Global Land News Summary, August 18 - 27

A week of many stories about indigenous communities and their struggles for rights to protect their lands and resources - good inspiration for our current land discussion topic. Also, an appearance from Namati’s own Sonkita Conteh in Sierra Leone! Add your stories and comments below :earth_africa:

### [Nicaragua: Indigenous Group Battles Construction of the Nicaragua Canal]( August 27, 2015 The Rama community’s efforts offer a glimmer of hope for opponents of the canal project planned by a Chinese billionaire. …Although the Rama community is among the least powerful groups in Nicaragua, an international court case currently underway gives them and other canal opponents a glimmer of hope.
### [Sierra Leone: Questions about what would be the second largest rubber plantation in Africa]( August 26, 2015 In 2012 the government of Sierra Leone and China’s Hainan Natural Rubber Industry Group announced a $ 1.2 billion rubber and rice investment in Sierra Leone. The 50 year deal will utilise 135,000 hectares of land across 12 chiefdoms in Tonkolili, Moyamba and Port Loko districts. …serious questions remain unanswered about the farming project, which will occupy land that is nearly four times the size of the capital, Freetown. ### [India: Hope Again for Ousted Dalit Families of Odisha’s Narayanpatna]( August 24, 2015 …Hope glimmered again for 337 such Dalit families recently when they received legal titles to their land through the state government’s land-to-landless programme supported by Landesa. ### [Bangladesh: Land Sector Heavily Corrupt – Transparency International]( August 24, 2015 The Bangladesh chapter of international corruption watchdog Transparency International has detected massive corruption at every stage of land management by the administration. ### [Indonesia: KPK to Investigate Illegal Forest Land Use Permits]( August 22, 2015 The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) started work on Friday to deal with the rampant illegal issuance of forest use permits by enlisting the help of three relevant ministries. ### [Colombia: Land Activist Threatened by Paramilitaries]( August 21, 2015 This week, Colombian environmental and land activist William Aljure was threatened by paramilitary leaders and followed by two unidentified men in Villavicencio, Colombia in the region of Meta. ### [Indonesia: Concern Over Customary Land in One-Map Policy]( August 21, 2015 Following the disbandment of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) agency, concerns are mounting over whether customary lands that belong to indigenous people can be incorporated into the government’s policy to produce a single, integrated map depicting various political and economic features covering the entire country, known as the one-map policy. ### [India: Single Women Get Land Patta in Odisha]( August 21, 2015 In a bid to create opportunities for the single women to improve their lives by strengthening their land rights, Mayurbhanj district administration distributed land pattas among them through the Women Support Centre (WSC) programme. ### [Guatemala: The Deadly Price of Environmental Activism]( August 21, 2015 Nine activists have been killed since the beginning of 2015 in Guatemala, mainly in indigenous communities opposed to infrastructure and mining projects, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) reported last week. Another 337 attacks against human rights and environmental activists in Guatemala were also reported for 2015. ### [Kenya: Proposed Law Targets Land Grabbers](

August 20, 2015 The Community Land Bill, 2015 states that whereas a community claiming or occupying land identifies the extent and the boundaries of its land to the satisfaction of the Lands Cabinet Secretary, the Registrar may commence the process of reverting the land to the said community.

### [Uganda: Agribusiness on rise in northern region where rebels fought]( August 20, 2015 The government wants agribusiness to be the next big sector… Investors have poured tens of millions of dollars into a landscape now dotted with tracts of maize, rice, sunflower, sesame and commercial forests. …the legacy of the conflict that pitted the government against warlord Joseph Kony gives the plan to expand large-scale agriculture an unusual advantage… Resettlement during war left much land empty. ### [South Africa: Constitutional Court Judgment Backs Democratic Control of Land in Traditional Areas]( August 20, 2015 Finding in favour of the Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela Communal Property Association‚ the court set aside a 2014 decision of the Supreme Court of Appeal and ordered immediate implementation of an earlier ruling in the Land Claims Court that the communal property association (CPA) existed and should own and administer land won in a restitution claim. ### [Global: The right to say “No” – Indigenous rights experts weigh in on community consent]( August 20, 2015 Many mining companies are promising to get the consent of indigenous peoples before setting up operations on their lands. They’re changing their policies, but will that actually give communities power? Will communities actually be able to say no? Though companies have made improvements in this area recently, this remains a critical question. ### [Jamaica: NLA Prepares 873 Titles for Properties in Three Parishes]( August 20, 2015 The National Land Agency (NLA) has prepared 873 of 1,005 certificates of title for properties in St Ann, St Mary, and Portland, under the Government’s $235 million (US$2 million) land registration project being implemented in those parishes. ### [Ecuador: The Struggle for Land Reforms and Food Sovereignty]( August 20, 2015 Social movements have long waited for meaningful and concrete progress toward La Revolución Agraria y la Soberanía Alimentaria in Ecuador. What these movements are specifically seeking is the approval of the Ley de Tierras Rurales y Territorios Ancestrales (Land Law) — a policy reform that would radically transform land tenure and property rights in Ecuador. ### [Indonesia: Kampung Pulo Leaders Tell Residents to Keep Calm, United]( August 20, 2015 In the face of forced evictions planned by the city administration in the next few days, restive Kampung Pulo residents near the Ciliwung River in East Jakarta are exhausting all measures to defend land they consider their “customary right”. ### [Peru: After 10 Years of Struggle, Ashéninka Community of Alto Tamayo-Saweto Gains Title to Ancestral Land]( August 20, 2015 August 19, 2015 was a historic day for the Ashéninka people of Peru. After fighting for over a decade, the community of Alto Tamaya-Saweto has acquired the title to its ancestral lands. Diana Rios and Ergilia Rengifo—relatives of the leaders of Saweto killed for advocating for their land rights, and current leaders of the community represented Saweto at this event. For over ten years, Edwin Chota and the community of Saweto have been leading the community’s fight against illegal logging and other threats to the Amazon rainforest. The community of Alto Tamaya – Saweto has been in the international spotlight since September of 2014, when illegal loggers killed Edwin Chota and three other Ashéninka leaders. ### [Cambodia: Video documentary on land governance]( August 19, 2015 STAR Kampuchea (SK) and Women’s Media Centre (WMC) jointly produced a video documentary on land governance issues in Svay Rieng and Banteay Meanchey provinces, entitled, The Voices of Land Grabbing Victims. ### [Cambodia: Government takes umbrage at US Congressman’s comments on land grabs]( August 18, 2015 Cambodia’s Ministry of Land Management is acting in accordance with the country’s laws and making an effort to respect citizens’ rights, a ministry official said Tuesday, rejecting comments by a U.S. congressman that people in the Southeast Asian country are denied basic protection from land grabs.