Knowledge sharing at the GLF 2018

Ibrahima Ka, Expert foncier/ Ipar
Dr Ibrahima Ka, Researcher at IPAR
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

From September 24 to 27, 2018, delegations from all over the world responded to the call of the International Land Coalition for the Global Land Forum (GLF) in Bandung, historic city of Indonesia.

In 1955 Bandung organised the conference that sparked the spirit of independence of the peoples of Asia and Africa and marked the beginning of cooperation between newly independent nations and the non-alignment movement. Overall, over 500 delegates from 84 countries participated at the forum.

Au total, plus de 500 délégués ont participé au FFM

This was a big event for the ILC and it deserve a huge credit for professionally handling everything. The GLF is a triennial event that enables practitioner-oriented collaborations and strategic discussions on people centred land governance. This year's edition was particularly remarkable. Skilfully organised by a host of partners, including the Consortium for Agrarian Reform-KPA, the event was a great opportunity to discover brand new advances in land tenure around the world.

 A network for impact

Based on activity reports presented at this forum, it appears ILC members implemented numerous activities around the world, which yielded considerable impacts. Indeed, ILC has two intervention tools: the National Engagement Strategies (NES) and the Commitment-Based Initiatives (CBI). Through these two instruments, ILC works to support grassroots communities and promote people-centred land governance.

Anicet Ndoricimpa_CAPAD, Ibrahima Ka_IPAR et Babacar Diop_CNCR

 A borderless exchange of experiences on land

At this year’s Land Forum, many countries shared their experiences and processes on land and agrarian reform. These exchanges were very rich and allowed the realization of an ecosystem of interesting information on land policies.  A high-level senior government officials' panel shared experiences on reform processes in Nepal, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Cambodia, Madagascar, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The discussions enabled mutual learning on a number of key issues affecting land governance in the third world. Notably on women’s land rights, how to drive inclusive land reform processes and finally the issue of responsible agricultural investments. 

Protect land and environmental defenders

On key message communicated at the Land Forum this year was the need to protect land defenders. The year 2017 was particularly deadly for those who stood up to protect land and environmental rights. Up to 207 deaths were recorded by the end of 2017 and dozens more criminalised. In addition to calling for the protection of land defenders, delegates also paid a minute of silence to the martyrs that lost their lives defending the environment. This was a key moment of the Land Forum.

Strong voices air on family farming

During in one of the sessions, farmers’ organisations made the case for agrarian reforms. They argued that land and agrarian reforms must be based on inclusive and participatory approaches where all stakeholders contribute to determine the type of framework to govern them. At the high-level panel on agrarian reform in Indonesia, farmers' organisations made it clear that they do not want to be objects of reform but more subjects, actors in the reform process. This heart cry is very important because it makes allusion to land democracy, which brings a new thinking about land.

The importance of data driven land governance

It appears that current land reforms suffer from two limitations: the lack of strong policies and solid data to improve them. Fortunately, some countries are making healthy efforts toward covering this gap. A number of them are developing observatories on land. These observatories are tools for collecting and analysing useful data for policy and decision-making. Once a country tools itself with the toolkit, it is able to collect and analyse a range of datasets on a number of topics, including land acquisition and pastoralism.  To complement data driven land governance at country levels, ILC developed the Dashboard, a tool that provides country processes with indicators for monitoring progress in land governance. The tool is being piloted in three countries around the globe. In Africa, Senegal is the first and only country testing the tool, led by IPAR.