Category Archives: Access to Land Issues

Asia Land Forum: Shaping land agenda and defining land rights to achieve food sovereignty

Participants of the Asia Land Forum.

Participants of the Asia Land Forum.

The Asia Land Forum was held on 5 September 2016 in Ortigas Center, Quezon City, Philippines. Divided into two parts, the Forum engaged the Philippine Government on the proposed legislative land agenda of the CSO members of the International Land Coalition (ILC), and provided space for knowledge exchanges on achieving food sovereignty through advancing land rights. Around 85 participants from the Governments of Philippines, Nepal, and Cambodia; intergovernmental organizations (ADB, FAO, IFAD, WB); CSO representatives from Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines and Thailand  took part in the discussion.

The morning session on “Shaping the Land Agenda in the Philippines” pressed on the land agenda for the Duterte Adiministration under the framework of land rights as human rights. Philippine CSO members of ILC demanded for the passage of the (i) Completion of Notice of Coverage Bill or the NOC Bill, (ii) Indigenous Community Conservation Area (ICCA) Bill, and (iii) the National Land Use Act (NLUA) Bill, collectively called as the “Triple Land Rights Bills,” to effectively address land rights issues that affects the lives of marginalized sectors such as indigenous peoples, farmers and fisher folks as well as the urban poor communities.

Wilson Requez of the People’s Campaign for Agrarian Reform Network, Inc. (AR Now!) discussed that more than 69,000 hectares (ha) of landholdings are yet to be covered for redistribution (DAR Status Report, 2016) under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). With the failure to pass the NOC Bill on completing the land acquisition and distribution provision of the CARP during the 16th Congress, it is hoped that in this 17th Congress, the Bill will be passed as the legislative champions for agrarian reforms both in the Lower and Upper Housed have already filed bills for the Completion of Notice of Coverage and are hoping to sustain the momentum it gained during the 16th Congress.

Dave de Vera of the Philippine Association for Intercultural Development (PAFID) highlighted the importance of ICCAs in conserving indigenous people (IP)’s lives and source of livelihood leading to biodiversity conservation. Hence, the passage of the ICCA Bill will further strengthen the mandate of the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act (IPRA) and will highlight the very important role of IPs in the conservation of our remaining resources.

Lastly, Elmer Mercado, EnP of the Campaign for Land Use Policy Now! (CLUP Now!) stressed that a clear land use policy through the NLUA should be passed to rationalize the use of lands and address the current degradation of country’s land resources.

Representative Teddy Baguilat  committed to support the passage of these Bills in the current Congress.

During the afternoon session on “Realizing the sustainable development goals: Defending land rights of communities to achieve food sovereignty in the region,” participants discussed the food security priorities of international organizations and selected Asian countries and sustainable development goals in the context of hunger and land rights.

Fifty-two representatives of grassroots organizations, peoples’ movements and CSOs from 10 Asian countries signed the Quezon City Declaration on Food Sovereignty calling upon concerned States, institutions, and corporations to respect and adhere to the 12 principles of the Declaration on protecting and strengthening land rights towards food sovereignty. See Declaration here.

The Asian NGO Coalition for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ANGOC), the International Land Coalition (ILC), the GIZ, and the Philippine Development Forum-Working Group on Sustainable Rural Development Forum (PDF-SRD), in partnership with AFA, AR NOW!, CARRD, PAKISAMA, PAFID, TFM and XSF organized this event.

Peter Hauschnik of GIZ opening the Forum

Peter Hauschnik of GIZ opening the Forum

 

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ANGOC Chairperson Emeritus Fr. Francis Lucas opening the Forum.

 

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Representative Teddy Baguilat giving his reaction to the presentation on the proposed NOC Bill,

Highlighting land tenure security in drafting the New Urban Agenda for Habitat III

Panel during the side event on Land and Housing at the Core of the New Habitat Agenda. Photo by Habitat International Coalition.

Panel during the side event on Land and Housing at the Core of the New Habitat Agenda. Photo by Habitat International Coalition.

During the third and Preparatory Committee session for the Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development or Habitat III in Surabaya, Indonesia on 27 July 2016, the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) in collaboration with UN-Habitat, Huairou Commission, Habitat for Humanity International, Landesa, Habitat International Coalition (HIC), and the Asian NGO Coalition for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ANGOC) hosted a side event on Land and Housing at the Core of the New Habitat Agenda: Recommendations and Key Messages.

The side event aimed to analyze the centrality of ensuring tenure security and rights to adequate and affordable land and housing for the success of the New Habitat Agenda, and describe good practices, tools and links to policy instruments that promote secure tenure for all and responsible land governance.

Recognizing that land is a key driver to urban and rural development, speakers have highlighted the importance of securing land tenure rights for all to enhance resilience to the impacts of climate change, mediating competing interests, while ensuring transparency and accountability. Discussed as well are the importance of land use planning in ensuring sustainable and safe cities and human settlements; and women’s access, ownership, inheritance, and control over land in transforming their wellbeing, economic and social status, resilience to disaster and climate threats, and for the development of the community and society.

ANGOC Executive Director Nathaniel Don Marquez has presented the works of the Land Watch Asia (LWA) Campaign during the session on “Sustainable Land use and responsible land governance.”

Discussions in this side event will be an input to the drafting the New Urban Agenda which will be announced during the Habitat III Conference on 17-20 October in Quito, Ecuador.

Cambodian CSOs visit the Philippines

To learn about the land and housing laws, and the strategies of the CSO in ensuring the access of resource rights among the sectors, the NGO Forum on Cambodia (NGOF) organized the Learning Visit on Land and Housing Rights in the Philippines on 26-28 July 2016. Representatives from Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT), Focus on the Global South, Equitable Cambodia (EC), and Community Legal Education Center (CLEC), and ADHOC Cambodia also took part in the study tour.

Hosted by ANGOC, the first day focused on the Philippine land laws and the strategies and experiences of CSOs in pursuing their advocacies on agrarian reform and land use. While Philippines has many asset reform laws rooting to the Philippine Constitution of 1987, they are highly sectoral in approach; thus overlapping provisions and jurisdictions persist in the country resulting to resource conflicts among different sectors. Hence, the Philippine CSOs push for the passage of the National Land Use Act (NLUA) Bill. CSOs and advocacy groups who presented their advocacy experiences were The People’s Campaign for Agrarian Reform Network Incorporated (AR Now!), Center for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (CARRD), and Campaign for Land Use Policy Now! (CLUP Now!).

On the second day, Cambodian CSOs visited the Community Organizers Multiversity (COM) office to hear about the Urban Development and Housing Act (UDHA) as the main Philippine law on urban housing. They have also learned the initiatives COM conducts to ensure proper implementation of the said law. They have visited a site where an urban housing project is being implemented in Manggahan, Pasig City to learn the experiences and struggles of the Alliance of People’s Organization along Manggahan Floodway Pasig (APOAMF) in successfully fighting for their right to live within city through a near-city housing relocation site project which they, themselves, have developed and proposed to the Government.

Lastly, the Cambodian CSOs visited and learned from the Pastolan indigenous community in Hermosa, Bataan, who have successfully claimed their ancestral domain title with the support of the Philippine Association for Intercultural Development (PAFID). Visitors have also learned how the government and the indigenous community have sustained a harmonious relationship to one another in a dialogue with the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).

Cambodian CSO representatives with the ANGOC Chairperson Emeritus Fr. Francis Lucas.

Cambodian CSO representatives with the ANGOC Chairperson Emeritus Fr. Francis Lucas.

Dr. Ear Chong of NGOF (right most) presenting an overview of land situation in Cambodia.

Dr. Ear Chong of NGOF (right most) presenting an overview of land situation in Cambodia.

Cambodian CSO representatives with the community people and urban housing project construction.

Cambodian CSO representatives with the community people and urban housing project construction.

Indigenous people's representative "Ka Bonnie" showing the map of their ancestral domain territory.

Indigenous people’s representative “Ka” Bonnie showing the map of their ancestral domain territory.

Indigenous people's representative addressing the questions of the Cambodian CSO representatives.

Indigenous people’s representative “Ka” Linda addressing the questions of the Cambodian CSO representatives.

Cambodian CSO representatives learning about the experiences of indigenous peoples in claiming their ancestral domain title.

Cambodian CSO representatives learning about the experiences of indigenous peoples in claiming their ancestral domain title.

Casiguran farmers, fisherfolks, and indigenous people’s plea: stop APECO

Ka Tony

Ka Tony Barbosa, a fisherfolk participant during the workshop on “Increase the use of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests (VGGT) among CSOs and Grassroots Organizations in the Philippines,” was in tears as he shared how their livelihood will be lost upon construction of port along the foreshore of Casiguran, Aurora. Even now, they can no longer use the docks they used to anchor their boats for fishing. Industrial wastes would also pollute the waters sheltering the fishes they catch.

Farmers and indigenous peoples of the Casiguran are also in the same dismal situation as their lands will soon be converted to industrial parks, airport, hotels, ship anchorages, and recreational facilities through the implementation of the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (APECO).

APECO is an abruptly approved Php 1-Billion project created by law allegedly lobbied secretly by the ruling political family in Aurora. It covers more than 13,000 hectares of rice lands, coconut plantations, forests, coastal areas, and human settlements in five barangays of Casiguran.

While APECO violates basic sectors rights to access to land, food, livelihood, and health, it is also in conflict with some provisions of the Constitution and policies governing indigenous people (according to a case study by Dave de Vera of PAFID).

These sectors call for the non-implementation of the APECO project. “We don’t want the jobs they offer. We need our lands and livelihoods secured.”

Related resource:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FInCVKC1_9A

Workshop on land conflict resolution in Cambodia

Participants on a knowledge exchange activity. Photo by MRLG. Retrieved from http://demo1.mrlg.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/2-work-shopccccccccc-1.jpg

Participants on a knowledge exchange activity. Photo by MRLG. Retrieved from http://demo1.mrlg.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/2-work-shopccccccccc-1.jpg

Star Kampuchea (SK), Analyzing Development Issues Centre (ADIC), and Cambodian Women Media Center (WMC), with support of Mekong Region Land Governance (MRLG), conducted a workshop on Collective Learning on Land Conflict Resolution in Cambodia on 26-27 May in Phnom Penh.

More than 100 participants from CSOs, private, and policy sectors joined in the discussion and knowledge exchange focusing on:

  • Causes of Land Conflicts in Cambodia
  • Land Conflict Resolution Mechanism
  • Land governance World Café: What is for you the main concern on land governance? What is the priority to improve land governance?
  • Storytelling on Land Conflict Resolutions
  • Law Enforcement Related to Land Management in Cambodia
  • Land Conflict Prevention

Bantheay Meanchey Province Deputy Governor H.E. Ly Sary encouraged for more future conduct of this kind of event with more participations of provincial governors to discuss ways to improve land governance in Cambodia.

Source: http://mrlg.org/resources/government-cso-and-private-sector-engage-in-constructive-dialogue-on-land-conflict-resolution-in-cambodia/?utm_source=MRLG+Newsletter&utm_campaign=5c11fbf50b-Newsletter_4th_Edition_June_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_9e02dce068-5c11fbf50b-102213289

Philippines: Lands that farmers can finally call their own

We are posting this story shared by Kaunlaran ng Kanayunan at Repormang Pansakahan (KAISAHAN).

Farmers marking their lands. Photo by KAISAHAN.

Farmers marking their lands. Photo by KAISAHAN.

After 20 years of land acquisition struggles, 23 farmer beneficiaries in Barangays Sumanga and Valenciana in Ormoc City, Leyte have been successfully installed to the lands they have long been awarded with certificates of land ownership (CLOA).

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) led the installation on 20 and 21 June 2016 in the two villages together with some 300 officials and representatives from the Philippine National Police (PNP), Commission on Human Rights (CHR), and other advocacy groups including KAISAHAN.

This long-time story of unsecured land tenure of farmers roots to landowners’ resistance to the redistribution. Whenever installation is attempted, farmers receive threats and intimidation from the previous landowners, Larrazabal, resulting to repeated failures of the process. The last time was on 9 February 2016.

Even up to the day of this event, previous landowners have been continuously resisting. KAISAHAN Executive Director Anthony Marzan and legal officer Atty. Claire Demaisip reiterated to the opposing party that only a temporary restraining order from the Supreme Court can postpone the instalment.

To secure the post-installation situation, KAISAHAN has insisted of putting up a PNP detachment until the peace and order in the area is assured. Farmer groups and federations in the areas have also assured that they will provide support services to the new farmer-landowners to ensure sustainable use of their lands.

Land rights activists in Nepal receive land certificates

We are posting this news shared by the Community Self-Reliance Centre (CSRC).

New Village Block Land Certificate holders. Photo by CSRC.

New Village Block Land Certificate holders. Photo by CSRC.

After more than a decade of land rights movements, 27 members of the Rajdevi Village Land Rights Forum (VLRF) in the municipality of Lahan, and 273 families from Bastipur in Siraha District have awarded with Village Block Land Certificates.

The distribution only started this April 2016 after delegations from Siraha VLRF and District Land Rights Forum (DLRF) went to the District Land Revenue Office on March 2016 to demand for their rights.

“Now, [only] we are assured that we will not be evicted from the land we are residing for generation,” says a new Village Block landowner.

ALRD conducts training on land use policy and agricultural land protection

We are posting this update shared by the Association for Land Reform and Development (ALRD).

Participants of the workshop. Photo by ALRD.

Participants of the workshop. Photo by ALRD.

ALRD conducted a training on “Land Use Policy and Protection of Agricultural Land” on 26-28 April 2016 to raise awareness of farmers on protecting their agricultural lands.

Twenty-six partner organization representatives participated in the training to learn concepts of land reform and its processes, and the policies on land. The discussions particularly include:

  • concept of land reform and the historical evolution of land management;
  • Land reform Ordinance 1972 and 1984;
  • governance practice in khas land and wetland leasing policy;
  • land registration;
  • mutation and tax;
  • Vested Property Act;
  • Proposed Land Use Policy and Protection of Agricultural Land Act;
  • Concept of land survey and its importance to land management;
  • aggression on agricultural land;
  • food security; among others.

This training has also engaged government representatives from Land Record and Survey Department of the Ministry of Land, NGO Affairs Bureau of Bangladesh, and a District Commissioner as resource persons.

This event was supported by the International Land Coalition (ILC).

17th Annual World Bank Conference focuses on land and poverty

The panel of the 17th World Bank Conference. Photo by Nataliya Makarenko. Photo retrieved from the World Bank Website.

The panel of the 17th World Bank Conference. Photo by Nataliya Makarenko. Photo retrieved from the World Bank Website.

On 14-18 March 2016, government, CSOs, academe, the development community, and the private sector gathered at the Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty  to discuss land policy design and implementation, impact evaluation and progress monitoring, and the latest researches on these issues.

Held at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington D.C., the theme was Scaling up Responsible Land Governance. On its 17th year, the conference paid specific attention to working at scale, mainstreaming innovations and sustaining investments in land governance. Participants discussed strategies on inclusiveness, sustainability, reliability, and on how better land formation and more tenure security can contribute to the objectives and progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

ANGOC being a member of the Steering Committee of the World Bank project on Enabling the Business of Agriculture, ANGOC Chair Emeritus Fr. Francis Lucas chaired the session on Addressing Land Related Corruption.

One of the issues raised was on corruption on land access particularly on its impacts to women. Participants pointed out that continuous dialogues among CSOs, corruption victims, and Government should take place to come up with policies to eliminate corruption on land.

Conference agenda and presentations can be downloaded here.

rticipants of the Conference. Photo by Deepa Shivaram. Retrieved from the World Bank website.

rticipants of the Conference.
Photo by Deepa Shivaram. Retrieved from the World Bank website.

 

ANGOC Chair Emeritus Fr. Francis Lucas chairing the the session on “Addressing Land Related Corruption.” Photo by Nataliya Makarenko. Retrieved from the World Bank Website

ANGOC Chair Emeritus Fr. Francis Lucas chairing the the session on “Addressing Land Related Corruption.”
Photo by Nataliya Makarenko. Retrieved from the World Bank Website

Land installation to agrarian reform beneficiaries in Leyte, Philippines: stalled!

We are posting this news shared by Solidarity Towards Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (KAISAHAN).

photo by KAISAHAN

Photo by KAISAHAN.

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Office of Leyte announced postponement of land installations in Barangays Valencia and Sumanga in Ormoc, Leyte on 9 February 2016 affecting around 30 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs).

DAR recalled its own writ of installation allegedly due to a filed case of cancellation of Certificate of Land Ownership and Acquisition (CLOA) over the land by other farmers. Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer (PARPO) II Renato Badilla sent orders stating that previous landowners, Tan Landholdings and the Potenciano & Anecita Larrazabal Enterprises Corporation (PALEC) opposed the installations in the 30 and 35 hectares of land in the two barangays due to the alleged erroneous coverage of the subject landholdings.

Together with the farmers, KAISAHAN expressed their frustration to the non-installment. Atty. Claire Demaisip of KAISAHAN pointed out that “EXCEPT FOR THE SUPREME COURT, no court in the Philippines shall have jurisdiction to issue any restraining order or writ of preliminary injunction against the PARC [Presidential Agrarian Reform Council], the DAR, or any of its duly authorized or designated agencies in any case, dispute or controversy arising from, necessary to, or in connection with the application, implementation, enforcement, or interpretation of (the AR laws).” “It is clearly stated that only a TRO [temporary restraining order] from the Supreme Court can stop this installation,” adds Atty. Rolly Poero, also from KAISAHAN.

In a meeting following the release of the Orders, the farmer beneficiaries wielded their CLOAs before DAR and Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer (MARO) representatives with Leyte Sheriff Joseph Catingub and demanded the immediate resolution of this case and their installation. However their response was that as much as they wanted to install the farmers, they are not in the position to resolve the issue. They can only write their appeals to the PARO’s Orders.

The said farmer beneficiaries from Valencia and Sumanga have already had several attempts for installation since they received their CLOAs way back in 1996. However, all these attempts failed due to resistance of the previous landowners.