Support for the Socialization of Mali’s National Land Policy

Fecha: April 17, 2017 - December 31, 2017

País: Mali

Región: Africa

Organización: HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Mali

Cantidad: $49,338

Detalles:

In 2017, the Mali Minister of State Lands and Land Affairs launched a property and land policy reform process parallel to the ongoing agricultural land reform process. Unfortunately, when it was unveiled, the government’s policy adoption process did not include a participatory process of consultation with local communities or robust analysis ensuring respect for community land rights. HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Mali and the Advocacy Network for Securing Agricultural Land Rights (RP SéFA) identified a prime opportunity to engage in the creation of this new policy; at the same time, they saw a significant risk to communities’ customary rights if the policy was written and adopted without local communities’ input.

Knowing that the stakes were high, HELVETAS Mali and RP SéFA conducted an analysis of the proposed property and land reform policy, and led a nationwide effort to consult communities about the new policy, garner their feedback, and, lastly, to work for the inclusion of their feedback in the land reform process and eventual policy. They held workshops in five different regions in Mali, gathered the insights and recommendations of those who participated, and synthesized the recommendations and concerns into a Memorandum. The Memorandum highlighted the increasing prevalence of land speculation, land grabs by big business and Malian elites; moreover, it recognized that, without a pro-community national land policy, there his high risk of conflict over land rights. Furthermore, it advanced the argument that securing customary land rights for local communities through the new land policy would bolster the goals of the 2015 Mali Peace Agreement by promoting stability related to land and natural resource rights.

When the Memorandum was finalized, HELVETAS-Mali and RP-SéFA facilitated a national-level workshop to highlight the results of the regional consultations. Furthermore, they conducted nationwide advocacy around the Memorandum, targeting politicians, civil society, and the media in the Fall of 2017. Each regional consultation had been covered by local TV, and this added momentum to the overall advocacy and coverage around the property and land policy. Following the final workshop in October 2017, HELVETAS-Mali and RP-SéFA sent the Memorandum to the Minister of State Lands and Land Affairs. They were notified that the Ministry is interested the findings of their consultations. Unfortunately, with the change of government in Mali on December 31, 2017, the Ministry of State Lands and Land Affairs was abolished, and these responsibilities have been transferred to the Ministry of Finance. This means that the reform process is ongoing, however, the National Land Policy adoption process is stalled.

Despite the current delay, by seizing this unique opportunity to contribute to the creation of a new policy, HELVETAS-Mali and RP-SéFA have laid the groundwork for future advocacy when the discussion resurfaces.

Download the project’s resulting memorandum, “Memorandum from civil society and local communities on the National Property and Land Policy in Mali,” here.

For more information, see the following news articles in French:

Processus d’élaboration du projet de document de Politique nationale domaniale et foncière : La société civile et les communautés à la base souhaitent leur implication

Pour une loi foncière agricole : RP-SEFA plaide pour l’implication de la société civile et les communautés à la base

Sécurisation des terres agricoles au Mali : Le RP-Séfa réclame une politique nationale domaniale pour alléger les contentieux fonciers

Fecha: October 1, 2017 - March 31, 2018

País: Indonesia

Región: Asia

Organización: Yayasan Hutanriau, Indonesia

Cantidad: $9,900

Detalles:

The SRM activity, approved in October 2017, strategically responds to an immediate and sustained threat to adat and local communities’ traditional lands and forest, and rich biodiversity posed by the expansion of palm oil in Riau Province on Sumatra within the Bukit Batabuh Forest Reserve. Riau Province is home to over 24 percent of Indonesia’s palm oil plantations, and is also the same area that is home to the Sumatran tiger which is currently listed as critically endangered. In Indonesia, during a period of 15 years (2000-2015) there has been an estimated 55 percent of forest loss from within concession areas, and an estimated total loss of more than 6.7 million hectares within and outside of concession areas. Indonesia has been losing its forests at a rapid rate for decades, and in turn, adat and local communities have been losing their livelihoods and their traditional lands and forests, as well as the wildlife and plant diversity that has been sustained by the primary forests.

RRI support will provide the necessary resources to support the mapping of the management area with Bukit Betabuh in order to complete the main stage in obtaining the Social Forestry permit from the local administration, while simultaneously developing sustainable crop commodity plans for the jernang that will create an initial border around the community forest land. The proposed activity will help empower the communities with the Bukit Betabuh Forest Reserve and train the communities in the titling processes involved in Social Forest permits. These activities combined will not only create income-generating activities for the Air Buluh community, but it will allow them to have rights over their forestlands and help preserve the pristine tiger ecosystem.

The SRM proposes to provide support to the Air Buluh community and the Bukit Betabuh Forest Reserve who have been the custodians of the lush forest – and home of the critically endangered tiger – for centuries, to enable them to have secure rights over their forests, to create sustainable forest enterprise by developing a community-led forest based enterprise model unique to a protected area and to set an example of community resistance to both Government and private sector encroachment on their land.

Fecha: September 2016 - February 10, 2017

País: DRC

Región: Africa

Organización: Center for the Support of Sustainable Tropical Forest Management (CAGDFT)

Cantidad: $78,235

Detalles:

Centre D’Appui à la Gestion Durable des Fôrets Tropicales (Center for the Support of Sustainable Tropical Forest Management, or CAGDFT), in partnership with Réseau CREF and FODI, undertook a project aimed at identifying and using tools to implement community forestry, coupled with an educational campaign to raise awareness about these issues in the provinces of Nord-Kivu and Equateur. They conducted trainings with Indigenous Peoples, local communities, and local and provincial authorities around the provisions for Local Community Forest Concessions (LCFC) stemming from Decree 14/018 and Ministerial Order 025. The LCFC are plots of land granted to communities by the government, to be owned and managed by the local communities and Indigenous Peoples who receive the titles. Under each LCFC granted by the provincial government, concessions are allocated in perpetuity to the local communities and Indigenous Peoples, so long as the title holders respect the rules governing sustainable management. Through this SRM, CAGDFT, Reseau CREF, and FODI were able to support four communities in their applications for the LCFC, potentially securing 174,000 hectares of forest. During the project, CAGDFT identified several opportunities to develop and extend the project to more provinces in the DRC, and the initial projects in North Kivu and Equateur will serve as models for future work to secure community forests.

Read about this project in our blog post, “An unprecedented community forestry initiative in DRC.”

Fecha: Ended February 2017

País: Cambodia

Región: Asia

Organización: Inclusive Development International (IDI)

Cantidad: $27,560

Detalles:

Inclusive Development International, with support from SRM, continued its support to fourteen Cambodian villages, containing some 15,000 people, whose land and forest rights have been violated by one of Vietnam’s largest companies. The company, Hoang Anh Gia Lai, was granted almost 50,000ha of land for rubber plantations over large swathes of Ratanakiri province, which overlapped considerably with the ancestral lands of the Kachok, Tampuon, Jarai and Kreung indigenous communities. As the company began developing its plantations, the communities lost residential, farming and forestland as well as many scared areas.

In 2014, IDI supported the communities to file a complaint to the International Finance Corporation’s CAO, an independent accountability mechanism. The company and communities agreed to try to resolve the issues through CAO- facilitated mediations. In a major breakthrough in 2015, the company agreed to refrain form any further development of its plantations and to return remaining land, reducing their total concession area to under 14,000ha.  It also agreed to a joint-mapping exercise with the company and government to determine which areas of additional land it should return or compensate for.

With support from SRM, IDI and local partners assisted the community in preparing for and participating in the joint mapping exercise, and pushing for recognition of their claims in the mediations. This included training and workshops on tenure options, customary land registration, GIS mapping exercises, and a valuation of losses, among other activities. As a result, the company has now agreed to return further significant tracts of land, including 20 spirit mountains and other areas with spiritual and traditional value to affected villagers. The mediations are ongoing.

Fecha: August 2017 - February 2018

País: DRC

Región: Africa

Organización: Innovation et Formation pour le Développement et la Paix (IFDP)

Cantidad: $45,022

Detalles:

This SRM was approved in August 2017. Its objective is to create a provincial legal framework to secure community land rights, especially the rights of women and Indigenous Peoples, which will reduce land-related conflict in South Kivu.

To date, IFDP has held 15 consultations in South Kivu with 378 participants. Photos from several consultations are available below, courtesy of IFDP:

Fecha: August - October 2017

País: Liberia

Región: Africa

Organización: Green Advocates

Cantidad: $9,577

Detalles:

This SRM was approved in late August 2017, and aims to ensure that a pro-community Land Rights Act (LRA) aligned with the letter and spirit of the Land Rights Policy is passed in Liberia.

Strategic Support to Kendeng Communities

Fecha: August 2017 - March 2018

País: Indonesia

Región: Asia

Organización: Yayasan Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Indonesia (LBH). LBH is a member of AMAN

Cantidad: $59,718

Detalles:

This SRM was approved in August 2017 and is on its beginning stages of implementation. It is a test case to illustrate whether rule of law and respect for Indigenous rights would prevail over industrial and a critical effort to overcome a culture of impunity and to make the Company as well as the Governor of Java accountable to law, including the laws protecting Indigenous rights.

Fecha: 2017 (contract end date extended to 30 November)

País: Regional (Africa)

Región: Africa

Organización: Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (GI-ESCR)

Cantidad: $9,900

Detalles:

This SRM aims to facilitate the final adoption by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) of a General Comment on land and property to the Maputo Protocol on Women’s Rights in 2017 by supporting a convening of key partners and Commissioners to finalize and agree upon the text.

Fecha: June - December 2017

País: Cambodia

Región: Asia

Organización: Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP)

Cantidad: $9,800

Detalles:

This SRM was approved in late June 2017. Its objective is to protect land and forest rights of Cambodia’s Kui Indigenous communities affected by 36,000 hectares of Economic Land Concessions (ELCs) granted to sugarcane plantation companies in Preah Vihear. An update on progress will be provided in December 2017.

Support for the Socialization of Mali’s National Land Policy

Fecha: 2017 (to end on 31 October)

País: Mali

Región: Africa

Organización: HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Mali (HELVETAS)

Cantidad: $49,338

Detalles:

This SRM was approved in April 2017, and aims to support the socialization of Mali’s National Land Policy, ensuring both an improved participatory process for its development and improved content that better addresses the needs, expectations and vision of local communities in Mali’s five regions.

Fecha: 2017 (ended 30 May)

País: Brazil

Región: Latin America

Organización: Instituto Socioambiental (ISA)

Cantidad: $38,213

Detalles:

The activity supported via this SRM approved in April 2017 has been very successful.  In light of the proposed Constitutional amendment and legislative reforms that could affect historical gains on collective tenure rights, 3,200 Indigenous leaders assembled in the Brazilian capital as part of the Free Land Camp mobilization to advocate for the respect of the territorial rights. Some highlights include:

  • Participants conducted a well-publicized march to Congress to present their demands.
  • Indigenous leaders were also able to meet with the president of the House of Representatives who promised to take their needs into account as Congress debates Constitutional and policy reforms.
  • Indigenous peoples organized committees to follow up negotiation with the government in the coming weeks.

In addition to successfully elevating Indigenous Peoples concerns with respect to their rights, the event strengthened the relationships between RRI’s affiliated networks AMPB, COICA, AMAN and the Brazilian indigenous organization AIPB, all of whom have agreed:

  • to integrating their advocacy efforts into the international movement for collective rights.
  • on a common messaging strategy, and to hold a panel on “Indigenous Peoples’ Access to Climate Change Funds” at COP 23 to demonstrate that international grants are not reaching Indigenous communities.

Finally, the event opened avenues for further collaboration with indigenous and women’s organizations in Brazil and work with new Partner ISA to conduct legal analyses and map indigenous territories.

Please find below clips related to the event:

Sting and Chief Come Together Again for the Preservation of Indigenous Lands

Free Land and Global Solidarity

In Brazil, Indigenous Latinos Protest Offensive Against Their Lands and Rights

The Indigenous Struggle in Brazil (Video)

Indigenous protests clash with police in Brasilia – in pictures

Acción urgente para el reconocimiento de los bosques bajo el sistema Adat

Fecha: octubre 2016 – abril 2017

País: Indonesia

Región: Asia

Organización: HuMA & Epistema Institute

Cantidad: $49,479

Detalles:

Si bien todavía están en marcha ciertas actividades bajo este mecanismo de respuesta estratégica (MRE), ya se logró el primer caso en el que comunidades indígenas de Indonesia recibieron títulos formales de sus bosques consuetudinarios (Adat). Se logró este éxito después del fallo de un tribunal constitucional en 2013, en el que se reconoció que estos eran aparte de los bosques estatales, al igual que de la elección del Presidente Jokowi en 2014, después de la cual se adquirieron nuevos compromisos para reconocer los derechos de los pueblos indígenas a la tierras y los bosques. Durante un período de tres meses, HuMA y el Instituto Epistema, que son colaboradores de RRI, coordinaron iniciativas de promoción y defensa, mediante las cuales se logró que el 30 de diciembre de 2016 nueve comunidades indígenas recibieran títulos formales para más de 13 000 hectáreas de tierras boscosas. El propio Presidente Jokowi entregó personalmente los títulos. Este avance ha sentado un precedente para el futuro reconocimiento de los derechos de otras comunidades indígenas en toda Indonesia. Ya se están redactando lineamientos para la gestión de estas tierras comunitarias.

Fecha: mayo – diciembere 2016 (a extenderse)

País: India

Región: Asia

Organización: Sahjeevan

Cantidad: $49,900

Detalles:

Como respuesta al gobierno estatal de  of Gujarat, India, el cual anunció su disposición de respaldar la titulación de tierras para las comunidades pastoriles en la región de Banni, 47 comunidades trabajaron con Sahjeevan, una institución colaboradora de RRI, con el fin de obtener títulos formales en 2 500 kilómetros cuadrados de tierras de pastoreo mediante la aplicación de la importante Ley sobre Derechos Forestales de India. Con la asistencia que prestó Sahjeevan, más de 40 comunidades han planificado la manera en que regenerarán sistemáticamente las zonas de pastoreo, protegerán la vida silvestre, eliminarán las especies invasoras y protegerán los medios de subsistencia que sean más viables para los miembros de las comunidades. Ya han empezado los esfuerzos de regeneración en cuatro parcelas experimentales, mientras que al mismo tiempo continúan realizándose campañas de promoción y defensa, a pesar de los cambios políticos significativos que han venido ocurriendo.

Garantizando derechos a la tierra para la comunidad pastoril Maji Moto en Kenia

Fecha: abril – diciembre 2016

País: Kenia

Región: África

Organización: ILEPA (Indigenous Livelihoods Enhancement Partners)

Cantidad: $24,550

Detalles:

Con el apoyo de RRI, ILEPA logró que diversas comunidades pastoriles obtuvieran derechos a la tierra en más de 700 acres. Después de los esfuerzos de promoción y defensa de ILEPA y de una serie de consultas comunitarias, la Comisión Nacional de Tierras (NLC) y el Ministro de Tierras pusieron un alto a la adquisición ilegal de tierras en el asentamiento denominado Rancho Grupal de Maji Moto, y se devolvieron los títulos de éstas a sus propietarios legítimos. Los funcionarios del asentamiento que habían participado en la adquisición ilegal de las tierras recibieron una suspensión y ya está en marcha un proceso para lograr un cambio pacífico de los directivos. Los funcionarios acusados han entregado sus títulos, los cuales abarcan al menos 700 acres de terrenos. Con esto se logró un impacto considerable en los medios de subsistencia de las comunidades: el presidente del asentamiento que recibió la suspensión devolvió tres escrituras de propiedad de 200 acres de tierras de utilidad pública, lo cual incluyó un centro comercial, una escuela y un punto de abastecimiento de agua. Esta acción veló de forma eficaz por que las futuras generaciones del asentamiento grupal tengan acceso a la educación.

Fecha: marzo – diciembere 2016

País: Perú

Región: America latina

Organización: Forest Peoples Programme

Cantidad: $100,000

Detalles:

RRI brindó asistencia a la comunidad indígena de Santa Clara de Uchunya, en Perú, en el marco de sus luchas contra la expansión de las plantaciones de palma aceitera dentro de sus tierras tradicionales del Amazonas, las cuales actualmente se encuentran bajo la explotación de Plantaciones de Pucallpa, una compañía del grupo Melka. Los reclamos fueron presentados ante la Mesa redonda sobre el aceite de palma sostenible (RSPO, por sus siglas en inglés). Tras la presentación, el gobierno peruano y la RSPO ordenaron el cese de actividades de la compañía, lo cual finalmente se llevó a cabo. Las acciones de los socios de RRI, como el Programa para las Poblaciones Forestales, la Federación de Comunidades Nativas del Ucayali y Afluentes (FECONAU) y el Instituto de Defensa Legal (IDL) han logrado que United Cacao Limited SEZC, otra compañía integrante del grupo Melka con actividad en Perú, sea excluida de las Bolsas de Valores de Londres y Perú. Dennis Melka, director general de United Cacao Ltd SEZC, ha dimitido, al tiempo que la compañía ha anunciado sus intenciones de reducir el personal de la plantación, en un esfuerzo por mantenerse a flote. De este modo, Santa Clara se ha convertido en una comunidad emblemática en materia de lucha de las comunidades indígenas contra la creciente expansión del aceite de palma en Perú y en todo el mundo. Este caso también ha contribuido a la petición formal para la titulación de otras tierras en Santa Clara.

Evitando la criminalización a través de la capacitación policial

Fecha: septiembre – noviembre 2016

País: Indonesia

Región: Asia

Organización: HAK Foundation

Cantidad: $54,868

Detalles:

La criminalización todavía persiste como uno de los retos principales que enfrentan las comunidades indígenas en Indonesia. Para abordar este problema, la Fundación HAK aprovechó un diálogo que se instauró recientemente entre la sociedad civil de este país y las fuerzas de seguridad, y realizó sesiones de capacitación en tres provincias para más de 40 miembros de la policía y de las agencias de seguridad. La capacitación se centró en temas tales como derechos humanos, resolución alternativa de conflictos y reclamos legítimos de las comunidades con respecto a sus tierras y recursos naturales. Estos esfuerzos fueron los primeros de este tipo e hicieron partícipes de una forma muy singular a las unidades de seguridad para explorar la forma de interactuar con las comunidades locales. Después de estas sesiones de capacitación, los directivos de la policía solicitaron que se ampliara el programa para incluir también a otras provincias propensas a conflictos.

Fecha: abril – noviembre 2016

País: Nigeria

Región: África

Organización: Ekuri Initiative

Cantidad: $52,000

Detalles:

La comunidad Ekuri, en Nigeria, gracias a la ayuda del mecanismo de respuesta estratégica (SRM, por sus siglas en inglés), llevó adelante una exitosa campaña para proteger cerca de 180 comunidades forestales ubicadas en el estado de Cross River de la construcción de una carretera diseñada para atravesar sus tierras y bosques. En febrero de 2017, el gobernador del estado de Cross River, Ben Ayade, anuló la notificación de enero de 2016 sobre la adquisición de 10 kilómetros de tierra a cada lado de los 206 kilómetros de autopista.

Mediante este SRM, la iniciativa de los Ekuri generó presión nacional e internacional para desafiar al gobierno del estado de Cross River en una movilización sin precedentes de las comunidades forestales y de las comunidades de la sociedad civil, la cual incluyó capacitaciones en materia de derechos destinadas a jóvenes y mujeres, protestas pacíficas, participación de los medios de comunicación, campañas de sensibilización y una petición con más de 250.000 firmas. Si bien la notificación ha sido anulada, el gobierno permanece comprometido con la construcción de una autopista, a pesar de las consecuencias que esto implicaría para otras comunidades forestales.