Category Archives: food sovereignty

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,

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National Peasants’ Day march for agrarian reform in Indonesia

We are posting this news shared by Bina Desa.

Farmers, advocates, and CSOs marched for agrarian reform during the National Peasants' Day. Photo by Aliansi Petani Indonesia (API).

Farmers, advocates, and CSOs marched for agrarian reform during the National Peasants’ Day. Photo by Aliansi Petani Indonesia (API).

More than 3,000 peasants, agrarian reform advocates, students, and CSOs amassed on 21 September 2015 to demand the government to strengthen agrarian reform and food sovereignty, resolve agrarian conflicts, and establish a special body implementing the national action on agrarian reform.

Organized by Bina Desa, Consortium for Agrarian Reform (KPA), Network for Participatory Mapping (JKPP), and 23 other NGOs, the advocates marched from Istiqlal Mosque to the Presidential Palace in Central Jakarta.

Moreover, aiming to formulate strategies on implementing  agrarian reform, Bina Desa co-organized the Commemoration of the National Peasant’s Day in Cihanjuang Village in Banten, Indonesia on 27-28 September,  where more than 4,000 participated in the event.

With these activities, advocates and CSOs ensured the commitment of the government to implement agrarian reform, and of the Agrarian Minister’s cooperation of bringing the people’s demands to the President.

During the Commemoration of National Peasants' Day 2015. Photo by www.spi.or.id

During the Commemoration of National Peasants’ Day 2015. Photo by http://www.spi.or.id

ALRD celebrates International Rural Women’s Day

Panel of the seminar on "Land Rights, Food Sovereignty and Rural Women." Photo by ALRD

Panel of the seminar on “Land Rights, Food Sovereignty and Rural Women.” Photo by ALRD

In celebration of the International Rural Women’s Day, the Association for Land Reform and Development (ALRD), Nijera Kori, and Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA)  organized a seminar on Land rights, food sovereignty and rural women in Dhaka on 11 October 2015.

The seminar brought 120 academicians, rights activists, women leaders, rural women and farmers together to acknowledge the significant role of women in agriculture despite being deprived of land rights.

BELA Chief Executive Syeda Rizwana Hassan, in her keynote speech, stated that women contribute 61% to the agricultural sector of GDP in Bangladesh; however, only 18% of women own land. Moreover, from an FAO report, 500 million of the 836 million people suffering from malnutrition are women – one attribution to this is women’s deprivation of land ownership.

Women leaders also shared their struggles against land grabbers which include lower wages and issues on joint land ownership. On the other hand, success story featured the importance of women cooperatives in practicing organic farming.

ALRD Executive Director Shamsul Huda demanded low interest loan for rural women farmers while Nijera Kori Chair Khusi Kabir stressed the need to break the wage discrimination between men and women farmers.

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2Additionally, marking the day of rural women, ALRD, Nijeri Kori, and BELA released a poster themed, Raise Voiced Women’s Rights and Access to Land and Natural Resources, to extend their solidarity on global campaign on “No Land, No Life: 16 days of global action on rural women.”

The poster highlighted their demands on women’s land rights including food sovereignty, women’s rights as human rights, agricultural lands protection, solidarity among IPs, fighting against land grabbing, ensuring women’s access to khas lands and beels, and support to women’s cooperatives.