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IWGIA: Seminar on land grabbing - a day of tools, cases and strategizing

November 1 2014

Photo: Member of IWGIA’s board Rie Odgaard and Elifuraha Laltaika talking about The SACGOT Corridor in Tanzania

The second day of IWGIA’s seminar on land grabbing started with Ward Anseeuw from French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) presenting how land grabbing and agro investments can be monitored with the Land Matrix tool. This online portal contains data on land deals and can be used for mapping and documenting land grabbing on indigenous peoples’ territories. 

Mr. Anseeuw went on to talk about how land grabbing must be seen within a wider paradigm of large-scale agro investment driven by the private sector, involving not just land rights issues but also control over infrastructure, supply chains and markets.   

Marcus Colchester of the Forest Peoples Programme followed with a presentation of and discussion on how to use the principle of Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) in the fight against land grabbing. Using the case of oil palm plantations in Indonesia, Mr. Colchester also gave different examples on how indigenous peoples can seek remedy after they have lost their land.

The last presentation of the morning session was by Mr. Kanyinke Sena from Kenya, who talked about the appropriation of indigenous land and resources in the name of ‘green growth’ or driven by climate change mitigate measures such as REDD+ .

As the previous day the seminar moved into a session of concrete cases in the afternoon:

  • The SACGOT Corridor in Tanzania by Elifuraha Laltaika
  • Myanmar as newly open country to donors and foreign investment and possible impact on indigenous peoples’ lands by Naw Ei Ei Min
  • Logging and fast growing trees plantation in Chile by Alfredo Segel
  • Investment and indigenous peoples in Russia by Johannes Rohr

The sessions included interesting and lively debates where participants and presenters discussed issues of consumer responsibilities, investor diversity, and the possibilities of donors to support alternative models for rural development. 

The last part of the seminar was a wrap up including a discussion on how to move forward on the issue of land grabbing and securing indigenous peoples’ land rights.

The final communiqué from the seminar will be posted on IWGIA’s website after adoption. It will include main conclusions from the seminar and a list of different possibilities for further addressing the challenges of land grabbing in relations to indigenous peoples’ rights.