- Nearly five years after Friends of the Earth U.S. reported about escalating conflict between farmers in the village of Lunjuk on the Indonesian island of Sumatra and palm oil company PT Sandabi Indah Lestari — or PT SIL — those communities remain in conflict with PT SIL, which supplies Wilmar International, the world’s largest palm oil trader.
A recent project by the Business & Human Rights Resource Center shows how OpenLandContracts.org can be used to strengthen advocacy around corporate accountability and good governance of natural resources.
Commercial agriculture has driven land use changes and not only affected millions of hectares of forested land, but also farmers’ and local people’s land rights. Efforts to combat deforestation are at the forefront of the international aid agenda, and clarifying and securing land rights is important for its success.
Following last week’s meeting of the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS), this piece reflects on a key CFS soft-law instrument. It is an edited extract from the article “International Soft-Law Instruments and Global Resource Governance: Reflections on the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure”, Law, Environment and Development Journal (2017) 13(2):115-133. The full article can be freely downloaded at http://www.lead-journal.org/content/17115.pdf.
Until today, the world had no internationally comparable data on citizens’ perceptions of the security their property rights; no way of tracking how people evaluated the likelihood of their home or other land being taken from them.
In a saturated marketplace, food and beverage companies too often avoid addressing land rights issues.
Deciding whether or not to allow an investor to use community lands and natural resources is one of the most important decisions a community can make. Namati and the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) have published two new guides to help communities prepare for interactions with investors and, if they so wish, negotiate fair, equitable contracts. These guides are the first of their kind.
“We, the poor.” This is how Francisco Chicompa introduces the peasant families who live in Napai II, a village in the district of Mecuburi, Nampula province in Mozambique. The label stuck like glue: poor is what they were called, and so poor is what they were. Despite this, the land in the region has provided food for him, his wife and his eleven children. The land has provided money to buy clothes and sent the children to school. The land has held memories of his ancestors, which he was of course obliged to pass on, intact, to future generations.
Online mapping platform MapHubs has recently launched a new service, MapHubs Forest, which combines automated forest change visualization and alerts with tools for making maps online, analyzing spatial data, producing reports and storing information in a secure online portal.
How do we make land-based agricultural investments more inclusive, particularly regarding land rights? This was the focus of the agenda as LEGEND held the 6th UK Land Policy Forum on July 11 2018, with lively discussions from all involved – including government, DFIs, academics and land-related CSOs.
After years of efforts, land rights are finally getting global attention. With several land-related indicators included in the Sustainable Development Goals, the land sector now has the unique opportunity to create an unprecedented momentum around land tenure issues and bring it to a higher level on the development agenda. Our goal is, of course, to contribute to the success of the SDGs, but also to be part of sustainable development in its real and practical sense!