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Haryana land acquisition policy revision likely

The Times of India
TNN, Feb 23, 2011, 01.16am IST
NEW DELHI: Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Tuesday hinted at including more changes in the land acquisition policy in the larger interest of farmers.

Hooda sent this signal while interacting with reporters at the state headquarters. Already two ministers in the Hooda Cabinet have mooted the proposal of adopting the PPP mode to deal with farmer protests in the  land acquisition.

They have proposed that the state could come out with an option where the farmers or land owner losing the property can get 20% share of the developed projects. This could be applicable for all projects except the case of acquiring land for infrastructure development.
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ANGOC convenes workshop on Land monitoring

On 16-17 September, twelve participants from various Asian CSOs as well as the Rome-based International Land Coalition (ILC) gathered in a regional workshop in Bangkok to exchange ideas on the draft Land Reform Monitoring Framework for CSOs being developed by ANGOC.

The said framework seeks to be CSO-led, relevant, doable, strategic and sustainable. During the workshop, participants shared their experiences in pilot testing the proposed indicators, and discussed indicators for monitoring based on relevance, feasibility and data availability and quality.

The group agreed on focusing efforts towards developing indicators at the national level, since these will more adequately reflect a country’s particular situation but at the same time should include common regional indicators for monitoring.

The framework is part of a broader monitoring initiative to enhance CSOs’ existing platforms and campaigns at various levels and strengthen CSOs capacity to monitor land reform implementation, especially at analyzing budgets, policies, land tenure and access to land.

The workshop is the last of a series of activities towards developing and finalizing the framework for CSOs. An electronic consultation, roundtable discussion, pilot studies, and an experts’ meeting have been conducted as inputs to the framework.

ANGOC’s CSO land reform monitoring project is also linked to the International Land Coalition (ILC)’s land reform initiative (LRI), which aims to ensure evidence is gathered on land access and tenure of the poor and vulnerable groups, and to make sure that this yields impact on policy and supports reforms.

The report of the proceedings is presently being prepared.

For more information on ANGOC’s CSO Land Reform Monitoring Initiative, please read the briefer at http://www.angoc.org/Pages/cso-land-monitoring.html . (Photo courtesy of PAFID)

Call for Proposals: GSDI Small Grants Program

The Global Spatial Data Infrastructure Association is pleased to announce its Small Grants Program for the year 2010-11

Awards for spatial data infrastructure or Earth Observations Systems
(EOS)-related activities in economically disadvantaged nations,

  • Application deadline of 31 October 2010,
  • 4000 words maximum,
  • Awards of $2500 USD in cash and/or contributed volunteer professional services for the project

The Global Spatial Data Infrastructure (GSDI) Association is dedicated to international cooperation and collaboration in support of local, national, and international spatial data infrastructure developments that would allow nations to better address social, economic, and environmental issues of pressing importance. We are committed to bringing about an infrastructure that will allow users globally access spatial data at a variety of scales from multiple sources that ultimately will appear seamless to all users.

The GSDI Association supports the work of organizations to develop their own Spatial Data Innfrastructure (SDI) initiatives, nationally and regionally, and collaborates with local, national, and international organizations to ensure that spatial data, services, and metadata are accessible through interoperable standards-based services, systems, software, and products that operate in a web-enabled environment.

Read more at the International Land Coalition ILC’s official website

via Call for Proposals: GSDI Small Grants Program.

Maoists, monarchists merging soon says Nepali Land Reform Minister

Source: The Rising Nepal

(http://www.gorkhapatra.org.np/rising.detail.php?article_id=38514&cat_id=4)

Hetauda, Aug. 15 – Minister for Land Reform and Management, Dambar Bahadur Shrestha said the UCPN-Maoists and monarchists were merging soon.

Distributing land ownership certificates to the landless people at Hatiya here today, Minister Shrestha said this reasoning that Maoists were hobnobbing with the monarchists.

He accused the Maoists of being inactive and helpless as the government till date was not formed though they claimed to form national consensus government within 24 hours of Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal’s resignation.

As the governments led by the Maoist and CPN-UML were already failures, alternative to this should be sought, he stressed.

Some sections of higher rank in the society are taking advantage in the name of landless people, he said, claiming that real landless people would get lands in his tenure.

As many as 62 landless people were provided land ownership certificates at the programme organized by Makwanpur Chapter of Landless Dwellers’ Problems Solution Commission.

Cambodian rights group says tax breaks leading to forced evictions

Monday, August 16, 2010
Radio Australia News

A land rights organisation in Cambodia says EU tax breaks meant to promote trade with poor nations are contributing to evictions at gunpoint in rural areas.

The EU tax-free status of exports from Cambodia to the EU is one of the key factors that’s revived Cambodia’s sugar industry, after years of war and instability.

But land concessions granted by the Cambodian Government to companies have led to forced evictions involving armed police and soldiers.

At least two people have been shot during these evictions, and David Pred, the Cambodia country director of Bridges Across Borders, has told Radio Australia’s Connect Asia program there are many reports of assaults, arbitary arrests and threats. (To read full article, click here)

8,975 farmers, agri workers hopeful of finally getting land under CARP

Source: Manila Bulletin
By MARVYN N. BENANING
August 16, 2010, 3:54pm

No less than 8,975 farmers and agricultural workers are pinning their hopes of finally getting land under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) in the event the Supreme Court (SC) junks the already invalidated stock distribution offer (SDO) implemented in Hacienda Luisita.

The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) said Monday these farmers and workers work in 14 plantations in Tarlac, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Iloilo and Davao del Sur.

The KMP said the biggest is still Hacienda Luisita, which has 4,916 hectares of land covered by the SDO and beneficiaries numbering 6,296.

The Hacienda Luisita SDO was approved on Nov. 11, 1989, or more than two years after former President Cory Aquino announced her agrarian reform program that would cover all plantations producing a variety of crops.

At five members per household, the total number of people affected is about 50,000. (Read full article, click here)

Oil Palm Firm Faces Action On Land Rights

Courtesy of Sabah News Times

new-saba-times

Kota Kinabalu: The Land and Survey Department will take legal action against a company for encroaching into customary rights land in Kota Marudu.

Its director Datuk Osman Jamal said the department inspected the area on July 23 and found that the company had encroached on the villagers’ customary rights land to develop its oil palm plantation .

According to him, 88 individuals applied for 1,760 acres of land in the area, and approval was given by the state government via a letter (MNR114/22/1110/16) dated June 2, 1978.

And following that, 22 land titles were issued.

“We understand that the company was given the Power of Attorney by the said land owners to develop the area for oil palm.

“But during an inspection in July, we discovered that the company was also clearing the area outside the 1,760 acres to plant oil palm,” Osman said.

He assured that the department would take appropriate action in accordance with the Land Ordinance.

Read more: Oil Palm Firm Faces Action on Land Rights

Sweet Promises, Bitter Realities: Luisita deal breaks President Aquino’s promise of change

CARPER FOR HACIENDA LUISITA MOVEMENT

PRESS RELEASE

August 13, 2010

Hacienda Luisita farm workers, together with a broad coalition of farmers, farm workers, agrarian reform advocates, civil society, academe, legal experts and church figures today came out in full force to denounce the Hacienda Luisita compromise deal and President Aquino’s hands-off policy on the matter.

“The compromise agreement now being railroaded by the Cojuangcos ensures that the abject conditions in the massive plantation will remain the same, and even worsen,” declared Renato Lalic, President of the Farm workers Agrarian Reform Movement in Hacienda Luisita (FARM).

Together with other representatives from the CARPER for the Hacienda Luisita Movement, FARM and luminaries such as Bishop Broderick Pabillo of Manila, Atty. Christian Monsod, Akbayan Rep. Kaka Bag-ao and other groups called on PNoy to get off the fence and fulfill his promise to see Luisita ‘redistributed within five years’, as he promised during the campaign.

“PNoy will condemn the Luisita beneficiaries to a lifetime of servitude and worsening poverty if he chooses to stay mum and in doing so, legitimize the compromise deal,” added Bishop Pabillo.  “This goes against the promise of change and of following the righteous path that PNoy said would be the trademark of his administration.

“Such sweet promises now leave a bad taste in the mouth given PNoy’s inability to rise above his own personal interests,” added Bag-ao.

“The bitter reality moreover is that the compromise agreement has the imprint of coercion written all over it,’ added Lalic.”This agreement did not go through the requisite process of broad consultations and thorough review by the beneficiaries themselves.”

Lalic said that there have been reports of confusion among those who signed the agreement on just how much cash payouts they would receive, how much land would be given to each and the very list of the beneficiaries itself is suspect and has not been validated.

“The signatures being gathered by HLI is without an informed consent, forged as it is by dubious representation for the farmer and farm workers,” added Lalic.

FARM members, beneficiaries of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program in Hacienda Luisita boycotted the compromise agreement and have instead called on the implementation of CARPER in the disputed sugar hacienda.  CARPER provides for compulsory acquisition of lands and eliminated spurious schemes such as the SDO to ensure effective ownership of the land by farmers themselves.

“It is therefore crucial for the Supreme Court to lift the restraining order against the Presidential Agrarian Reform council resolution invalidating the SDO and subjecting Luisita to coverage under CARP,” added Atty. Christian Monsod.

Monsod said, “the SC should not even hear this case filed by the Luisita management for the recognition of this compromise deal because this should fall under the jurisdiction of DAR.”

Monsod will represent FARM which is one of the petitioners in the Supreme Court case when it resumes oral arguments on August 18. Monsod together with H4HLM and FARM will file a motion for the SC to refer the compromise deal to DAR while the SC rules on the SDO issue.

“A resolution unfavorable to farmer beneficiaries will definitely haunt him for the next six years,” warned Bag-Ao. “PNoy said pwede na ulit mangarap, but does that mean poor Filipinos can dream about anything except owning their own land?”###


For inquiries, please call Ms. Joann Fernandez of Rights Network at 09198007010 and Mr. Eugene Tecson of Centro Saka, Inc. at 09287389071.

Activists sceptical about land reform under new Philippines president – TrustLaw

By Thin Lei Win

for TrustLaw, a Thomson Reuters Foundation Service

June 19, 2010, Monday

BANGKOK (TrustLaw) – When Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III, son of two democracy heroes, was sworn in as the Philippines’ fifteenth president on June 30, he pledged to tackle two pressing issues – corruption and poverty.

For sceptical land rights groups and activists, his approach to agrarian land reform, which he failed to mention in his inaugural speech, will be a test of how serious he is.

They say the slow progress of land reform is one of the major reasons for rural poverty and social injustice in the largely agrarian country. It is also one of the causes of a 40-year-old Maoist insurgency that has killed more than 40,000 people. (for More, click on Good Governance Article – Activists sceptical about land reform under new Philippines president – TrustLaw)

Nepali gov’t prepares new land policy

Source: XINHUA, 2010-06-08 10:59

(emailed by Anil Singh of Ekta Parishad)

The Nepali government, for the first time, has prepared a land policy with a view to boosting agricultural production and stopping arbitrary fragmentation of fertile land across the country.

According to Tuesday’s The Kathmandu Post, “Land Use Policy 2010” comes after widespread concern that encroachment of agricultural land by haphazard residential projects has increased the risk of food crisis in Nepal.

Till now, Nepal does not have any clear-cut and specific policy on the preservation of fertile land for agriculture production.

The Ministry of Land Reforms and Management, in coordination with National Planning Commission and other ministries, has prepared the policy.

Land Reforms Minister Dambar Shrestha was quoted by the daily as saying, “We will publicize it soon for public discussion before finalizing it.” The policy comes into effect after the cabinet approves it.

The new policy has been prepared keeping in mind how land will be used and managed in the federal structure – mainly setting criteria on how the central government and federal states divide power on the issues related to land use.

The new policy envisages solving all land-related problems within 15 years through scientific land reform.
Land will be allocated or categorized for agriculture, forest, residential area, urban development, industrial area and other sectors and no one will be allowed to deal in land allocated for agriculture, reads the policy.