Global Land News Summaries June 17 - July 7

A summary of 3 weeks of land rights related news stories from around the world, featuring stories from Uganda, Indonesia, USA, Cambodia, Argentina, Botswana, India, Sierra Leone, Philippines, Australia, Kenya, Malaysia and more! :earth_africa:

Uganda: Kabaka Explains the Ongoing Registration of Bibanja Holders

July 7, 2015 Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi has reminded all tenants holding bibanja on kingdom land to embrace the ongoing registration exercise, which will see them have full tenancy rights over their Bibanja.

Indonesia: Government to Redistribute Land

July 7, 2015 The Environment and Forestry Ministry said on Monday that the government had set a target of allocating 5.5 million hectares of forest to local people within the next four years, the majority of which will be taken from around 30 million hectares of concession forest.

USA: Affordable Housing, Always – Community Land Trusts

July 6, 2015 Gentrification is pushing long-term residents out of urban neighborhoods. Can collective land ownership keep prices down permanently?

Cambodia: The Economics of Land Concessions

July 5, 2015 Economic land concessions in Cambodia have a profound and negative impact upon rural households located near the plantations, severely limiting residents’ access to natural resources and causing incomes to dip by almost a fifth, a new study by the University of Copenhagen has found.

Argentina: Indigenous Chieftain Leads Fight to Reclaim Ancestral Land

July 5, 2015 Félix Díaz, the chieftain of the Qom indigenous tribe, is leading the fight for the return of his people’s ancestral lands in the distant northern province of Formosa. Together with representatives of the Pilagá, Wichi and Nivaclé indigenous communities, the Qom activists have for the past five months camped out in central Buenos Aires to demand the return of their traditional territories.

Botswana: Land Policy Debate to Continue

July 5, 2015 The debate on the proposed Botswana National Land Policy is expected to continue during the 3rd Meeting of the 1st Session of the 11th Parliament which resumes on Monday, July 6, 2015 until August 7, 2015.

India: Women’s Inheritance Rights Caught Between Landmark Ruling, Customary Law

July 5, 2015 Himachal Pradesh High Court’s recent transformative ruling giving land inheritance rights to tribal women has become a cause celebre, but there has not been much cause for celebration among intended beneficiaries.

Global: Whose land is it anyway?

July 3, 2015 From large multinationals to angel-backed social enterprises, businesses are springing forward with innovative solutions to address the issue [of untracked land ownership].

Sierra Leone: Protecting Women’s Land Rights in Sierra Leone’s Draft National Land Policy

July 3, 2015 The draft National Land Policy 2014 concedes that women, children and youth suffer discrimination and denial of land rights under customary law. The policy makes some concrete proposals to address these shortcomings. This commentary will examine three policy provisions relating to women’s land rights and interrogate whether they address the challenges women face in accessing land in Sierra Leone.

Global: Unilever Takes a Step Forward

July 2, 2015 Unilever Plc. published a human rights report, Enhancing Livelihoods: Advancing Human Rights. This is based on the reporting framework suggested by the United Nations’ Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Philippines: Most Land Activists Killed in Asia, Latin America

July 2, 2015 A study by a global environmental group revealed that the Philippines has had the highest number of killings of indigenous peoples and peasant activists in Asia and Latin America over the past six months.

Indonesia: ‘Criminalization’ of Local People Rife Amid Oil Palm, Coal Booms

July 1, 2015 The head of the East Kalimantan branch of the Mining Advocacy Network (Jatam), one of the groups in the People’s Coalition for Sovereignty Over Natural Resources, highlighted four cases in which he said local people had been unfairly charged as lawbreakers simply for defending their land against encroachment by powerful interests.

India: Siblings to Share Property in Spiti

June 30, 2015 The age-old custom of the ancestral property in the Buddhist tribal land of the Spiti valley being inherited by the eldest male child, with others leading a monastic life or fending for themselves through petty jobs, could be a thing of the past as the Himachal Government has decided to ensure equal share to all siblings.

Indonesia: President Pledges to Accelerate Long-Delayed Indigenous Rights Law

June 26, 2015 Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has promised to make passing a long-delayed law on indigenous peoples rights a priority.

Australia: Yaegl People Win Native Title to their Lands after 19-Year Wait

June 25, 2015 The Yaegl people from the Lower Clarence region on the New South Wales coast have won an 18 year legal dispute over native title of their traditional land.

India: ‘Ordinance to snatch land of tribals’

June 25, 2015 All India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha (AIKMS), a peasant organisation, opposed the Odisha Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Ordinance, 2015 terming it as an instrument to snatch land rights of poor tribals, dalits and urban slum dwellers.

Kenya: Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

June 24, 2015 “You don’t have security of tenure,” she said. “You cannot take loans, bearing in mind that loans are taken with guarantees. If you don’t have title deeds, you don’t have guarantees for bigger loans whereby to develop – the bigger the loan, the bigger the potential, definitely. So those are some of the limitations we have as a community. We cannot develop.”

Malaysia: Why Activists Reject 11MP Plan for Native Land Rights

June 24, 2015 On paper, the 11th Malaysia Plan has a plan that will grant the original inhabitants of the country, called the Orang Asal, recognition of their ancestral land rights…But in reality, Orang Asal activists fear that their fight for land rights will be made worse if a land policy proposal under the 11MP is carried out.

Indonesia: Indigenous Land Claim against IndoMet Coal Project

June 24, 2015 A few months before BHP Billiton’s Haju mine is set to begin operations in Indonesia’s Central Kalimantan province, residents of nearby Maruwei village have filed a claim for 1,000 hectares of land in the area under a new land rights scheme for indigenous peoples.

Cambodia: Villagers Block Chinese Developer From Clearing Grazing Land

June 24, 2015 Around 150 villagers in northwestern Cambodia’s Preah Vihear province have blocked a Chinese concession holder from clearing land they say was reserved for grazing their cattle, an official from a nongovernmental organization and a local commune chief said Wednesday.

Global: Pope Francis Calls for Protection of Tribal Peoples and their Lands

June 23, 2015 In “On care for our common home,” Pope Francis wrote: “It is essential to show special care for indigenous communities and their cultural traditions. They are not merely one minority among others, but should be the principal dialogue partners, especially when large projects affecting their land are proposed.”

Canada: Tar sands aren’t just oil fields. They’re sacred lands for my people.

June 23, 2015 Our Nation is not against development of our lands and territory – we want to see the respectful sharing and utilization of the land. However, current oil sands development isn’t meeting that mark.

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