Category Archives: land acquisition

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:

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.

Now online: new journals, issue briefs, and land monitoring report of LWA

We are happy to share our newest publications!

With limited land, access to it has been a prevailing issue which leads to human rights violations to farmers, and to the disadvantaged women and indigenous peoples.

These Land Watch Asia (LWA)’s Lok Niti journals compile scoping studies from seven Asian countries (Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, and Philippines) telling of how women and indigenous peoples struggle to claim their land rights:

Lok Niti women_resizedwomen issue briefThe Lok Niti on “Women stake their claim to land” outlines the statuses of women’s land rights in each country, the legal frameworks covering such rights, the key factors promoting or impending women’s land rights, and the strategies to address gender inequality and advance women’s rights to own and benefit from the land. Its issue brief, “Women’s land rights in Asia,” may also be downloaded here.

lok niti IPIP issue briefThe Lok Niti on “Indigenous peoples and their sacred lands,”on the other hand,reveals how the basic bond of indigenous peoples to land are threatened by forces far more powerful than they are equipped to face. The IP issue brief, “On the customary rights of indigenous peoples in Asia,” is also available here.

1LWA also started the Land Reform Monitoring Initiaive in 2010 strengthening evidence-based advocacies of CSOs on access to land and security of land tenure. The “2014 CSO Land Reform Monitoring Report: Towards an Accountable Governance on Land in Asia” features the 2014 CSO land reform monitoring reports on the status of land tenure and access to land of the seven countries. It also reflects the recent expansion of the monitoring initiative to a ridge-to-reef framework providing a more holistic approach in addressing ancestral lands, rural lands, and marine resource concerns.

1A proceedings on “A Regional Workshop on Land Monitoring Initiatives”was also prepared to highlight  LWA’s “Regional Workshop on Land Monitoring Initiatives: Towards an Accountable Governance on Land” held in Manila, Philippines on 21-22 April 2015 – which includes the country land monitoring reports; the country updates in Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam; and the new land reform monitoring framework modified for the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

India: Prime Minister announces the expiration of Land Acquisition Ordinance

We are sharing this news posted in The Hindu last 31 August.

With the expiration of the third re-promulgation of Land Acquisition Ordinance on 31 August, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on radio that the Ordinance will be allowed to lapse. Moreover, the Government will implement the 13-point reforms to the Land Acquisition Law which will provide direct financial benefit to farmers.

Land rights activists in India have long been calling for the withdrawal of the Ordinance allowing investors to acquire lands even without the consent of affected farmers and families.

Advocates, including Ekta Parishad, see hope to this milestone as significant in demanding land rights to marginalized communities.