Global Land News Summaries April 15 - 21 2015

Welcome to the top headlines from April 15-21, thanks to Chloe for preparing this summary and thank you to all of you who suggested stories to include.

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04.15.2015 – Uganda: Lawmakers, Church Urge Uganda to Apply Land Policy Giving Women Access to Land Ecumenical News …The Secretary General of the Episcopal Conference in Uganda Monsignor, John Baptist Kauta said women, especially in areas where there is a customary land tenure system, persistently face discrimination which has affected agricultural production in Uganda. He said if corrected the land policy will help streamline women’s access to land. http://www.ecumenicalnews.com/article/lawmakers-church-urge-uganda-to-apply-land-policy-giving-women-access-to-land-29211

04.16.2015 – Kenya: Women’s Role in Agriculture Hampered by Institutional Settings, Report AllAfrica United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s report “Towards a water and food secure future” shows that the critical role women are playing in farming is being hampered by unsupportive institutional settings that influence agriculture. http://allafrica.com/stories/201504160152.html

04.16.2015 – Pakistan: Demand for Land Ownership Rights for Rural Population Daily Times Members of the Sindh Assembly and civil society organizations called for land reform, including redistributing land to landless women and amending the Sindh Tenancy Act. http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/sindh/16-Apr-2015/demand-for-land-ownership-right-for-rural-population

04.17.2015 ­– European Union: EU Ups its Forest Related Aid New Internationalist Blog …the best use of this extra European money on tropical forests would be to spend it on programmes which strengthen community rights and land tenure laws. But the research from Fern shows that it rarely does – and that the impact that should come with the increased aid is being seriously undermined by three factors. http://newint.org/blog/2015/04/17/eu-tropical-forest-aid/

04.19.2015 – Tanzania: Pawaga Land Tribunals Accused of Graft IPP Media During a workshop on land rights and governance of natural resources organized by Tanzania Natural Resource Forum (TNRF) and held at Isele village over the weekend, Isele villagers in Mlenge ward, Pawaga division, Iringa rural district have leveled serious corruption allegations against ward and district land and housing tribunals in Iringa Region. http://www.ippmedia.com/frontend/index.php?l=79454

04.19.2015 – Uganda: Disruptive ‘Development’ for Pastoralists in Karamoja in Uganda The Humanist View Blog post about impacts of government promotion of individualization of land tenure on pastoralists in northeastern Uganda. https://nowaraga.wordpress.com/2015/04/19/disruptive-development-for-pastoralists-in-karamoja-in-uganda/

04.19.2015 – Uganda: Angry Women Strip Bare in Ongoing North Ugandan Land Dispute RFI English New government plans to demarcate boundaries between the Amuru and Adjumani districts in northern Uganda have angered the Acholi tribe, who see it as a ploy to evict them from their ancestral land. http://www.english.rfi.fr/africa/20150419-women-strip-north-uganda-unresolved-land-conflict More: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Women--undress---Migereko-Gen-Aronda/-/688334/2689156/-/a43gy2/-/index.html

04.19.2015 – India: Indian Farmers Protest Government Plans to Ease Land Acquisition The New York Times Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi passed an executive order in December doing away with some of the rules protecting landowners from land grabbing and forced relocation. The unilateral move upset opposition parties and rights groups that had long fought for legal safeguards on land acquisition, and they vowed to fight any effort to make the changes permanent after the order expired earlier this month. http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/04/19/world/asia/ap-as-india-land-reform.html?_r=0

04.19.2015 – Pakistan: Mardan Lands in Digital Era The News International The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has announced the successful completion of the first phase of the computerization of the land record in Mardan division as part of an exercise to extend the facility to 19 out of the 25 districts of the province. http://tns.thenews.com.pk/mardan-lands-digital-era/#.VTW_D1zag3Y

04.19.2015 – Sri Lanka: Land Issue Still and Issue The Sunday Leader “…It is true that the government has by now released about 1,000 acres of land but the issue is that only 20% of released land can be used for resettlement. The rest of the released land is either barren or farm land…” http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2015/04/19/land-issue-still-an-issue/

04.19.2015 – Honduras: Honduran Indigenous Rights Campaigner Wins Goldman Prize The Guardian Berta Cáceres has won the world’s leading environmental award for her campaigning against the construction of the Agua Zarca dams. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/20/honduran-indigenous-rights-campaigner-wins-goldman-prize

04.19.2015 – Canada: Canada’s Own Oil Pipeline Problem The Wall Street Journal Chief Monk’s Tl’azt’en Nation, which claims land of 30,100 square miles in northern British Columbia, sits alongside the proposed path of Enbridge Inc. ’s Northern Gateway, a pipeline that Ottawa sees as a crucial piece of the energy infrastructure that will lessen Canada’s almost total dependence on U.S. demand. http://www.wsj.com/articles/canadas-own-oil-pipeline-problem-1429479110

04.20.2015 – Kenya: We Will Stay Put, Say Residents AllAfrica Residents of Kamathatha village in Gilgil town, Nakuru County, yesterday alleged that a prominent trader and politician wants to grab their land and evict them. http://allafrica.com/stories/201504201028.html

04.20.2015 – Somalia: Forced Evictions of Displaced People Human Rights Watch …“The Somali government has done next to nothing over the last three years to address the miserable and unsafe living conditions for Mogadishu’s thousands of displaced people,” said Leslie Lefkow, deputy Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Now, instead of providing safe alternative options and much-needed water and sanitation, security forces are violently uprooting them, leaving them homeless and destitute.” http://www.hrw.org/news/2015/04/20/somalia-forced-evictions-displaced-people

04.20.2015 – Bangladesh: Anxiety, Uncertainty in Khasi Villages The Daily Star Nearly 1,400 Khasi people in Moulvibazar’s Kulaura upazila have been left stranded in their villages for the last week, as the authorities of Jhimai tea estate are not allowing them to use the government road through the tea garden to go to markets or bring goods to the villages. http://www.thedailystar.net/backpage/anxious-days-jhimai-punjee-78620

04.20.2015 – India: The Fight Over India’s Land Laws The Economist An amended bill would make a December executive order doing away with the consent clause for certain projects permanent. But the opposition Congress party claims that removing the consent clause rewards business interests at the expense of poor farmers. Yesterday it mustered a huge rally in Delhi in protest. Why is land acquisition such a contentious issue in India? http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2015/04/economist-explains-18

04.20.2015 – Pakistan: Women Take on Floods and Hunger in Rural Pakistan Business Insider In Pakistan, women are forming committees to begin talks with the government about obtaining land rights. http://www.businessinsider.com/r-women-take-on-floods-and-hunger-in-rural-pakistan-trfn-2015-4

04.20.2015 – Myanmar: Kyaukphyu: History to Repeat itself in Burma’s Newest Special Economic Zone? Asian Correspondent After several days of speaking with villagers and civil society organizations (CSOs), it became clear that the newest SEZ in Burma (Myanmar) – Kyaukphyu, an island off strife-ridden Rakhine State – is displacing local communities without proper compensation and accountability for loss of land and livelihoods. http://asiancorrespondent.com/132248/kyaukphyu-history-to-repeat-itself-in-burmas-newest-special-economic-zone/

04.20.2015 – Australia: Phone Psychic in Nepotism Claim over Aboriginal Land The Sydney Morning Herald …this land has also been the scene of one of the worst cases of financial mismanagement and nepotism yet seen in Victorian Indigenous affairs. Much of the trouble - exposed last week in a Federal Court of Australia judgment - implicates part-time telephone psychic Sonia Murray, the former manager of the Bunurong Land Council. http://www.smh.com.au/national/phone-psychic-in-nepotism-claim-over-aboriginal-land-20150419-1mne7g.html

04.20.2015 – New Zealand: Maori Party Issues Scathing Letter to Tony Abbott Regarding Treatment of Aboriginal People The New Zealand Herald The Maori Party co-leaders have used the visit of Australia Prime Minister Tony Abbott to criticize his treatment of Aboriginal people, releasing a scathing open letter about the decision to close 150 Aboriginal communities in Australia. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11435557

04.21.2015 – South Africa: Khayelitsha Residents Protest Outside Court Ahead of Land Grab Hearing News 24 Around 60 Khayelitsha residents protested outside the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday afternoon ahead of a land grab hearing. http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/Khayelitsha-residents-protest-outside-court-ahead-of-land-grab-hearing-20150421

04.21.2015 – India: Land Under Forest Rights Act: Government to Extend Deadline The New Indian Express In a major relief to forest dwellers seeking rights under the Forest Rights Act (FRA), the government has decided to extend the deadline for filing applications seeking land under the FRA to May 30. http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/Land-under-Forest-Rights-Act-Government-to-Extend-Deadline/2015/04/21/article2774702.ece

04.21.2015 – Belize: Partial Settlement Reached in Maya Land Rights Case Breaking Belize News Ahead of Wednesday’s arguments in the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) sitting in Belize, the Government of Belize appears to have conceded ownership of lands occupied by the 33 Maya villages in the Toledo District to their residents as communal property. http://www.patrickjonesbelize.com/2015/04/21/partial-settlement-reached-maya-land-rights-case/

04.21.2015 – Brazil: Brazilian President Declares Protection for More Indigenous Lands Bernama.com Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff will soon sign a decree that ensures the protection to 232,544 hectares of indigenous lands, meeting the claims issued by four ethnic groups in the Amazonas and Para states. http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v8/wn/newsworld.php?id=1128011

04.21.2015 – United States: Construction of Giant Telescope in Hawaii Draw Natives’ Ire NPR In Hawaii, a battle is going on over the future of a mountaintop. Native Hawaiians say it’s sacred ground, while astronomers say it’s the best place in the world to build a massive, 18-story telescope. http://www.npr.org/2015/04/21/400390724/construction-of-giant-telescope-in-hawaii-draws-natives-ire

04.21.2015 – Ukraine: Improvement in Land Lease Regulation and State Registration of Property Rights in Real Estate Lexology On April5, 2015, Ukraine introduced the Law of Ukraine No. 191-VIII "On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine on Simplification of the Business Environment and Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 137 "Certain Issues of Simplification of the Procedure for Providing Administrative Services on State Registration of Property Rights to Real Estate and Their Encumbrances.” http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=d6cc96fd-6b03-42c2-b4d3-34ebccc1aef0

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One to add from Indonesia:

16.04.2015 - Indonesia: Criticism of GAR and Wilmar African oil palm projects highlight global ‘no-deforestation’ challenges Mongabay A swathe of no-deforestation policies by major commodities producers and suppliers in recent years brought fresh hope that genuine progress to curb rampant forest destruction was in full flow. Despite the huge efforts to attain these deals, some argue the bulk of the hard work lies ahead in monitoring and ensuring these ambitious commitments are followed through… http://news.mongabay.com/2015/0416-norman-GAR-wilmar-africa.html