Progress made by ILC LAC on building alliances with REAF Mercosur

Thursday, July 19, 2018

ILC LAC was present on June 11-14 at the 28th REAF session held in Asuncion, Paraguay. ILC LAC participation enabled progress on building alliances to this important event.

The Specialized Meeting on Family Farming of MERCOSUR (REAF) is a meeting place and a space for dialogue among government representatives, civil society and key experts to discuss small-scale agriculture. The Meeting aims at policy-making to appropriately promote family farming in the region, addressing priority issues such as access to land, gender, youth, climate change, family production and trade.

Sustained ILC LAC participation in the REAF

I was invited to participate in the 28th REAF session as an International Land Coalition Latin America and the Caribbean (ILC LAC) representative. This was the third time we participated in the event as a Coalition. I participated with the objective to continue discussions on the joint action plan to enable a stronger relationship, at technical and political levels, between REAF and ILC LAC. Other ILC members participating in the event were FAA, RENAF and WRF.

Within this context, I was requested to present the Latin American Semiarid Platform Initiative to the Land and Agrarian Reform Committee. The Initiative has been developing joint actions since 2017 and it is promoted by ILC in the region, with 26 participant organisations from 10 countries. The aim is to address access and management of water, land and other resources, and fostering political advocacy and collaboration among different actors.

The continuous participation of ILC in the REAF is enabling progress to identify possible partnerships and inter-agency collaborations, adding to alliances for policy-making benefitting rural inhabitants.

The REAF, being the main space for dialogue bringing together government representatives, indigenous and peasant organizations and other stakeholders to discuss policies aimed at family farming, provides a unique opportunity to promote work from the ILC network. One of the main tasks of the Latin American Semiarid Platform and other ILC initiatives is to foster more effective participation of social leaders connected to ILC in each member country of the REAF, using the already-defined representation mechanisms.

The Minutes of the Specialized Meeting held in Paraguay outline plans to promote future collaborations between the REAF and ILC to share experiences of territorial conflict resolution. Hence, it is expected the sharing of information and best practices regarding issues of land and territories, water, women and youth rights, the SDGs, among other themes.

The Multi-country Initiatives or the National Engagement Strategies (NES) supported by ILC could be interesting points of entry for collaboration, within the framework for action jointly elaborated with REAF Technical Secretariat. The problems of the semi-arid regions, rural women´s rights, and access to land for rural youth are just a few of the Coalition core themes in the region, which are directly linked to the work of the REAF. We could participate and/or contribute, for instance, to the work done by the Gender Committee of the Specialized Meeting through the Initiative Rural Women´s Land Rights.

In short, the Coalition, via its members and partners, could contribute to drafting or discussing policies concerning those who live on and from the land, as well as to amplify the voices of rural inhabitants.

 

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Blog written by Gabriel Segezzo (FUNDAPAZ)

Edited by Sandra Apaza and Melissa Medina