From Chiang May to Tagaytay - From Friendly Chats to Political Dialogue
Members of the International Land Coalition (ILC) Asia met in Manila and Tagaytay, Philippines from the 8-12 September 2016 for the 2016 Regional Assembly. The event was organized by the Asian NGO Coalition Portal (ANGOC) and attended by more than 60 participants from ILC member countries, including: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Kazakhtan, India, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, the Philippines, and Thailand; ILC Secretariat representatives from Rome; and local civil society organization representatives.
The opening session of the Regional Assembly helped to welcome and bring together participants from this wide array of countries. Here, Don Marquez of ANGOC, warmly welcomed the delegates and was also calling out each of the country’s representative.
During the Regional Assembly, members were updated on the achievements and challenges for 2016. Priorities for 2017 were also set, as well as the regional work plan for the 2017-2018. Elements of pillars used to construct the work plan included; People Data and Accountability, where the goal is to establish a common platform for data consolidation and advocacy work towards improving land policies and programs in Asia, the second pillar is Criminalization of Social Movements (Land Rights/Human Rights), targeting to eradicate or at least minimize land rights violations, and to recognize land right as human right. The next pillar used is Community and Indigenous People. This pillar aims that by 2018 is the identification, access, use and control of land by indigenous peoples and communities in Asia (South, South east, Central including Kazakstan and Mongolia) through land registration and recognition of land rights by governments and communities, with the support and solidarity of international organizations. The other pillar is Women’s Land Right, where it toward the goal of strengthening collective efforts in enhancing understanding on human rights framework and international instruments for ILC members. The last but not least pillar is Land and Youth Discussion. The objective of this pillar is to engage youth in land initiative issues.
Other matters being discussed during the assembly were the meeting on the ILC National Engagement Strategies (NES). Each country was having profound discussions around NES, and each country’s representative then presented their NES proposal, based on their respective countries.
The essential points generated from this year’s Regional Assembly can be summed up as follows:
- Optimization of the regional platform is important. We need to maximize our capacity and resources, as well our knowledge!
- Increasing the feasibility of ILC Asia one of which is by having common strategy in the communication area. In that same note, the role of Social Media platform must be maximized to strengthening the communication strategy between RCU and members.
- Communication area and resource mobilization within the RCU can be improved. New requirements are needed to be defined by the Asia Steering Committee to support the RCU in meeting the expectations of the members
- How to involve INGOs and local NGOs are also important by make use ILC as a platform to get the debate and discussion to be delivered to them.
- Regarding the LED Emergency Fund, the application procedure must be improved to maximize the fund distribution. RCU needs to provide what is needed by the members, as well as Steering Committee and the ILC Secretariat.
- Regarding to Regional Strategy, the basic elements were outlined, and needed to be consolidated and connect mobilize influence with the governance because that is the overall framework of ILC Strategy objective.
- Secretariat or RCU might be able to provide a format for the proposals, thus all different papers will be easily consolidated as one 2017-2018 Workplan. The draft Regional Strategy and 2017-2018 WP will be circulated on Sept 30th to members. There will be online consultation where RCU will provide their feedback and resend it back to the members, before it is submitted to the Secretariat. Secretariat will then be able to consolidate the Asia proposal with Africa’s and Latin America’s proposals as one Regional Strategy document.
- We need to further reflect how to harmonize the topics of NES. If we talk about criminalization in regional level, there is no mapping mentioned within the NES regarding to the topic.
- In term of governance, TOR of various entities will be re-circulated to all members, because new members and new representatives of existing members are emerging. The Steering committee will undertake a review how to be more responsive, and will ask for members’ feedback and send it to the ASC members’ emails.
- In term of decisions and agreements, several points were generated as below:
- Convened a forum of Regional Assembly
- Approved the Minutes generated from the previous Regional Assembly
- Reviewed and provided specific recommendation for 2016 Asia Annual report.
- Provided input on changes in the ILC Chapter
- Online consultation will also be provided to the members by the RCU
- Provided input on the draft Membership Strategy
- Formulated the Regional Strategy in 2017-2018 Workplan
Last but not least, an essential presentation on ILC 2018 Global Land Forum preparatory steps were shared.
Overall, the meeting was a productive one and we look forward to working together next year, in focusing the collective efforts for the land rights struggle.
Click here to find the: Presentation slides