Local community is a traditional collectivity with a range of powers covering a certain geographical area and an autonomous management structure.
In some closing words to the Forum, Vicky Tauli-Corpuz (UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, United Nations) applauded the attention given to customary land tenure. For communities there has always been a struggle for their practices to be acknowledged, despite the fact that these existed long before the arrival of state governments. She found much promise in some of the legal work taking place in the Mekong region.
The third session of the Forum explored the nature of FPIC (Free, Prior and Informed Consent) and how it fits into the Mekong landscape, using case studies from a Vietnamese coffee project, and a company seeking land for eucalyptus plantations in Lao PDR.
The fourth session of the Mekong Land Forum introduced the ASEAN Guidelines on Promoting Responsible Agricultural Investment and identified some of the challenges ahead in implementation. Two companies shared their experiences working with a strong policy in CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), so that we could consider how company practices can align with the Guidelines.
The second session of the 3rd Mekong Regional Land Forum explored some of the regional and global trends in protecting local user rights in forests. In particular, it looked at some of the regional programs in social forestry and how these attempt to draw a balance between community needs and other demands for conservation, and exploitation for timber and non-timber resources.
The task of opening a large event is never easy. Within a short space of time, you need to set out a clear agenda, freshening the perspective of the viewer, and then clear the decks for discussion to move forwards rather than retread old ground. Following some introductory greetings from Jean-François Cuénod of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Micah Ingalls (Team Leader MRLG) took up the challenge.
The first session of the 3rd Mekong Regional Land Forum looked to clarify an understanding of customary land tenure systems, and bring a focus upon communities living in and around forestland areas of the Mekong region. The session observed some of the policy developments that could lead to greater recognition of customary tenure and land security for community members.
During Session 3 of the 3rd Mekong Regional Land Forum, we will talk about free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) standards, with the intention to address common concerns of government agencies and private investors about perceived challenges and risks in relation to FPIC application. The session will highlight why FPIC is actually in the best interest of all stakeholders.
As part of the launch of the Responsible Land-Based Investment Navigator 2.0, the Land Portal spoke with Nathaniah Jacobs, Senior Researcher at the International Institute for Environment and Development, to hear more about the Advancing Land-based Investment Governance (ALIGN) project. The Navigator is positioned to be a valuable tool and resource for ALIGN stakeholders.