Connecting strategies: A round-table discussion with ILC members in Asia on land issues

Friday, 18th May 2018

ILC Asia in collaboration with CIFOR held a roundtable discussion on global land related themes, presenting speakers from various ILC member organizations such as FAO, Oxfam, AIPP, KPA, WRF and CIFOR. The meeting was held in the framework of ILC Asia facilitator and focal point team building, which took place in Bogor Indonesia on 17-19 April 2018.

This roundtable discussion provided a space for each of the ILC members to present their strategies and approaches to land issues in national and global level.

Speakers of the discussion were, Dr. Ageng Herianto of FAO, Wiwid Widiyanto of Oxfam Indonesia, regional coordinator of Asia Pacific World Rural Forum (WRF) Daniel Ruiz de Garribay, Secretary General of the Agrarian Reform Consortium (KPA) Dewi Kartika, Nining Liswanti senior researcher CIFOR and Patricia Wattimena representing Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP).

Christopher Martius of CIFOR opened the meeting by conveying the increasingly tough challenges facing the world today, especially in regards to the destruction of natural forests, climate change and evictions against local communities, farmers and Indigenous Peoples. Nining Liswanti presented evidence of these challenges in the countries of Indonesia, Uganda and Peru and added that there is a need for forestry and land sector reforms that aim at protecting the rights of forest tenure communities.

Similarly, Dewi Kartika emphasized the need for agrarian reform to ensure the recognition of land rights of individuals and communities and to reduce the inequality of ownership of land that is becoming a global phenomenon today. Patricia Wattimena of AIPP complained that the main victims of this destructive system are vulnerable groups such as women, children and indigenous peoples.

Addressing this problem, Wiwid Widyanto stated the importance of structurally approaching the involvement of governments, but also- demanded by global societies- hold corporations accountable for the destruction and ecological social crisis happening globally that they have caused. It is time for corporations to subject to global agreements on environmental, social and human rights protection.

Daniel Garibay of the WRF, suggested the need to re-establish the position of small farmers, which is in line with the UN General Assembly's decision of officially declaring 2019–2028 the Decade of Family Farming. The successful implementation of this decision will depend on Governments, CSOs and IGOS who must take a role in this global consensus.

Saurlin Siagian, the coordinator of ILC Asia, concluded the discussion with the need to connect the strategies of parties from ILC members and beyond, including democratic governments and international and national CSOs. With this multi-stakeholder collaboration, people-centred land governance can be realized.