COVID19 & LAND

The experiences of ILC members have already shown that the current crisis has a direct impact on land rights.

15 EXAMPLES FROM ILC'S MEMBERSHIP

Nepal

Community Self Reliance Centre and National Land Rights Forum, two land rights organisations in Nepal, physically and legally protected households from being evicted in Surkhet District (Karnali Province, Nepal). Once the government implemented lockdown, they advocated with the Ministry of Home Affairs and the provincial District Administration Office to stop ongoing forced evictions of returning and informal settlers. Together with other members of the multistakeholder National Engagement Strategy (NES), they are supporting the recently established Land Related Problem Solving Commission in its mandate to distribute land and to secure land rights for landless communities.

Spain

In Spain, transhumant pastoralists are not able to sell their wool to international markets; and meat and milk to the travel and hospitality markets currently affected by covid19 lockdowns.
Pastoralists are advocating for the restructuring of the covid19 stimulus, as it currently covers pastoralists who have managed to sell livestock, while excluding those who have not managed to sell, yet they need it the most.

GLOBAL

Numerous forest and farm producer organizations, supported by FAO and members of ILC, are providing immediate emergency responses – particularly in the areas of information sharing and crisis service provision, re-imagining potential opportunities for youth and other returnees, offering grounded solutions for resilience in building back better secure landscape-based production systems and introducing innovative solutions that will be necessary in the post-COVID-19 world.
The FFPOs are and are using their knowledge of markets to develop new opportunities.

BRAZIL

In Brazil, Espaço Feminista is linking the urban and rural, buying food that women’s groups produce but cannot sell in their traditional markets and providing them to very poor community in Ponte do Maduro, where many families are starving. Although Espaço Feminista has limited capacity to purchase food, they organised crowdfunding with the Landless Workers Movement and others to afford free distribution of food.

SOUTH AFRICA

In South Africa, LandNNES and AFRA, together with small-scale farmer organisations and others, have lobbied the South African government to prioritise the role of small-scale farmers in their emergency measures, forcing them to reconsider eligibility criteria, time frames and types of support for covid19 emergency support funding. It resulted in government funding to reach small-scale farmers, including communal farmers without deeds and informal urban and peri-urban producers, whose contributions to local food production systems and supply chains are essential.

GLOBAL

The Defending Land and Environmental Defenders Coalition (DD Coalition) is engaged in a joint effort to document acts of violence and repression against land and environment defenders during the current pandemic. The Coalition supports its regional partners to identify such cases with the goal of monitoring the extent to which violence against defenders has continued and in many cases accelerated during the global lockdown.

PERU

In the Peruvian amazon forest, the Wampis indigenous peoples – supported by the Forest Peoples Programme, evoked their rights to sanitary protection, self-determination and self-governance by restricting entry and exit from their territories for the duration of the pandemic. As the government struggles to reach out to indigenous communities in the Amazon, the Wampis are working with the Peruvian military to secure their border with Ecuador, and to develop and implement intercultural health plans for communal territories.

GLOBAL

At the global level, the World Rural Forum (WRF) is capitalising on platforms created through the UN Decade of Family Farming (UNDFF) to accelerate medium to long term advocacy for policy change in support of legislative frameworks in favour of family farming, as the basis of COVID-19 recovery as well as for more sustainable development. The UNDFF promotes family farmers as the agents of change to achieve Zero Hunger, a more balanced and resilient planet, and the Sustainable Development Goals.

WEST AFRICA

In West Africa, in combination with monitoring activities on the impacts of COVID19, the Réseau des Organisations Paysannes et de Producteurs de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (ROPPA), as the most prominent food sovereignty movement, campaigns for secure land rights for family farms as a counter-narrative to land grabs, and to project an alternative outlook on agrarian futures in the sub-region.

GLOBAL

ILC, with WHH and FAO, are promoting and supporting Multi Stakeholder Platforms (MSPs) to bring together representatives from different sectors and interest groups to tackle challenges and capitalise on their differences and strengths for policy action with regarding land governance. They create a space for exchange between government officials, academia, the private sector, civil society and –most importantly–community representatives. This offers a venue for inclusive and participatory public dialogue on land reform processes and their implementation. The endorsement and ownership of all stakeholders involved translates into people‑centred land governance.

SCOTLAND

Through its advocacy work through multi‑stakeholder dialogue, Community Land Scotland (CLS) convinced the Scottish Land Reform Review Group that there was a need for a land policy, adopting a human rights approach to land rights and responsibilities, ensuring that Scotland’s urban and rural land contributes to inclusive and sustainable economic growth and to social justice. CLS has worked with Scottish and international human rights organisations to develop human rights arguments as the basis for defending people living on community land. Its efforts have led the government to pass the Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement (LRRS).

Mauritania

IFAD worked with local communities in Mauritania to strengthen their access to flood recession land along the Senegal River Valley. The project prioritised effective land and water governance, and creation and regulation of water infrastructure, by creating representative, local institutions and processes for resource management; and providing forums for the settlement of disputes.

BOLIVIA

In Bolivia, Fundación Tierra worked with local municipalities and communities to encourage intercultural dialogue, a process that has pushed local governments to combine their duties and functions with its obligations to consult with the community on issues affecting their ancestral territories. They developed a process for engaging government on the recognition of indigenous peoples’ land tenure systems through the co-management with indigenous communities. Fundación Tierra successfully reconciled two approaches that often come into conflict, municipal administration and community vision.

INDONESIA

In Halimun Salak, West Java, Indonesia, Kasepuhan women were landless, and were excluded from land-related decision-making and natural resource management. RMI worked with the Kasepuhan community to raise awareness about gender disparities and their effect on women, and structured them in and with women’s organisations where they learn about their rights. Women are now participating in forest resource management and are cultivating lands they claimed.

GLOBAL

LANDex is a people-centred tool for land monitoring that brings together official, traditional and alternative data sources with the goal of giving a more comprehensive, nuanced understanding of land governance. Built in consultation with ILC members, the tool uses more than 30 standardized indicators to generate comparable, people-centred data that can be used to monitor major development frameworks such as the VGGTs and SDGs. LANDex is contributing to the emergence of a land data ecosystem, giving space for the voices and communities often missing in the official numbers.