Information Note: Partnership and National Engagement Strategy for Responsible Land Governance in Colombia

Strengthening the capacity and political representation of farmers' organizations

The "National Engagement Strategy for Responsible Land Governance" workshop was held July 25 to 26 in Bogota, organized by the Centro de Investigación y Educación Popular/ Programa Por la Paz (CINEP/PPP) and the International Land Coalition (ILC). The event brought together over 40 representatives from government, intergovernmental organizations, peasant and social organizations and academia to discuss working routes and generate agreements to promote the Engagement Strategy to promote inclusive rural development in Colombia. Among the major agreements produced are the need to strengthen the capacity and political representation of farmers' organizations, analysis and monitoring of current national policy on land restitution to make public policy recommendations, and the promotion of initiatives to support land rights defenders and rural women.

Over two days of work and collective construction, participants discussed the scope of rural policy that is being promoted in Colombia and strategies to promote reform policies pro the rural poor, identifying scenarios for advocacy in favor of responsible land governance. The importance of encouraging processes for accompanying and strengthening farmer organizations and rural women in order to strengthen their political representation in the debate on current rural policies was highlighted, as were the need to develop research on the peasant economy and the contribution of rural women to the household economy, national economy and food supply and the multiple discrimination suffered. In the context of the urgent problems in the Colombian context, discussions on land restitution, the proposals on the Statute for Rural Development (Estatuto de Desarrollo Rural) in progress, and the situation of land rights defenders and rural women were encouraged.