Ensuring that investment in agriculture is done responsibly is vital for indigenous peoples, whose identities and cultural survival are inextricably linked to their lands and natural resources. Respecting this link is a fundamental principle in international law and jurisprudence, the recognition of which indigenous peoples have fought for and won and which reaffirms their right to determine the outcome of decision-making that affects them, rather than merely being involved in the process.
More than three years after the adoption of the Tenure Guidelines land and natural resource grabs in all forms continue unabated around the world, visiting their devastating impacts on local communities, environments with related human rights violations. The implementation and application of the Tenure Guidelines, therefore, remains a matter of extreme urgency.
Shifting cultivation is a form of agro-forestry in which the cultivation of annual agricultural crops is combined with fallowing long enough for trees to grow before the plot is cultivated again. Why is shifting cultivation so controversial, and why do different stakeholders hold such divergent views - for some a valuable and honourable tradition but for others virtually a criminal activity?