When the Land Portal was founded in 2014, we were part of conferences that spent vast sums of money bringing hundreds of people together to discuss land-related subjects. Yet the powerful speeches that were made, the insightful presentations and the moments of epiphany were largely getting stuck in the conference venue.
Early this year, the Arab region saw a series of webinars and meetings about the status of land-related information and data.
In 2002, Timor Leste emerged from a difficult colonial past under Portuguese and Indonesian rule. Since independence, the country has achieved substantial progress in combatting poverty and facilitating economic growth, mostly through hydrocarbon extraction and oil revenues. Nonetheless, the country still ranks among the poorest in Southeast Asia. The population lives mostly in the countryside off subsistence farming.
Under demands from Islamic nationalists, present-day Pakistan was created from the partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947, and then the secession of Bangladesh in 1971. The total land area is 770,875 km2, not including disputed regions of Jammu and Kashmir (claimed by both Pakistan and India). Borders are to India, China, Afghanistan, Iran, and the Arabian Sea to the south. There is a rich diversity of landscapes, including mountains, desert, and river delta areas. Nevertheless, Pakistan is mainly a dry-land country, 80% arid or semi-arid, and with high levels of water scarcity.
UN member States endorsed the 2030 Agenda and committed to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) a set of 17 Global Goals, in a 15-year period. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development contains land-related targets and indicators under SDGs 1, 2, 5, 11 and 15. Many land organizations and stakeholders are committed to fully implementing the SDGs and to monitoring the land-related indicators in order to promote responsible land governance. Land is a significant resource, both cross-cutting and critical to achieving the SDGs.
Conflict is a major cause and, in some cases, result of humanitarian crises. Conflict frequently overlaps with underlying social inequalities, poverty and high levels of vulnerability. Conflicts are direct threats to food security as they cause massive loss of life and therefore loss of workforce (which is particularly important, as agriculture tends to rely heavily on human labour), loss of vital livestock, and loss of land. Conflicts displace millions of people each year, often forcing them to flee with nothing and making them extremely reliant on the communities that offer them shelter and humanitarian aid. This can place unsustainable pressure on hosting communities that often face high levels of food insecurity and struggle to make ends meet.