Triennial ILC Report Finds Network “On Track” in Advancing People-centered Land Governance
Photo courtesy of Graciela Metternicht
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The report discusses diverse examples of how members have used their collective voice to effectively influence global processes such as the land-related targets and indicators in the SDGs.

Highlights include the ‘Land Rights Now’ campaign, which brings together more than 800 organizations from over 100 countries to advocate for a doubling of land that is owned and controlled by indigenous peoples and local communities.

The report also notes continuing challenges amidst the “somber” reality of rising hunger and diminishing space for civil society in more than 109 countries that saw the murders of 207 land and environmental defenders in 2017 alone, of whom 23 were ILC members.

October 2018: The International Land Coalition (ILC) has released its first triennial report under the 2016-2021 Strategy, which concludes, in line with the findings of the Mid-Term Review of the strategy, that there is “strong evidence” that the Coalition has contributed to changes in land governance. The report also notes continuing challenges amidst the “somber” reality of rising hunger and diminishing space for civil society in more than 109 countries that saw the murders of 207 land and environmental defenders in 2017 alone, of whom 23 were ILC members.

The ILC Strategy includes ten commitments to promote land governance globally that range from securing land rights for marginalized groups, including women and indigenous communities, to promoting inclusive decision making over land and protecting land rights defenders. The report discusses diverse examples of how members have used their collective voice to effectively influence global processes such as the land-related targets and indicators in the SDGs. Highlights mentioned in the report include the ‘Land Rights Now’ campaign, which brings together more than 800 organizations from over 100 countries to advocate for a doubling of land that is owned and controlled by indigenous peoples and local communities. The passing of the Land Rights Law by Liberia’s Senate in September 2018 is described as one of the most recent victories for the campaign.

Reflecting on the Coalition’s impact, the report explains that ILC is increasingly becoming “a network of platforms,” led by members who also bring in other partners beyond the network. It highlights the role of such diverse platforms in pushing for people-centered land governance at two levels: through National Engagement Strategies (NES) in 29 countries; and participation in 34 thematic-based coalitions that cut across many countries, organized around Commitment-Based Initiatives (CBIs). The report notes that the 63 NES and CBI platforms are guided by a joint strategy with a medium- to long-term vision, which gives ILC “the agility to be relevant to the context in which we work and our members’ needs.”

Sixteen land-related policies and laws in 11 countries have been “changed for the better.”

Among specific achievements, the report identifies 103 change processes underway in 33 countries that have gained recognition from governments, municipalities or private sector actors. It further notes that 16 land-related policies and laws in 11 countries have been “changed for the better,” while in 22 countries the implementation of land policies or laws by government agencies and private companies has improved. Other achievements mentioned include the continued expansion of network – with 63 new organisations joining in 2018 alone – and the doubling of ILC’s annual budget between 2015 and 2018.

Discussing the importance of data in tracking progress towards global land governance targets, the report highlights a number of initiatives developed by ILC and its partners that are also linked to the SDGs. One of these is the Dashboard Initiative, which includes a monitoring framework of 30 indicators to measure people-centered land governance that has supported pilots in Colombia, Nepal, and Senegal to fill data gaps with citizen-generated data. Other data initiatives include the Land Matrix, a global reference for data on land deals that now includes data from five National Land Observatories, and LandMark, launched in 2016 in partnership with more than 70 organizations. The latter has mapped 12.4% of the world’s land, of which it is estimated that at least half is held by indigenous peoples and local communities.

The report also lists several capacity building platforms promoted by the network, including: the Learning Hub, which features over 100 success stories from members in working towards achieving ILC’s ten commitments; the Community Land Protection Learning Initiative, which brings together members from five NES countries in a year-long learning experience on securing community land rights; and the Network Builder, launched in 2018, which focuses on strengthening the leadership and institutional capacities of members.

While noting that the rise of violence and repression puts ILC’s mandate to the test, the report reiterates the importance of standing with members in their fight for land rights. It concludes with an overview of five key challenges that will need to be overcome in order to achieve long-term, sustainable change, namely: establishing channels for dialogue and influence with governments in difficult political contexts; overcoming the fragility of some member organizations; giving a stronger voice to constituency-based organizations that directly represent smallholder farmers, indigenous peoples and women; ensuring the full participation of multilateral members, notably the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), CGIAR centers, and the Global Land Tools Network (GLTN); and achieving gender justice. [Publication: Triennial Report 2016-2018] [Overview of the Report] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Role of Communally Owned Forestlands in Climate Change Mitigation]

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