During the recent Conference on Land Policy in Africa, we had a chance to sit down and speak with Professor Howard Stein of the University of Michigan. Scroll below to read more.
1) Can you tell us a little bit about your research, work and background?
Peru shares the main land-related problems of several South American countries: the existence of very large landholdings (latifundios), on the one hand, and small landholdings (minifundios), on the other, in historical processes marked by the interests of actors such as landowners, agro-industrialists, peasants, and indigenous communities. However, unlike some neighboring countries, the dynamics of these elements are different due to a series of particular agricultural policies and their respective results, which have placed Peru as one of the main producers and exporters of agricultural crops in the region.
Despite the achievement of Constitutional democracy in 1994, 'the land question' is at the heart of South Africa's struggles to overcome the cumulative legacies of nearly 350 years of white minority rule. The emotive quality of land policies evokes painful legacies fuelled by disappointments with the official land reform programme ushered in by the new Constitution of 1996. There is broad agreement that land reform programmes have not fulfilled their aims to significantly redistribute land and productive agrarian capacity, strengthen land tenure for the majority, and settle the restitution claims of victims of land dispossession.
Restoration is an urgent correction to the past and current global land degradation trends, to return forest cover, improve food security, and tackle climate change – among other goals. It has been estimated over 2 billion hectares of degraded land provide opportunities for forest and landscape restoration . In September 2011, world leaders launched global Bonn Challenge – a voluntary global initiative that aimed to restore 150 million hectares of degraded land by 2020 .
The global Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) movement is gaining momentum. Thus, it is important to clarify what FLR is, the concepts, opportunities, challenges and its future implications.
UN member States endorsed the 2030 Agenda and committed to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a set of 17 Global Goals, in a 15-year period. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development contains land-related targets and indicators under SDGs 1, 2, 5, 11 and 15.