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Fear of more corona-like pandemics as land rights 'under siege'

Governments' failure to recognise the land rights of indigenous communities and their role in protecting biodiversity could lead to more coronavirus-like pandemics, researchers said on Tuesday. A study of more than 40 countries found many local people's land claims were being ignored, amid increasing deforestation and wildlife exploitation, which may be contributing to a rise in diseases, like COVID-19, that pass from animals to humans. 'Despite compelling evidence that indigenous peoples, local communities, and Afro-descendants protect most of the world's remaining biodiversity, they are under siege from all sides,' said Andy White of the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI).

Thomson Reuters Foundation - September 15, 2020

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