The Global Land Forum 2015 (GLF) facilitated by the International Land Coalition (ILC) and CICODEV took place on the 12th to 16th of May 2015 in Dakar, Senegal.
Taking place exactly 20 years since the ILC’s creation, members of the coalition – including Natural Justice – from everywhere on the planet gathered to assess and continue charting a path forward towards ensuring that those who live on and from land have their rights and dignity protected. The theme this year was “Land Governance for Inclusive Development, Justice and Sustainability: Time for Action”. The Forum presented plenty of opportunities for interaction, debate, and mutual learning over a three day period from distinguished speakers, accomplished organizations and innovative individuals.
The first day, May 12th, Africa Day was celebrated at the GLF. Various government officials and other international organizations spoke towards the continental land debate – zeroing in on issues touching on how land is mainstreamed in institutions, women’s land rights, and investments in land. The following day, the theme surrounded inclusive development and justice for communities. The panelists noted a need to ensure that economies all over the world take note of the potential power of small-scale farming systems and urged communities to come together and harness their collective power around this cause in their fight for justice.
On the final day of the GLF, Ikal An’gelei – from the Friends of Lake Turkana, one of Natural Justice’s key partners in Kenya – gave a presentation on how proper land governance can ensure sustainable development. She highlighted the need to acknowledge various imbalanced and competing needs for land use and ensure that equitability still happens despite this challenge. The meeting ended with a call for action spurred on by various civil society actors, community members, public officials and international diplomats – particularly identifying key areas of focus, essential takeaways and better ways to strengthen networks and collaborations in the work around land issues globally.
One of Natural Justice’s biggest focus areas is land. We therefore recognize a need to continually maintain relationships through the larger ILC coalition, share the experiences of the work we do in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and learn lessons from all over the world on matters land, all for the benefit of the communities we work and engage with.