Global Land Forum 2018 - Why you need to be there

Betty Tiominar
Thursday, February 8, 2018

Indonesia has been granted the opportunity to host the Global Land Forum (GLF), which to be organized during 24-26 September 2018 in Bandung. 

As one of the largest land forums in the world, GLF 2018 is expected to be opened by President Joko Widodo, and be attended by ministers from ILC member countries; Asia, Central Europe, Africa and Latin America, civil society organizations, UN agencies, government agencies, academics and community organizations.

This meeting will be a great opportunity for all stakeholders to exchange information, knowledge, and experience among countries on agrarian issues.

The National Organising Committee (NOC) was esatablished to be the key organiser of the event. The NOC is comprised of 16 community based organizations and civil society organizations as the members. The involving organisations are Consortium  of Agrarian Reform (KPA), Participatory Mapping Network (JKPP), Indonesian Institute for Forest and Environment  (RMI), Sajogjo Institute (SAINS), Alliance of Indigenous Peoples of the Archipelago (AMAN), Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), People's Coalition for Fishery Justice  (Kiara), Indonesian Peasant Alliance (API), Pusaka Foundation, Women's Solidarity for Human Rights (SP), HUMA, Epistema, Indonesian Secretariat for the Development of Human Resources in Rural Areas (Bina Desa), Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (KontraS), Pasundan Peasant Union (SPP) and Indramayu's Farmer Union (STI). In addition to cooperation among CSO, the national committee also involves the Ministries and State Institutions to participate in the implementation of this meeting. Some of the Ministries and Institutions that commit to participate are the Executive Office of the President (KSP), the Ministry of Agrarian and Spatial/National Land Agency (ATR/BPN), the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Villages, Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration Ministry (Kemendesa) and Provincial Government of West Java.

 Bandung and Agrarian Issues

Bandung was selected as the venue for the GLF 2018 to recall the history of independence struggle of Asia and Africa nations against colonialism. In 1955, the first Asian-African Conference was held in Bandung. The conference brought the spirit of independence for the people in Asia and Africa, and became the beginning of cooperation among the newly independent nations in the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).


At the beginning of the independence era in Asia and Africa countries, land was dominated by the remaining of colonials’ power. Such situation, turns out, not much different with what we have nowadays. Issues on agrarian inequality is the major portrait in many countries. 

Themes and Issues

The Global Land Forum 2018 invites participants from more than 60 countries to feel the spirit of the conference. Through the GLF, ILC wants to put forth the principles of people-centered land governance into the current global situation and contexts.

Land grabbing, for massive economic concessions, in Asia, Latin America and Africa has driven out communities from their land. The number of criminalization against citizens on behalf of infrastructure development through forestry investment have been widely increasing. Meanwhile, the threat of climate change has obviously affecting water crisis and igniting natural disasters.

Various efforts and initiatives at the national and global levels continue to address that problem. At the national level, several initiatives have been done through territorial mapping, in encouraging the recognition of the rights of the customary area and customary forest, protecting land rights defenders who are criminalized through legal aid, and many more. At the global level, diverse initiatives such as business and human rights, VGGT, and multi-stakeholder approach model are being implemented against land grab actions.

This forum will discuss agrarian reform as one of the many land development issues. Some analyses speculate that this agenda is used to address the land crises issue, faced by large-scale plantations. The efforts to promote agrarian reform through land registration systems and spatial land use planning (forests and non-forests - plantations and coastal area) remain as the major issue. The land acquisition for agrarian reform vs land procurement for the economic purposes, development of plantation and industrial also the connection between rural and urban in fair relation, prosperous and sustainable are also considered as the important topic to be discussed in the forum.

The Global Hunger Index (2016) and FAO (2017) data estimate the number of hunger and malnutrition increased from 777 million in 2015 to 815 million in 2016. This problem is not solely due to lack of food but it is related to agrarian access to land and the concentration of land ownership for the corporation. Best practices on small farming and pastoral farming, peasant regeneration and agricultural innovations at the grassroots level become something that should be presenting in GLF 2018.

All of the above issues are summarized under the following four major themes for the GLF 2018:

1) effective action against land grabbing;

2) revisiting genuine agrarian reform answering global development challenges;

3) ensuring food sovereignty; and

4) women’s and invisible groups struggle on land related-issues.

Make sure you or your organization participate in the Global Land Forum in September 2018. See you in Bandung.

*Content pictures source: and

To register for the ILC Global Land Forum please follow this link.