Over the past decade, the International Land Coalition (ILC) has advanced its mission by promoting secure access to land for rural people, mainly through capacity building, dialogue, and advocacy.
Every two years, ILC organises an international Forum to convene its members and other stakeholders on land to advance understanding of the complex and dynamic political, economic, environmental and societal linkages between land governance, food security, poverty and democracy. ILC’s ultimate objective is to mobilise its members and partners to influence land-related policy practice. In pursuit of this objective, the Coalition facilitates multi-stakeholder processes in the search for people-centred responses to land governance challenges.
The ILC Global Land Forum and Assembly of Members is taking place in 2013 in Guatemala, in the heart of Latin America, a region that has experienced radical transformation of its agricultural sector and its rural landscape. No region better epitomizes inequalities in land access and the intensity of the disputes for land. Latin America is also is also known for the vigor of its peasant movements and the vibrancy of debates over land rights. Guatemala offers therefore a unique opportunity for ILC members and partners to learn and share experiences and perspectives on emerging land governance issues.
The central focus of the Global Land Forum 2013 will be on territoriality, which brings together power, society and space. In the context of rapid and profound spatial transformation of the scale being witnessed in Latin America, in emerging economies and even the poorest countries, the complexity of the land question cannot be fully understoodif we limit ourselves to the tenure rights of individual households of groups of actors. Regardless whether they enjoy legal and formal ownership rights over the land they use or inhabit (individual or common proprieties), communities or individual farm households may be actually ‘de-territorialised’, with other groups of actors taking control of the territory and organizing it in ways that radically change modes of production, social relations and living conditions. The nature and magnitude of change that is being experienced by millions of small holder producers and indigenous peoples around the world therefore goes far beyond the rate of physical dispossession, the extent of landlessness or trends in land concentration. The Global Land Forum 2013 will explore the concept of territoriality from many different angles.
All ILC members highlight the need of a new set of institutions able to govern the complexity of landscapes, conceived as a social product, where conflicting interests can clash because of different visions and development models upon/of the same territory. What is the role of citizen? How is it possible to protect and secure collective territorial rights of indigenous peoples? How women and men experience the territory and how the social construction of a territory is gendered? The role of the local government? The central state? incoming investors? How can we move, with the participation of all, from a conflictive to a constructive land governance pattern?
The ILC strives to overcome any practices in its operations or those of its members that perpetuate the marginalisation of any section of society, and in particular of women. ILC’s unwavering commitment to promoting social justice and fairness in the treatment of women’s and men’s access to secure land rights is matched by its own efforts within the Coalition towards achieving gender justice.