Global Land News Summaries May 20 - 26, 2015

Thank you again to @CGinsburg for collecting this week’s land news headlines. Please add other news stories, comments, or questions by using ‘Reply’ below. :smile:

05.20.2015 – Sierra Leone: Government takes Leadership on Voluntary Guidelines AllAfrica The Government of Sierra Leone, through relevant line ministries, has taken leadership in the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Tenure (VGGT) at country level. http://allafrica.com/stories/201505191005.html

05.20.2015 – Indonesia: Achieving Gender Justice in Land and Forest Governance In Asia A recent position paper from The Asia Foundation’s SETAPAK program suggests that Indonesian CSOs may lack the capacity to develop programs leading to gender-just land and forest governance. http://asiafoundation.org/in-asia/2015/05/20/indonesia-achieving-gender-justice-in-land-and-forest-governance/

05.20.2015 – Peru: Primary rainforest cleared for massive palm oil plantations Mongabay More than 9,400 hectares of closed-canopy Amazonian rainforest has been removed for two oil palm plantations in the Peruvian region of Ucayali since 2011, according to scientists working for MAAP, the Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project. http://news.mongabay.com/2015/0520-mrn-gfrn-cannon-amazon-forest-cleared-for-palm-oil.html

05.21.2015 – Fiji: Vuniwaqa Clarifies Land Acquisition The Fiji Times Online The Lands Minister Mereseini Vuniwaqa clarified the status of lands acquired by the state prior to September 2013. http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=306573

05.22.2015 – Mali: Government promises to tackle land grabbing Xinhua Mali’s Minister of State Domains and Land Affairs Me Mohamed Ali Bathily has said his ministry will launch a merciless war against land grabbers and those who engage in land speculation. After a recent cancellation of fifty title deeds, the minister has now redirected his focus to communes in Bamako and Kati (15 km from the capital) where public land has been grabbed by developers who have set up residential and commercial buildings. http://www.spyghana.com/mali-government-promises-to-tackle-land-grabbing/

05.22.2015 – United States: Tyonek Land Gift Protects Centuries-Old Dena’ina Athabascan Sites Alaska Dispatch News The land gift marks the first time an Alaska tribe has partnered with a conservation group to protect tribal land through a conservation easement, participants say. http://www.adn.com/article/20150522/tyonek-land-gift-protects-centuries-old-dena-ina-athabascan-sites

05.23.2015 – Malaysia: Natives and Planters Lock Horns over NCR Land The Star Online “We applied for native customary rights (NCR) from the Land and Survey Department last year. As far as I know, the perimeter survey based on our application has not been done,” said Seta, adding that authorities should not allow development on land before ownership issues are settled. http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2015/05/23/Natives-and-planters-lock-horns-over-NCR-land/

05.23.2015 – Thailand: ISOC to Consider Rights Body’s Land Plan The Nation Multimedia Major-General Ronnarong Kotaradamrong said that a draft plan written by the National Human Rights Commission after consultation with the public would be considered and adapted to the national forest master plan if the law allowed it. …This represents progress in the effort to find a solution to land conflicts caused by the government’s forest-reclamation policy. http://www.nationmultimedia.com/national/Isoc-to-consider-rights-bodys-land-plan-30260768.html

05.23.2015 – Brazil: Tupinambá: the Return of the Land [Film] IC Magazine, Center for World Indigenous Studies Comprised of archival footage and testimony from the Tupinambá de Olivença Indigenous Territory, the film tells the story of Tupinambá dispossession and resistance – a journey that is inextricably linked to the advance of Brazil’s agricultural frontier at the end of the 19th century, the rise of the cocoa colonels and the recognition of indigenous territorial rights by Brazil’s 1988 Constitution. https://intercontinentalcry.org/tupinamba-the-return-of-the-land/

05.24.2015 – Malaysia: Get NCR Land Surveyed to Avoid Disputes The Borneo Post Online Villagers must get their Native Customary Rights (NCR) land surveyed to ensure there are no boundary disputes. Minister of Land Development Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing pointed out that the current land dispute in Sungai Kain was a result of some villagers refusing perimeter surveys. http://www.theborneopost.com/2015/05/24/get-ncr-land-surveyed-to-avoid-disputes-masing/#ixzz3bZsHFqUk

05.25.2015 – Mozambique: Agriculture plan could displace 100,000 farmers – activists Reuters Mozambique is mulling a plan to lease 240,000 hectares of prime farmland to investors to grow crops for export, threatening to displace more than 100,000 local residents, activists and academics said, citing a leaked document. http://www.trust.org/item/20150525103405-c6aed/?source=shtw

05.25.2015 – Pakistan: Centre’s Nod Sought to Regularise over 100 Katchi Abadis Dawn Officials in the provincial government said there were 139 settlements which existed on land of different federal government departments, which because of certain legal issues could not be taken up for regularisation by the authority. http://www.dawn.com/news/1184013/centres-nod-sought-to-regularise-over-100-katchi-abadis

05.25.2015 – Indonesia: People as Land Owners The Jakarta Post The President’s statement…suffice[s] to provide a political and legal basis for Papuans to exercise their ownership rights over natural resources. http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/05/25/people-land-owners.html#sthash.fDZt5iOB.dpuf

05.25.2015 – Indonesia: State Must Acknowledge Existence of Customary Communities The Jakarta Post Karsa Institute researcher Yando Zakaria has said the government must acknowledge the presence of autonomous customary communities in the country. http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/05/25/state-must-acknowledge-existence-customary-communities-expert.html#sthash.765XpgGp.dpuf

05.25.2015 – Expansion by Indonesia’s largest palm oil company frozen for disobeying RSPO standards Forest Peoples Programme The RSPO’s Complaints Panel has upheld the Forest Peoples Programme in its complaint against Golden Agri Resources, which was seeking to expand 18 of its operations in Kalimantan. The Panel has prohibited GAR from acquiring or developing any new areas until this complaint has been properly addressed. http://www.forestpeoples.org/topics/palm-oil-rspo/news/2015/05/expansion-indonesia-s-largest-palm-oil-company-frozen-disobeying-r

05.25. 2015 – Malaysia: Don’t Seize the Heritage Land of Jati Miriek Malays Malaysiakini The villagers have long been demanding and applying for land titles which has still not been recognised by the authorities, while the developers, who are not native local people, were given the right to own their ancestral land. https://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/299507

05.25.2015 – Papua New Guinea: Lawrence Kalinoe’s astonishing defence of the unlawful SABL land grab rewrites history and ignores the law ActNow! The Secretary for Justice, Lawrence Kalinoe, has made an astonishing defence of the unlawful SABL land grab and the government’s failure to cancel the leases or stop the illegal logging… http://actnowpng.org/blog/lawrence-kalinoes-astonishing-defence-unlawful-sabl-land-grab-rewrites-history-and-ignores-law

05.25.2015 – Australia: Native Title Claim Being Progressed through State System The Australian The ancestors of the Aboriginal people who lived in a great swath of the central and mountainous parts of Victoria will become the first group to advance a native-title claim purely under the state system. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/indigenous/native-title-claim-being-progressed-through-victorian-system/story-fn9hm1pm-1227367510719

05.25.2015 – Canada: Settlement Offered for Historic Indigenous Land Dispute Telesur The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne announced Monday that the Canadian government offered about US$200 million to settle a historic land dispute over the traditional unceded Mohawk indigenous territory spanning more than 20,000 acres along the banks of Canada’s St. Lawrence River. http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Canada-Offers-Settlement-for-Historic-Indigenous-Land-Dispute-20150525-0034.html

05.26.2015 – Kenya: 4,000 Title Deeds for Coast Residents Promised Citizen News “The Ministry of Land has already processed 4,000 title deeds that will be issued very soon as a way of addressing the emotive land issue,” said the President. He also ordered for an immediate deployment of more adjudication officers to the Coast region to help in the process of allocating the necessary documents to residents and address the land issue once and for all. http://www.citizennews.co.ke/index.php/kabete-by-elections/root/news/2012/local/item/29341-4000-title-deeds-for-coast-residents-as-uhuru-promises-more-goodies.html

05.26.2015 – Australia: Landcare to have Local Slant PS News Online Reforms to the regional stream of the National Landcare Program are resulting in funding flowing directly to local community environmental and agricultural projects, according to the Federal Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt. http://www.psnews.com.au/wa/Page_WApsn28016.html