Organized by the Mekong Regional Land Governance (MRLG) project and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the Second Regional Land Forum will take place in Bangkok, Thailand from the 28-30 May.
1) Why is the Land Forum taking place?
To discuss in a regional setting a variety of topics that can help to improve the situation for smallholder tenure security. This includes community access to land and forests, customary land rights, community empowerment and policy advocacy, land distribution, management and monitoring, gender perspectives to land issues, responsible agricultural investments, as well as land conflict resolution and mitigation strategies. Presentations from actors representing all sectors will provide insights across the Mekong countries, as well as initiatives further afield and participants will have ample opportunity to engage in discussions.
Two reports will also be launched, the Mekong State of Land Report, which presents a comprehensive review of land resources, distribution and governance conditions in the Mekong region, will be launched for consultation. The report has been produced by the Centre for Development and Environment of the University of Bern, with the support of MRLG and various authors. In addition, four Policy Guidance Notes on the Challenges and Opportunities to the Recognition and Protection of Customary Tenure Systems in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Viet Nam will be launched which were prepared by FAO and MRLG.
2) What will the event sessions cover?
Amongst other key issues to be covered, the Forum will open with a Data and Technology Showcase event, poster and publications display, and opportunities to join a master class on Land Conflict Transformation, as well as an academic reunion and exchange session. The event also marks the end of MRLG Phase 1 and will serve as an occasion to introduce Phase 2, which continues to work to ensure that all smallholders have secure and equitable access to agricultural land and forest, particularly indigenous and ethnic minority communities.
3) Who has been involved in the spearheading of the Second Regional Land Forum?
Partners of the event include the Mekong Region Land Governance Project, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), as well as co-organizers during the event, the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), the University of Bern, the Research Centre for Social and Sustainable Development (RCSD), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, and the Independent Mediation Group (IMG). FAO and MRLG are grateful for support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), MRLG receives funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Government of Luxembourg.
4) What is envisioned in terms of outcome?
Dietmar Herbon of GIZ, sees the Forum as a major networking opportunity and envisages the creating of long-lasting working relationships: : “It is our hope that participants get exposed to and interested in new topics and experiences outside of their usual areas of work. We also believe that this can be a good opportunity for networking across the region and the chance to foster some lasting connections built on the notion that none of us are working in siloes and that we are not alone in our ideas and thoughts. This is a great way for different stakeholders, including CSOs, academia, the private sector and policy makers to come together.”
5) What role will the Land Portal play?
The Land Portal is proud to be a media partner for the upcoming Forum. Follow our Twitter handle (@landportal) and our Facebook page for live coverage of the event! Hashtags to look out for: #regionallandforum2018 #StateofLand #MekongLandGovernance