Global Land News July 30 - August 10

A two-week round-up of news stories from all across the world - including articles about corporate social responsibility and the role of large corporations.

### [Colombia: Oil Palm Plantations Expand into Indigenous Territory]( August 10, 2015 …Poligrow Ltd, has prohibited the Jiw and Sikuani indigenous communities from using traditional hunting and fishing lands, and prevented access to a culturally revered site, Las Toninas—a lake considered sacred and home to pink dolphins.
### [Liberia: Communities Speak Out About Big Palm Oil]( August 10, 2015 Related Links: [Will Palm Oil Help Liberia? Industry Expansion has Critics Crying Foul]( “The issue of concessions has been of serious concern because of the process involved in awarding concessions has not been transparent,” Nimley Toe said. “If customary people were brought in from the beginning, then the old land use issues could be settled. Companies would not have the problems that they are faced with right now.” ### [Philippines: Women Take Lead in Defending Land, Rights, Home]( August 9, 2015 “It is difficult enough to be a rights defender. But it is more difficult when one is a woman,” she told at the sidelines of the recently-concluded International People’s Conference on Mining (IPCM). For those who refuse to take the advice, threats follow. ### [Bangladesh: Jhimai Khasis Still in Fear of Eviction]( August 9, 2015 Khasi families have been living in Jhimai Punji, Moulvibazar, for generations. But for the last few months, officials of Jhimai Tea Garden adjoining the punji (hillock) have been making attempts to grab their land. ### [Global: Protecting Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, Conserving Biodiversity]( August 8, 2015 Indigenous territories are also crucial to maintain the vast cultural knowledge of medicinal plants and crops that are essential to current indigenous livelihoods and also provide resilience in the face of climate change by diversifying agricultural production and maintaining seed varieties that provide options for adaptation to different climatic conditions. ### [Global: Indigenous Women are Raising their Voices and Can No Longer Be Ignored]( August 7, 2015 Indigenous women face myriad challenges. We are often systematically excluded from the decision-making processes that affect us, and we contend with discrimination, poverty and violence. Indigenous men face many of the same issues, but they are amplified for women, who face discrimination for their gender as well as race. ### [Liberia: Senate to Hear Proposed Land Rights Act]( August 7, 2015 The Liberia Legislature is expected to hold a public hearing on the 2014 proposed Land Rights Act on Monday, August 10, 2015. ### [Myanmar: While Military Touts Reforms, Villages Still Fight Land Grabs]( August 6, 2015 …[Ye Pu village] has for more than a decade been locked in a land dispute with the regional command of Myanmar’s powerful military. In 2004, officers from the Myanmar army’s Eastern Command told villagers that they would be occupying a large tract of land beside the village. ### [Indonesia: Government Backtracks on Land Redistribution]( August 6, 2015 Following pressure from the private sector, the government has backtracked on its new regulation that requires forestry companies to allocate at least 20 percent of their existing concession areas to local people.

Global: Can big brands like Nestlé really play a role in halting land disputes?

August 6, 2015 Businesses need to start seeing communities as legitimate counterparts if we are to stand a chance of slowing down conflicts over land.

### [Indonesia: Kampung Pulo Insists on Customary Land After Ahok’s Turnabout]( August 6, 2015 Residents of Kampung Pulo in East Jakarta have stood their ground, insisting that their land is customary land after Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama made a turnabout and withdrew from his earlier promise to work with residents to build a community-based Kampung Susun (elevated village) near Ciliwung River. ### [Guatemala: Indigenous Community Wins Land Rights Victory After 200 Years of Struggle]( August 5, 2015 Success is rare among indigenous peoples’ struggles for land rights in Guatemala. But the nearly 300 Poqomchi’ Maya families that make up the Primavera communities in the department of Alta Verapaz have just won a significant victory. On July 14, community representatives and the Guatemalan Land Fund signed documents to officially recognize three communities that have called the land home for centuries. In the face of eviction, the communities negotiated a settlement with the Guatemalan Minister of the Interior, the Secretary of Agrarian Affairs, and representatives from Maderas Filips Dias/Eco-Tierra, the logging business seeking to harvest the land’s forests. ### [Guatemala: Peaceful Resistance Beats Back Large Scale Mining Project]( August 5, 2015 On July 15, a judge provided the non-violent resistance of La Puya one of their biggest victories in the 3 years of their struggle…Yet the mining firm has refused to comply with the court’s order, and continued to bring machinery to the mining site. This continuation has sparked new tensions at the La Puya encampment. ### [Zimbabwe: Behind Community Protests in the Platinum Belt]( August 5, 2015 A new paper reveals insights into the complexity of the land question and marries it with the plethora of issues that underlie community protests that plague the platinum belt. This nexus of land ownership, traditional authority, government and mining elite interests, and the ultimate brunt to be borne by mining communities in the North West is explored by this recent research. ### [Cambodia: The Struggle to Preserve Indigenous Culture in Mondulkiri]( August 4, 2015 During a visit to the capital in late June, Bill Herod spoke to VOA Khmer reporter Ser Sayana about his efforts to preserve ethnic minority cultures and sow the seeds for sustainable development in the mountainous province.

Global: Who Benefits From REDD+? Lessons From India, Tanzania, and Mexico

August 4, 2015 …international interventions are likely to favor forest-dependent people only when government agencies work under stringent political oversight in the form of inter-agency checks and balances. Forest administrations that enjoy wide-ranging powers with limited checks and balances tend to share fewer benefits with forest-dependent people.

### [India: Odisha Needs Gender Equitable Land Governance]( August 4, 2015 The World Bank study on Gender and Land Governance in Odisha reveals that a meagre 3.3 percent of land is owned by women which is much below the national average of 13 percent. ### [Philippines: Foreign company to develop 30,000 hectares for oil palm]( August 3, 2015 The New Britain Palm Oil Ltd (NBPOL), a palm oil company operating in Papua New Guinea and in Solomon Islands, is now conducting land surveys and community consultations in Loreto, Agusan del Sur. The company is targeting to develop 30,000 hectares for oil palm plantation.

Bangladesh: Tea Workers Won’t Give Ancestral Land

August 3, 2015 “We get only Tk 69 per day for our job. Even after that we have been living happily because we have land to cultivate and reside in. But there is a conspiracy to grab our ancestral land in the name of building a special economic zone,” said Sadhan Santal, president of Chandpur Tea Garden Panchayet Committee.

### [Mexico: West Texans’ Experiences Highlight Concerns Over Land Rights]( August 3, 2015 Some West Texas residents are fighting legal battles across the border to maintain their property rights in Mexico, and their experiences highlight a larger concern about possible land rights violations. ### [Canada: Government Wants First Nation People to Sell Land for Cheap and Give up Their Rights]( August 3, 2015 The “deal” currently on the table for the Northern Secwepemc pays $37.5m (in US dollars) and returns roughly 174,000 acres of crown land in exchange for an end to all claims to almost 14m acres of traditional territories. ### [Tanzania: USAID Helps 940 Iringa Villagers to Own Land]( August 1, 2015 United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has mapped and registered land for more than 940 Ilalasimba villagers in Iringa Rural District to help rural people own land. ### [Zimbabwe: To Ease An Economic Meltdown, Zimbabwe Considers Returning Farmland]( August 1, 2015 …Now, the government is suggesting that some of those white farmers may get their land back through 99-year leases. It’s asking provincial leaders to provide a list of farms designated “of strategic importance.” ### [Indonesia: Government Ready to Distribute Customary Lands]( August 1, 2015 The government has wrapped up the task of setting up a task force aimed at protecting the rights of indigenous people and preserving their customary lands. ### [Honduras: Corporacion Dinant Committed To Collaborative Roadmap]( July 31, 2015 The newly-appointed Executive President of Corporacion Dinant reiterated his company’s commitment to participate fully in an approach to bring together all stakeholders in the Aguan to discuss constructive solutions to some of the problems faced by people living and working in this part of Honduras. ### [Bangladesh: Indigenous People Seek Recognition of Rights]( July 31, 2015 More than 200 indigenous people formed a human chain in Dhaka on July 31 to call on the government to recognize their constitutional rights. ### [Indonesia: Prioritizing Indigenous Rights Key to Climate Change Battle]( July 31, 2015 Helping indigenous peoples to secure their rights to customary forests through clarifying land claims, integrating that forest into spatial planning and conserving the areas can boost efforts to reduce further forest degradation. ### [Global: Drones Can be Used to Enforce Property Rights]( July 31, 2015 In recent years, drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), have become a revolutionary tool in the defense of property rights of disenfranchised people such as the villagers in Wapichana. ### [Global: Just Growing More Food Won’t Help to Feed the World]( July 29, 2015 Small-scale farmers and pastoralists, who manage 60% of agricultural land and produce 50% of the planet’s food, should be central to [the food security] agenda. Research to solve their problems should be guided by their priorities, and take place largely on their farms.