Farmers with secure land rights are better able to take care of their land and respond to the impacts of climate change. In Myanmar, Landesa is working with communities and the government to promote Community Forest Certificates, which legalize a way of life local people have been practicing for generations: farming among the trees. Besides giving families rights to farm and live in the forests, CFC's also gives community members responsibilities for caring for this important natural area.
Without secure rights to land, people are unable to invest in their farms making them more vulnerable to the effects of climate change. They are also less likely to fallow, terrace, or practice sustainable agroforestry. Lack of secure land rights also makes the land vulnerable to land grabs and extractive industries depleting natural resources. In Myanmar, 1 in 3 people live below the poverty line and without secure rights to land many are unable to break the cycle of poverty.
Communities that have secure land rights are better able to invest in their land and protect natural areas. The Community Forestry program in Myanmar also designates certain responsibilities to communities to protect and preserve forests, which helps combat climate change. With secure, legal land rights, communities are better able to respond to shifting weather patterns and other impacts of climate change.
Landesa advises on the protection of more than 400,000 acres of forestland which is being allocated to forest dwelling farmers. This land borders more than 1 million acres of parks in Thailand, creating a critical forest corridor that sequesters millions of tons of carbon and protects the habitat for endangered species such as the Indochinese tiger. With secure rights to land, rural communities can thrive while also protecting this important natural area.