ILC Asia 2017 Regional Assembly – Stronger Coalition Braided in Central Asia
A moment for the Asia members to gather and to build the plans for the coming years is returning again this year. With the warmth culture of the Kyrgyz republic, the process was being carried out through a productive and solid discussion among all.
Forty one members of ILC across Asia gathered during 13-14 September 2017 in Cholpon Ata, Issyk Kul region, Kyrgyzstan, to have their 2017 Regional Assembly. They represented numerous organizations, focusing on land governance issue, which are stretched throughout South East Asia, Central Asia, to South Asia.
As usual, they meet regularly to formulate the plan for the coming year, to receive the implementation report of running year, and to build stronger network and relationship among each other.
“ILC Asia is a place for all members to share the implementation of people centered land governance". Dharm Joshi - COLARP Nepal
Being hosted by KAFLU (Kyrgyz Association of Forest and Land Users) of Kyrgyztan, this year’s assembly presents its uniqueness, as the members were not only discussing their plan based on their thematic issues, but on their sub-region as well.
This new method is enabling the members to be updated on their cross-countries works, as well as their new priorities for 2018.
Opened by KAFLU’s Director, Mr. Aitkul Burkhanov, who was welcoming all delegations,the Assembly is also a moment for the members to have further and profound discussion on ILC Asia’s governance. Through such activity, it is vividly seen that the whole Asia members are having the ownership of the coalition itself.
While one member from India, acknowledges ILC Asia as;
“A democratic space for land rights based organizations to raise their voice of pastoralist at the global level". Dinesh Rabbari of MARAG India
At the second day of the Assembly, members of ILC Asia were having the opportunity to reflect their challenges and solutions for the works they have done during the running year, and to set up their plans and priorities for the following year.
Ms. Patricia Wattimena of AIPP (Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact) of Thailand described on how this session corresponds to the members’ works, by saying “The Regional Assembly creates space for us not only to share and learn but also to strengthen our solidarity as ILC members in Asia. It was an inspiring event, where voice of each and every member is heard and taken into account. For our work in related to one of ILC’s commitment in particular, it is an avenue for self assessment. Constructive approach, suggestions based on observations and experiences shared by other CBI implementers play critical role with regard to the further improvement of the initiative. Continuous assistance provided by the RCU Asia and the ILC secretariat during and beyond the assembly is as well highly applauded. Challenges remain, given the nature and significant growth of the coalition, nonetheless, at the same time I also see this as a strength to achieve together our common agenda in particular to realize peoples centered land governance.”
The series of the assembly was then closed by an enriching visit to two sites of Pasture land and Agriculture land. The members were divided into two groups to have better understanding on the specific context of Kyrgyzstan’s land.
This country designates 109,000 km2 of the land to be the agricultural land, whereas only 14.000 km2 (7%) of which are suitable for arable farming. Between 7,320 and 8,372 km2 of the land are designated for irrigated crop production.
The total area of crops is estimated at about 12,200 km2, where 7,300 km2 (59%) are irrigated and 4,900 (41%) of which are rainfed. The main crops are wheat, barley, maize (for grain and silage), potatoes, melons, oilseed crops, vegetables of many kinds and fodder, mainly Lucerne on the better irrigated land and sainfoin on the less well irrigated hill slopes. Sugar beet is an important cash crop in Chui oblast; cotton, fruits, vegetables in the southern regions. After the independence period from the Soviet Union, the need of wheat for local self-sufficiency has increased to a great extent. Driven by local demand and the experience of the shortages experienced after the independence, the wheat area has increased greatly since the early 1990s.
The main challenge they are facing now is the incomplete infratructure to mobilize the agriculture products. This leads to the obstacle in accessing the market. However, the Government is currently putting their best effort to build the infrastructure, where CSOs are actively advocating to accelerate the process.
While the other group went to visit the pasture land, located in Temir Village, Issyk Kul region. This group also met with the Temirovka Pasture Committee Chairman and members, who explained about the sustainable management and effective use of pastures.
Nomadic cattle breeding was the main form of farm business of the Kyrgyz over three millenniums. Seasonal roaming was divided into winter (kyshtoo), spring (jazdoo), summer (jayloo) and autumn (kyzdoo) ones. Summer pastures of Kyrgyz nomads were found in the piedmont and hilly regions of the country. The origin of this word as the tradition of roaming to summer pastures itself is dating back to the ancient history of the Turkic peoples. Nowadays the Kyrgyzstan have 3,900 000 ha of their territory occupied by summer pastures.
The commons land here are controlled and managed by the Pastoralist. The Government applies a regulation where each pastoralist is obliged to pay USD 1 /year, which applies to one cow per each hectare, or similar to 5 sheeps per each hectare.
The assembly went smooth and sweet, where the delegations retrieved new experiences and opportunity to exchange knowledge among each other, as well as building a stronger coalition of ILC Asia.
The next assembly will be organized in Bandung, Indonesia. Make sure you don’t miss it!