Reading Around the Internet: September 22, 2014

Land Rights and Sustainability

A recent report by Rights and Resources and presented at the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples argues that recognizing the fundamental rights of indigenous peoples living in tropical areas must include securing their rights to their land and thus, to their livelihood, and that this would not only help indigenous peoples economically, but would also help to maintain the forests. As the report states, “Secure local land rights are increasingly recognized as a low-cost strategy to reduce forest carbon emissions; a means to reduce financial risk to investments and secure a sustainable supply of commodities; and a basic human right of the people whose lives and livelihoods rely on local resources.”

Vulnerable Populations and Property Rights

An interesting story from the Asia Foundation discusses various property rights issues that have emerged in Asia. They write that there are key areas that are impacted when land tenure is insecure: “displaced women in conflict and post-conflict countries, urban land tenure for youth, and innovative technologies improving land tenure for vulnerable populations.” This echoes both the report mentioned above written by Rights and Resources and another I had blogged about published by the Open Society Institute a few months ago. Taken all together, there is an emerging consensus among advocates worldwide that property rights matter to a stable and healthy society in part because they protect some of the most vulnerable people in a society.


Yes indeed, here’s my obsession again: The Washington Post had a fascinating story this weekend about volcanologists — no, they are not people who study Vulcans. They study volcanoes…  Sometimes, this involves running and finding cover as hot ash and red-hot rocks fly at them. Sometimes they get to stand back in awe and just watch. No matter what, they have interesting jobs. The story is great and covers some of the current volcanic activity and includes some beautiful and dramatic photos.