About 350 land actors from government, academia, civil society and business came together from more than 15 states and outside India to discuss and debate various land issues. In more than 30 sessions, about 150 speakers and panelists deliberated over 3 days around interdisciplinary land-conversations to generate important information and evidence for policy, practice and academics.
Ten important land messages that emerge from these land conversations are:
- Land requires a multidimensional lens, so also land governance, a multi stakeholders partnership and multidisciplinary engagement
- Tenure security needs adaptation to changing agriculture, urbanisation and industrial aspirations: temporal & spatial elasticity will be key, especially shorter tenures with flexible spatial extent as per requirement
- Dalits remain sidelined in land access, struggling even for a cremation space. Women and tribal land rights continue to be the concerns, largely from implementation perspectives though legal framework remains robust
- Momentum around digitisation of land records, information, data and land laws have paced up with increasing investments and engagements by state and non-state actors; issues around digital divide, privacy & ethics need to be addressed so as FPIC
- Local norms, institutions & access to commons, forests and pastures critical for rural livelihoods & ecosystem resilience; Linear straight jacketed approach of land administration must expand to accommodate these complexities and informalities in rural and urban settings
- Pockets of exclusion continues with inertia and capacity limitations of land administration viz. Lal Dora in Delhi, Mining geographies in central India.
- Increasing investment rush, expanding urbanisation demand more and more land fuelling competition and conflicts; must be addressed with tenure due diligence, fair compensation & FPIC focusing on rights to livelihoods of local communities esp. women.
- Forest landscape governance for ecosystem & livelihoods sustainability requires innovative approaches like financing, technology & agroforestry; policy & capacity engagements critical
- India’s goal towards addressing malnutrition and increasing farm income may not be possible without enhancing tenure security of women, Dalits, tribal and tenants.
- Commitments towards SDG land indicators (5 a and 1.4.2) are binding on India, however the preparedness around reporting, programmatic investments and partnerships for action show big gaps with less than a decade in hand