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The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) www.OpenLandContracts.org
Global

Large-scale investments in agriculture and forestry have far-reaching implications for the lives of affected individuals and communities. They are also an integral part of efforts by national governments to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and improve the governance of land resources. Despite their significance, these “land deals” and the contracts that govern them are often cloaked in secrecy, removed from relevant spheres of public scrutiny and debate.

Global
Kenya

Kenya’s new constitution provides for ‘community lands’. Group ranches and trust lands will be vested in communities. But why, some ponder, would modern citizens want to own land as communities? Is the constitution protecting old ways instead of leading us into the future?

This week I will answer these questions through a global lens. Next week I will zero in on constitutional directives and how far the proposed Community Land Bill delivers.

Susan Markham, pictured in her office. / Ellie Van Houtte, USAID
Global

By Susan Markham, USAID’s Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment

At USAID, we know that addressing gender issues is essential in our work to end extreme poverty and create resilient, democratic societies. Period. Women are key drivers of economic growth and must gain access to and control of capital, land, markets, education and leadership opportunities in order to build vibrant economies and respond to a swiftly growing population that must be fed.

Global

29 October by Tiago Stichelmans - EURODAD

Instead of taking suggestions on board from CSOs or its own monitoring bodies, the World Bank continues to push its agenda at the expense of small-scale farmers. In essence, this makes it easier for foreign investors, at the potential cost of local farmers.

In Rwanda, WfWI graduates have come together to form a Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) to create their own source of credit and savings to help them grow their businesses and move out of extreme poverty.
Africa
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Global

Around the world, women in 155 countries face legal restrictions on the economic opportunities available to them, according to the recent World Bank Group's report Women, Business and the Law 2016, which highlights the challenges women face in the global economy and underscores the need for legal reform.

In Africa, farmers rely on their rights to community land, but governments don't always back them up with legislation. Photo Credit: Gates Foundation/Flickr
Kenya

When Kenyans enacted the Constitution in 2010, one of the crucial areas that we decided to focus on was land reform.Ke

The key target of this is the recognition, protection, and registration of community land rights.

It is unfortunate that land reform has now been turned into a political process that fails to respect the aspirations of the people.

It is especially disheartening that the proposals that were derived by the task force on community land have now been trashed and we are presented with land Bills that do not respect the needs of the people.

Desun Gembira village in Sumatra, Indonesia. Photo by Rainforest Action Network/Flickr.
Global

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) Global Summit in Mexico City this week brings together more than 1,500 participants, including ministers, from around the world. While OGP member governments have made notable progress toward transparency and accountability through the four-year-old partnership, there has been little attention given to making land holdings and land transactions transparent.

Global

At the end of September, the global land community met in Bern, Switzerland for the 2nd International Conference on Community Land Rights, to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing those who rely on access to community lands for their livelihoods. Discussions at the conference focused on the perpetual divide between indigenous peoples and governments with regard to land ownership.

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