Islamic Relief is backing calls for community land rights and protection for the world’s forests and ecosystems.

In its new report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says that climate change is adding to the increasing pressure that humans are putting on land.

‘The Special Report on Climate Change and Land’ report points out that the way we use land is integral to stopping the climate emergency. Land degradation and rapidly using up the Earth’s natural resources are driving the impacts of climate change. This is worsening poverty, forcing people from their homes, and fuelling conflict.

We’ll only be able to keep global warming to below 2⁰C, the IPCC says, by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors including land and food.

The report provides further scientific support for Islamic Relief’s policies and interventions. We believe that securing community land rights and protecting forests and ecosystems can help end poverty and make sure land is managed sustainably.

Protecting biodiversity and increasing resilience

Adaptation helps reduce the impact of the changing climate. Agroecological and climate sensitive food production can protect biodiversity and increase resilience while reducing emissions, poverty and food insecurity.

In the developed world, equitably reducing consumption, particularly of animal products, is the single most effective climate intervention in the land sector. It would also promote healthier diets.

The latest IPCC report can be seen in the context of Islamic Relief’s wider resilience building and adaptation work with poor people around the word.

Immediate action needed to respond to climate crisis

Land, value chain and risk management based responses are one part of the story in terms of limiting temperature rise. We urge decision makers to adopt the climate ambition and immediate actions to limit warming to 1.5⁰ described in the previous IPCC report, alongside the compelling messages in this new document.

Changing our relationship with the land is a vital part of limiting climate change. We need urgent action to stop deforestation, halt damaging farming practices, and use indigenous knowledge to protect and restore ecosystems.

Alongside the scientific evidence offered in the IPCC reports, Islamic Relief believes that guiding principles, ethics and values can be used to motivate individuals, mobilise communities and drive decisions to ensure environmental sustainability and a future for humanity.