9 October 2020
The 2020 Asia Land Forum, organised virtually by the International Land Coalition Asia (ILC Asia) from October 6 to October 8, was attended by about 200 participants from 54 member organisations in 13 countries. Throughout the event, ILC Asia committed to produce and develop action plans with its members and other stakeholders to secure land rights and achieve more sustainable, resilient and diversified food systems. Over the past three days, ILC Asia members have voiced out the struggles of smallholder farmers, indigenous communities, and women farmers among others, in mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Saurlin Siagian, ILC Asia Regional Coordinator based in Indonesia says, ”Food systems have been heavily affected with disruptions in the food supply chains and markets. Unable to market most of their products because of the Covid-19 pandemic, these family farmers had little to no income. They had poor access to affordable farm inputs, support services and access to credit. Their right to land has been likewise threatened with the loss of income and stagnation of tenure security programs”.
The Covid-19 crisis put importance on the existential role of smallholder farmers, women farmers, indigenous communities, pastoralists on local food systems for a country’s survival. ILC Asia and its members call on governments in the region to:
- Family farmers need secure land rights and access to land, forests, waters, and pasturelands.
- We need responsible and sustainable agricultural investments that protect land rights, preserve traditional Indigenous culture, knowledge and practices and that are equally beneficial to the national context and to local communities
- Ancestral lands and commons should be protected and the rights of Indigenous communities recognized and respected
- Women’s rights and work in food systems and at home should be strongly recognized and valued.
- The youth should be supported to thrive in agriculture and be given employment opportunities in farming
Members of ILC Asia call on governments across the region to respond to these needs through policies and programs under their National Action Plans that will strengthen sustainable family farming and to support inclusive multi-stakeholder approaches in policy-making.
The Asia Land Forum (ALF) is an annual event that brings together International Land Coalition (ILC) members in the region and other stakeholders ranging from grassroots organisations, activists, local and international NGOs to government agencies from the region. ALF aims to develop a common ground of the political, economic, environmental and social linkages between land governance, food security, poverty and democracy. This year’s theme is on the role of family farmers in securing our food systems.
With this declaration and action plan produced, ILC Asia brings these demands to global discussions and platforms with the hopes of strengthening our movement and building regional solidarity among grassroots organisations and other stakeholders.
About ILC Asia
International Land Coalition (ILC) Asia is a membership-driven network that consists of 54 national and regional civil society organisations, whose vision is to achieve a just, equitable and inclusive world in which land rights are secure and poverty is eradicated. We pursue people-centred land governance by building a strong coalition of grassroots and intergovernmental movements, who all work on land issues.
ILC Asia assists its members to build strategic and transformative programmes, taking a bottom-up approach in advocating land issues to governments in the region. ILC Asia is supported by the Regional Coordination Unit (RCU) and led by a Regional Coordinator (RC). This unit is based at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), our host organisation in Bogor, Indonesia.
For more information, please contact:
ILC Asia Communications Officer