The side event on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights to Lands, Territories and Resources that will be held on Sept. 23 from 10am to 12pm during the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples. The event is co-organised by CBD,  FAO,  IFAD, ILC Secretariat, UNEP (all members of the IASG) and the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN.

This event will precede the official Roundtable 3 of the WCIP on indigenous peoples’ lands, territories and resources, and the Panel discussion on Indigenous priorities for the post-2015 sustainable development agenda, taking place the same day in the afternoon. This event would therefore provide an opportunity for dialogue and reflection in preparation of these two high-level events.

 For further details, please see AGENDA in English, French and Spanish :

English: WCIP Side Event – Lands,Territories&Resources

SideEventFrançais: WCIP – Les droits des peuples autochtones – Evènement Paralèlle

Español: WCIP – derechos pueblos indigenas territories recursos – evento paralelo

 Please contact ILC Secretariat/David A. Rubio at d.rubio@landcoalition.org if you need further information.

Source:  ILC

The Learning Route on “Innovative Tools and Approaches to Secure Women’s Land Rights” was organised by the Women’s Land Rights Initiative of the International Land Coalition (ILC) and Procasur in Rwanda and Burundi in February 2014.

A Learning Route is an educational journey built around the experiences of local organisations that are supported to systematise and share their knowledge with others. The 16 participants, or ruteros, in this Route, women and men from civil society organisations (CSOs) and government programmes in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, learnt from the local organisations visited, and from each other.

During a week-long programme of visits and reflection, the ruteros learnt from the Rwanda Women Network (RWN), a national humanitarian NGO dedicated to the promotion and improvement of the socio-economic welfare of women; the Association pour la Paix et les Droits de l’Homme (APDH), a community-based organisation in Burundi promoting peace and human rights through education and capacity-building; and the Programme Transitoire Post-Conflit (PTRPC), an IFAD-supported government programme in Burundi focusing on legal aid and awareness raising.

Participants learnt about the potential for empowerment of women’s solidarity groups, the strategic role played by paralegals, the innovative role of mobile legal clinics in improving access to justice, and the effectiveness of legal competitions to raise the awareness of rights and the procedures of claiming them. A key lesson emerging from the Route was that awareness of rights contributes to legal empowerment, which is particularly important to women in contexts where statutory law and customs diverge on women’s inheritance rights. Another lesson was that addressing or even integrating customary norms into approaches to secure women’s land rights is crucial in contexts where access to formal justice systems is limited. Last but not least, the experience of women involved in activities demonstrated how involving women in community life, as well as in projects and programmes promoting secure land rights, can create a virtuous circle of empowerment.

The Route clearly highlighted that CSOs working at the local and national levels have an incredible amount of knowledge and expertise to share with others, but that they face capacity and resource constraints in doing so. The methodology of the Route supports organisations in making this knowledge available to the ruteros, but also to a wider audience.

For the full report, as well as additional information, including the case studies and interviews with participants, please go to: http://landportal.info/content/learning-route-innovative-tools-and-approaches-securing-womens-land-rights-rwanda-and-burund



Source: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

Lincoln Institute of Land Policy – Program on the People’s Republic of China


The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy Program on the People’s Republic of China cordially invites proposals for academic papers addressing land, urban, fiscal, and environmental related issues relating to urbanization in China. Preference will be given to policy-oriented empirical studies. Five focus areas are indicated below:

1. Land Policy and Development. This area focuses on issues relating to land market development

and efficiency and equity of land use management and regulations in urban China.

2. Urban Planning and Development. This area focuses on the role of planning and market forces in

the spatial development of cities.

3. Land, Property Tax, and Local Public Finance. This area focuses on the costs of public services

and the revenue sources to pay for them.

4. Social Housing Policy. This area focuses on the issues of affordable housing, including housing

market policy, provision of affordable housing, and performance of affordable housing programs.

5. Environment and Urban Sustainability. This area focuses on the urban environmental policy

issues relating to urban industrial development, land use, and transportation.


Applicants for the China Program’s International Fellowship will be required to have a Ph.D. degree at the time of submission.


  1. Cover Sheet

(include name, title, organization, contact information, email, co-author or

research collaborator information)

  1. Project Abstract

(Project title, abstract should not exceed 150 words)

  1. Table of Contents
  2. Calendar of Activities
  3. Detailed Budget

(Please outline costs for research assistance, equipment, data, fieldwork,

travel, etc.)

  1. Project Description

a) Research objective and specific research question

b) Theoretical or conceptual framework and main hypothesis to be tested

c) Methodology, sources of empirical data, and data collection strategy

d) Expected results

e) Description of partnerships (if research involves collaboration with academic institutions, government organizations, private sector, etc.)

Proposals will be evaluated on the basis of significance, clarity, theoretical/conceptual framework, methodology, feasibility, and expected contribution to the field. Exceptional papers will be considered for inclusion in the Lincoln Institute Working Paper series.


Deadline for Submission of Full Proposals – October 31, 2014

(For Fellowship Recipient): Deadline for Submission of Final Paper – October 31, 2015


Awards range between $28,000 to $32,000 USD.


The funds awarded under this Request for Proposals are contracted as work-for-hire, and are not permitted to be sub-contracted by recipients to third parties. Electronic submissions are encouraged in PDF or Postscript format. Send all submissions to:

Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

113 Brattle Street

Cambridge, MA 02138-3400

FAX: 1-617-661-7235

Email: kaustermiller@lincolninst.edu

Website: http://www.lincolninst.edu/aboutlincoln/prc.asp

Questions regarding proposal guidelines should be sent to: Kate Austermiller, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. kaustermiller@lincolninst.edu”

Source: CSRC Nepal

Download: Report on proceedings of the conference (2014) 1 MB

Various locations, Nepal

From 26th February to 4th March 2014, 21 international participants and representative from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, Philippines, Switzerland, Venezuela, Columbia, Canada and Senegal attended the event with 96 national participants from International Land Coalition members of Nepal, civil society organizations, social and farmers activists, non-violent land movement activists, international organizations, government agencies, academics, experts, parliament members including the  political leaders and policy makers attended the conference. ILC also facilitated cross regional exchange amongst the different regional platforms. The proceedings of the conference have been documented by CSRC Nepal (ILC member and main organizer of this conference), and is now available here.

Source: UN DPI

Venue: UNHQ Complex, New York

The 65th UN DPI/NGO Conference returns to United Nations Headquarters from 27 – 29 August 2014. A major civil society gathering at the UN, the Conference provides an opportunity for civil society, international networks and activists to develop an “Action Agenda” to mobilize messaging, advocacy strategies, partnerships and accountability frameworks in the lead up to the launch of intergovernmental negotiations at the beginning of the 69th Session of the General Assembly for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda, due to culminate at a summit in September 2015. The Conference will also be an important milestone ahead of the Secretary-General’s September 2014 Climate Summit and UN General Assembly, finalization of the Secretary-General’s Synthesis Report on the post-2015 development agenda, and the Lima (2014) and Paris (2015) UNFCCC COPs. The 64th Conference was held in Bonn, Germany, and previous Conferences were held in Melbourne, Mexico City and Paris. The Conference was last held at UNHQ in 2007.

Detailed programme available here.


Urgent! Sustainable Management of Natural Resources and Ecosystems – THURSDAY, 28 AUGUST, 10:00-11:30 AM, CONFERENCE ROOM 1

The post-2015 agenda must address global resource constraints and achieve a more equitable distribution of resources for current and future generations. In this Roundtable we will discuss ways to support economic development while protecting and restoring natural resources. We will explore the balance between sustainable production and consumption with economic development, and the role of the public and private sectors in managing natural resources.



| MODERATOR, Senior Director of Partnerships & Sustainability Education, New York City Department of Education

Iwan Nurdin

Secretary General, Konsorsium Pembaruan Agraria (KPA-Indonesia), International Land Coalition (Asia)

Jacqueline Patterson

Director, NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program

Tracy McKibben

Financial and Energy Specialist, Geostellar, Sphaera Energy, MAC Energy Advisors LLC

Elliott Harris

Director of the New York Office, UNEP

Iwan Nurdin addresses issue of 42 million farmers without access to owning land…


“States must cooperate w/ local companies to ensure rural communities have access to their land”



Source: LSE Review – blog

Book Review: The Global Land Grab: Beyond the Hype, edited by Mayke Kaag and Annelies Zoomers

The last two years have seen a huge amount of academic, policy-making and media interest in the increasingly contentious issue of land grabbing – the large-scale acquisition of land in the global South. It is a phenomenon against which locals seem defenseless, and one about which multilateral organizations such as the World Bank as well as civil-society organizations and action NGOs have become increasingly vocal. This empirically diverse volume – taking in case studies from across Africa, Asia and Latin America – seeks to step back from the hype to explore if the Global Land Grab actually exists, and what, beyond the immediately visible dynamics and practices, are the real problems? Laura Bernal-Bermúdez concludes that this is an important contribution to the literature.

The Global Land Grab: Beyond the Hype. Mayke Kaag and Annelies Zoomers (eds.). Zed Books. February 2014.

This book is an important attempt to question some of the assumptions behind what the media and other stakeholders have described to us as the ‘global land grab’. The editors – Mayke Kaag and Annelies Zoomers – will inspire both academics and practitioners to look at the phenomenon more carefully, and not let themselves be overwhelmed by the numbers. According to estimates by the Global Observatory, the total area of land controlled by foreign investors globally is similar to the size of Poland, with investors having acquired 32.8 million hectares since 2000. However, breaking down the shocking numbers and statistics such as this will allow for more nuanced opinions and solutions, argue Kaag and Zoomers.

Using a comparative case-study method, the authors set out to show us how land grabs play out in selected countries across three continents, all of them considered to be part of the ‘global South’. In Africa, they look at Ethiopia, Tanzania and Kenya. In Latin America, they focus on Argentina, Costa Rica and Ecuador. And in Asia, they study Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines and China. Although there is not much said about the reasons for selecting these countries, from the text it is evident that these represent a wide variety of cases of land grabs, challenging the idea of land grabs as a single ‘global phenomenon’.

Looking across chapters, this more up-close picture shows us how land grabs are not a modern phenomenon attributable to climate change and recent food security crises. It is a phenomenon with a historical account that goes back decades. What we know today as a land grab, broadly described by the editors as “large-scale acquisitions of lands by foreigners to use in large agricultural projects”, is only one of the multiple manifestations of land grabs. It would be irresponsible to neglect the other manifestations that still have a great impact on human lives.

Some of the questions raised by the chapters challenge our understanding of the phenomenon and make a call for more in-depth analysis: do land grabs only include large-scale acquisitions of land? How about other types of uses of land beyond acquisition? Can there only be grabs of land or are other resources, like water, susceptible of this phenomenon? Who is involved in these land grabs? Is it only foreign firms or also national companies? What is the proportion of south-south land grabs? What is the role of local and national governments in these deals? Can a neoliberal development agenda, followed by many developing countries and encouraged by international financial organisations, and dependency theory have any role in explaining the phenomenon? What has been the role of civil society in defending their rights? The answers to all of these questions come to bear on the definition and measurement of what the media and NGOs like Oxfam and GRAIN have come to call the ‘global land grab’.

Because the space of this review doesn’t allow me to go into each one of the countries, I will look focus here on two cases that I found particularly interesting because they suggest that in some cases the problem goes beyond a question of lawlessness or lack of institutional capacity, and into a question of institutional design linked to a neoliberal understanding of ‘development’. Ethiopia presents a case where the government included large-scale commercial agriculture as one of its core strategic objectives, creating a series of entities at the national level to promote and monitor investment. The state also participated directly in the market through the state-owned Sugar Corporation. Their emphasis on attracting foreign direct investment, leaving labour conditions and technology transfers aside, shows a particular faith in the market to balance faults. Centralisation of land adjudication allowed the government to bypass local authorities and more importantly the participation of local communities. Particularly interesting is that in 2011 the national authority in charge of monitoring investment adopted the ‘Social and Environmental Codes of Practice’. This very sketchy picture of Ethiopia suggests that the land grabs in this country are supported by a national government that is taking every measure to ensure inflows of foreign direct investment and the ‘effective’ use of lands.

Another interesting case is found on the chapter on water grabbing in the Andean region, using Peru and Ecuador as illustrative examples, where the authors show how the neoliberal discourse of development plays a role in the phenomenon. They suggest that companies are attracted to these countries because of the favourable conditions for foreign direct investment. They also argue that there is a neoliberal capitalist discourse legitimising and defending water grabbing. This allows those in power to appeal to modernisation of practices and increase efficiency to support large-scale projects over small farmers, who are considered ‘inefficient’. This process of globalisation has also shifted the power to decide over the use of resources from local communities and authorities to regulation beyond the state included in treaties, investment agreements and codes of conducts. Businesses are increasingly having a larger role in regulation, at the expense of the participation of those directly or indirectly affected by their operations.

The book is an important addition to the existing literature, filling an important gap with a systematic country level approach to the phenomenon. A particular strength of this study is that it used fieldwork and interviews to move past the ‘common places’ and the numbers that are so easily available in the Internet, to show a more profound and contextualised understanding of land grabs. The comparative exercise would have been more structured if all authors tried to answer some very concrete questions for the different countries. One factor that is particularly interesting is the role of civil society and it would have been a good opportunity to see how it comes to bear on outcomes across countries, but only some of the authors mention it and not consistently.


Laura Bernal-Bermúdez is a lawyer from Colombia with experience in human rights, administrative and constitutional law. Currently she is Research assistant of the Department of Sociology at the University of Oxford, working as a part of a team to develop a database of company human rights abuses around the world. She has worked for the state, in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; for companies, in a commercial law firm; and with civil society, in Redress and Oxfam GB. She finished her MSc. Human Rights at the LSE and is a DPhil student in the Sociology Department at the University of Oxford. “

Source: Toyota Foundation

Research Grant Program 2014, titled “Exploring New Values for Society”, provides two grant frameworks respectively for joint research projects and individual research projects that can be expected to lead to the creation of new values for society. For both frameworks, we solicit ambitious projects that are founded on creative concepts that reflect a youthful perspective and whose results can help change people’s ways of thinking – regardless of their country or region of origin or their social position and circumstances – and can lead to actions that bring about solutions to the issues faced.

Grant Frameworks

Project proposal period Public Notification Period: April 1 to September 5, 2014 Proposal Submission Period: August 25 to September 5, 2014
Total amount of grants 100 million yen (Joint Research Grant: Approx. 80 million yen. Individual Research Grant: Approx. 20 million yen.)
Amount of grant per project Joint Research Grant: Up to around 4 million yen per year Individual Research Grant: Up to around 1 million yen per year
Period of grants One year or two years, beginning May 1, 2015
Project proposal requirements No limitations are placed on proposals with regard to the nationality or place of residence of the project representative or participants; nor is there any restriction with regard to the their affiliation (or lack thereof) with a university, research institute, NPO/NGO, or other organization.
Grant categories Category A: Joint Research Grant Category B: Individual Research Grant
Selection of grants Formal decisions on the awarding of grants will be made at the Toyota Foundation Board of Directors meetings scheduled to be held in March 2015, based on the deliberations of a selection committee composed of outside experts.

Program Guidelines, Project Proposal Form(SAMPLE)

“Research Exploring New Values for Society” (Interview with Selection Committee Chair)

What kind of research can be expected to lead to “new values for society”? Please see our interview with Prof. Toshio Kuwako (Graduate School of Decision Science and Technology, Tokyo Institute of Technology). …→

Funded Projects

Comments by Selection Committee Chair

Previous comments are available in the Annual Report.


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