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Trustable land information systems are fundamental for responsible land governance.
There is a need for sustainable, transparent, reliable data to empower people and support sustainable development. As such, access to timely and reliable information on land rights is essential to responsible and accountable land governance.
With the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), they provide additional context in the discussion of land governance. In the UN General Assembly resolution 70/1 (25 September 2015) by which the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted, the General Assembly decided that the Sustainable Development Goals and targets will be followed up and reviewed using a set of global indicators developed by the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goals Indicators.
However, as was found by studies conducted by the Land Watch Asia’s Land Monitoring Working Group (LWA LMWG) in 2018, while National Statistical Offices (NSOs) collect some data on land rights, they are unfamiliar or uninvolved in the policy side of land governance. Hence, it is strategic to engage the NSOs with the view of influencing them given their important role in the reporting of the SDGs.
Moreover, in addition to the SDGs, alternative measures of development and of land rights in particular exist. The International Land Coalition (ILC) has initiated the monitoring of land rights through the LANDex, which aims to democratize sources of and access to information on land. The LANDex complements the SDGs in many ways and is a useful tool in providing people-sourced data.
What we do
This initiative envisions that communities are able to protect and defend their land rights as a result of the availability of relevant and timely land data. Hence, armed with transparent and reliable data and information, the Land Watch Asia (LWA) campaign through this initiative, shall contribute to influencing the land policy formulation and monitoring the implementation processes in countries involved thus leading to increased tenurial security of rural stakeholders (i.e., farmers, tillers, women, pastoralists, indigenous peoples).
To achieve this goal, LWA shall enhance the capacities of civil society organisations to:
- engage national governments, intergovernmental (IGOs) and regional organisations, and international financial institutions (IFIs) in constructive policy dialogue to uphold the rights of communities to land and food, especially on policies and programs that affect the equitable distribution of land to Asia’s rural poor;
- monitor the status and processes of landlessness, resolve/mediate land conflicts, conduct land use planning and mapping, facilitate post-distribution services, study the linkages of land with food security, climate change, and other emerging issues/themes; and,
- build solidarity and alliances with social movements, community-based organisations, and other sectors towards common action on these issues, and develop a new generation of land rights advocates.
Where we work
Land Watch Asia conducts studies on the capacity of National Statistics Offices (NSOs) across various countries in Asia to report on SDG 1.4.2. (proportion of total adult population with secure tenure rights to land). The results of this will build on influencing land policy formulation and monitoring the implementation processes in countries involved, thus leading to increased tenurial security of rural farmers, women, and indigenous peoples.
In the Philippines, the Commission of Human Rights (CHRP) has requested ANGOC to train their regional investigators of land conflict monitoring. The sectoral landgrab study is another initiative that is contributing to enhancing the capacities of platform members. The platform took a notch higher in understanding the phenomenon of land grabs by focusing on specific sectors, rather than using a case approach.