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Eight Breakthroughs for Land Rights in 2020
2 February 2021
Authors: 
Chris Jochnick
Tanzania
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Liberia
Myanmar
Global

2020 was a tough year on many fronts, and land rights were no exception. COVID-19 hindered land rights advocates from doing field research, meeting with government officials, prioritizing policy initiatives, and obtaining funding.

Despite these headwinds, we have seen important advances, and the field continues to grow. Here are eight breakthroughs in 2020 to celebrate:

"Land is not commodity" VFVL law campaign poster in Kayah State
11 December 2020
Myanmar

Yesterday, on International Human Rights Day, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands announced that Saw Eh Say, the coordinator from the Kayah Earthrights Action Network (KEAN), received the 2020 Human Rights Tulip Myanmar Award for his great efforts to promote the right to land in Myanmar. The Human Rights Tulip is an annual award of the Dutch government for outstanding and courageous human rights defenders.

Photo 1: Community stakeholders reviewing background report of Zambian forest tenure context
26 February 2020
Authors: 
Mr. Malcolm Childress
Zambia
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Myanmar

Forests are critically important for many of the world’s poor who depend on them for food, income, medicine and building materials. As such, forests are a nexus of broadly held policy goals such as poverty reduction, economic growth, conservation and climate change. Most forests in the developing world are governed, in practice, through community-based tenure systems.

Why Women Farmers Deserve the Right to Identity
18 October 2019
Authors: 
Shipra Deo
Kenya
China
Myanmar
Bangladesh

On the 2019 International Day of Rural Women, Landesa’s Shipra Deo explores how land rights are an essential element for overturning misperceptions about the role of women in society and on the farm.

In a workshop with a group of agronomists who work in agriculture extension in India, I ask the participants to draw the picture of a farmer with whom they work. All but one of them draw male figures.

Photo by: Sandra Coburn / The Cloudburst Group
17 April 2018
Authors: 
Matt Sommerville
Zambia
Ghana
Paraguay
Myanmar
Vietnam
Global

Much of the world’s rural landscapes are technically managed by national governments with limited recognition of, or support for, the rights and management responsibilities of the rural poor who live in these areas. In an era of large-scale land acquisitions for global commodity production, this has led, in some cases, to governments allocating vast tracts of land and resources to companies with limited or no consultation of the people affected.

•	Women in Burlobo community, Northern Uganda, use a satellite map to draw sketch maps of their land, with the help of  the Land and Equity Movement in Uganda (LEMU).
Global
Kenya
Uganda
Sierra Leone
Myanmar
Nepal

By Rachael Knight, Senior Advisor, Community Land Protection, Namati

Photo CC Steve McCurry
Ecuador
China
Myanmar

I wouldn’t say Chinese investors are not trying to take social responsibility seriously, but they must understand that the meaning of responsible investment is much more than a few corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs.

Asia
Myanmar
Taiwan
Vietnam

By Roy Prosterman

Asia’s Tigers, the collection of booming economies that emerged in the East following World War II, are often hailed as economic miracles. There was, though, no “secret sauce” behind that sustained and broad-based economic growth. Rather, as Myanmar is poised to show, the key ingredient for a Tiger economy can be found right beneath our feet.

Part of the IRRI Collection / Flickr
South-Eastern Asia
Cambodia
Laos
Myanmar
Thailand
Vietnam

This blog was written as a contribution to the Mekong Regional Land Forum taking place from June 21-23 in Hanoi, Vietnam. Philip Hirsch is a keynote speaker at this event.

By Philip Hirsch, Professor of Human Geography in the School of Geosciences at the University of Sydney

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