From October 12 to 14, the Togolese Ministry of Town Planning, Housing and Land Reform and the Rural self-promotion for sustainable human development (ADHD) will co-organize the 3rd Regional Conference of National Land Institutions on Securing Community Land Rights in Africa in Lomé, Togo and online. Ministers, officials and representatives of ALIN assess progress on collective land rights and discuss strategies to advance them before the next Biodiversity and Climate CoPs.
Launched by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) and co-organized by the International Land Coalition (I WILL SEE) Africa, the conference will build on the growing political momentum ahead of the next Africa Land Policy Conference (CLPA-2021) (https://bit.ly/3mvwJxo), the biodiversity and climate CoPs, and recent legislative advances in the area of collective land rights. Ministers, policymakers, senior officials and civil society organizations from 15 African countries are expected to attend the event in person and online.
“Research (https://bit.ly/3DaL20Y) shows that indigenous and local communities with secure tenure can achieve better conservation outcomes than private or state-managed protected areas and at lower cost. What we are seeing is that although many African states have adopted progressive laws recognizing community land rights, the political will to implement these reforms on the ground remains insufficient ”, share Patrick kipalu, Director of RRIAfrica Program. ” From 2015 (https://bit.ly/2Yni274), only 13% of the land surveyed in 19 countries in sub-Saharan Africa is designated for indigenous peoples or local communities. Worse yet, only 3% are legally recognized as belonging to these communities. This is a huge gap that requires urgent attention. “
To help fill this gap, ALIN was established in 2018 and now serves as both a community of practice and an accountability mechanism among members. In Lomé, regional government officials, community and indigenous rights activists and public sector representatives will assess progress since their last meeting in Antananarivo, Madagascar in 2019; discuss strategies to expand community land rights as the world continues to fight against COVID-19; and reflect on the roles and functions – as well as the obstacles and opportunities – of national land institutions in implementing reforms by 2030.
Dr Solange Bandiaky-Badji, Coordinator of RRI, added, “There is now a strong global consensus on the importance of recognizing the land rights of indigenous peoples and local communities as a fundamental strategy for land governance, poverty reduction, food security, women’s rights (https://bit.ly/3AghgpN), and conflict resolution. These rights also have undeniable potential to prevent climate change (https://bit.ly/3FgieGt) and biodiversity loss (https://bit.ly/3iDXqie).
Stimulated by international political commitments and growing demand from their constituents, especially to deliver the ambitious United Nations global biodiversity agenda, African land institutions are increasingly realizing the need for regional collaboration and political action on this front.
“The 3rd regional ALIN The conference is a strategic opportunity from which we can take advantage of the pre-COPs to consolidate political will, strategize for resource mobilization and confirm technical expertise to scale up the implementation of community land rights on the ground. Without this, we fear that African communities will remain vulnerable to the expropriation of land that they have kept for generations ”, added Alain Christian Essimi Biloa, specialist in land governance at I WILL SEE.
The following distinguished representatives are confirmed to attend:
- Samuel Odari – Deputy Director of Land Adjudication, National Land Commission (Kenya)
- Blaise Yoda – Director of Rural Land, Ministry of Agriculture and Hydro-agricultural Development (Burkina Faso)
- Cecile B. Ndjebet – President, African Women’s Network for Community Forest Management (Cameroon)
- Ellen O. Pratt – Commissioner of Land Use and Management, Liberia Land Authority (Liberia)
- Joseph John Ossena – Director of Land Use Planning, Management and Coordination, National Land Use Planning Commission (Tanzania)
- Dijwa Oyetunde – Country Manager, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (Togo)
- Albert Katako – Executive Director, Civic Response (Ghana)
- Simplice Mutombo TA Rubuz – Expert in Monitoring and Evaluation, National Commission for Land Reform (Democratic Republic of Congo)
- Solange Bandiaky Badji – Coordinator, Rights and Resources Initiative (United States)
- Patrick kipalu – Director of the Africa program, Rights and Resources Initiative (United States)
- Alain Christian Essimi Biloa – Land governance specialist, International Land Coalition (Cameroon)
- Laurel Oettle – Executive Director, Association for Rural Advancement (South Africa)
- Samuel Nguiffo – Secretary General, Center for Environment and Development (Cameroon)
To schedule or attend interviews, contact Madiha Qureshi at email@example.com.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI).
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About the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI):
RRI is a global coalition of 21 partners and over 150 rights holder organizations and their allies dedicated to promoting the rights to forest lands and resources of indigenous peoples, local communities and peoples of African descent, especially the women who are part of it. Members capitalize on each other’s strengths, expertise and geographic reach to find solutions more effectively and efficiently. RRI harnesses the power of its coalition to amplify the voice of local people and proactively engage governments, multilateral institutions and private sector actors to adopt institutional and market reforms that support the realization of their rights and self-determined development. RRI is coordinated by the Rights and Resources group (RRG) in Washington, DC. For more information visit www.DroitsetRessources.org.
About the International Land Coalition (I WILL SEE), Africa:
I WILL SEE is a global alliance of civil society and intergovernmental organizations working together to put people at the center of land governance. I WILL SEE Africa is its regional platform. The common goal of I WILL SEEmore than 250 members is to achieve land governance for and with people at the country level, meeting the needs and protecting the rights of women, men and communities who live on and of the land. I WILL SEE Africa is made up of 76 members from 26 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. For more information: visit https://Africa.LandCoalition.org/en/about-ilc-africa/
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