grow, ownership and control of land becomes more concentrated and increasingly opaque,” said Ward Anseeuw, an analyst at ILC and co-author of the report.

“Land inequality reduces opportunities for younger rural generations, especially girls, to improve their lives. In the longer term, it is detrimental to human development, socio-political stability, and environmental sustainability.”

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