Category Archives: Issue: Land

VNFU hosts high level exchange visit on land use with Nepal government and CSO


Hanoi, Vietnam — Vietnam Farmers Union (VNFU) hosted a high level study visit on Land Use with a six-person delegation from Nepal headed by Mr. Krishna Prasad Devkota, Secretary of the Ministry of Land Reform and Management. The Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Mr. Nguyen Linh Ngoc received the delegation on behalf of the Vietnam government. Mr. Lai Xuan Mon, Member of Central Party Committee, Chairman of Vietnam Farmers’ Union received the delegation as the host organization.

The exchange visit, held March 7-11, 2017, was a joint initiative of the government of Nepal, National Land Rights Forum (NLRF), and Vietnam Farmers’ Union (VNFU), in coordination with Community Self Reliance Centre (CSRC), partner NGO of NLRF, and AFA. Both NLRF and VNFU are members of AFA.


The Nepalese team interacted with farmers, policy makers and officials of local and provincial level government about the land reform during their visit.

Nepal’s Ministry of Land reform has been formulating the national land policy and also drafting land use act. The learning visit was organized to learn from Vietnam, a country that has been successful in its land reform program especially on land use. After successful land reform, Vietnam became second largest rice exporter in the world. The Nepal government will put into use its leanings from this study visit. It is set to revise its land use policy, to make it more comprehensive, and to include better use of forests and agricultural lands in order to bring sustainable livelihoods to poor people.


Vietnam’s Deputy Minister Nguyen Linh Ngoc expressed interest to further support the land reform processes of the Nepal Government, through financial and technical means.

Women’s Land Rights, Gender-Responsive Policies and the World Bank (Philippines)

womens land conference 2015
Equity @resourceequity_Violeta Corral of PAKISAMA (left) – @PAKISAMA:Women must be empowered with knowledge of laws/policies, so they can assert their rights. womensland #LandConf2015

By Violeta P. Corral, Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka (PAKISAMA)

PAKISAMA participated at the 16th Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty held on March 23–27, 2015 at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington D.C. Organized by the Bank’s Development Economic Research Group (DECRG), the conference is a key global event which fosters dialogue and sharing of best practices among representatives from governments, civil society, academia, the development community, and the private sector on the diversity of reforms, approaches and experiences that are being implemented in land sectors around the world.  The theme for 2015 “Linking Land Tenure and Use for Shared Prosperity” highlights the effects of land tenure in the distribution of assets between men and women, generations, and social groups, and how patterns of land use will have far-reaching implications for welfare and other socioeconomic outcomes at household, community, or landscape level. PAKISAMA’s participation was made possible with travel support from the International Land Coalition (ILC). Continue reading Women’s Land Rights, Gender-Responsive Policies and the World Bank (Philippines)

Paper: Analysis of Land Tools in the Philippines using Gender Evaluation Criteria

This paper was prepared for presentation at the “2015 World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty” in Washington DC last March 23-27, 2015 by Violeta P. Corral of the National Confederation of Small Farmers and Fishers Organizations (PAKISAMA), Philippines.

The Gender Evaluation Criteria (GEC) project was jointly implemented by PAKISAMA and Asian Farmers Association (AFA), support by the International Land Coalition (ILC).

Under the project, land tools were assessed for their gender-responsiveness using the Gender Evaluation Criteria (GEC) framework developed by the Global Land Tool Network of the UN-HABITAT.

The land tools selected were:

  • Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL of 1988);
  • Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER of 2009);
  • Magna Carta of Women (MCW of 2009);
  • and Guidelines Governing Gender Equality in the Implementation of Agrarian Reform Laws and Mainstreaming GAD in the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAO 01, Series of 2011).

Continue reading Paper: Analysis of Land Tools in the Philippines using Gender Evaluation Criteria

Invitation to the Global Land Forum 2015

The Global Land Forum 2015 will be held on May 12-16, 2015 in Dakar, Senegal with the theme “LAND GOVERNANCE FOR INCLUSIVE DEVELOPMENT, JUSTICE AND SUSTAINABILITY: TIME FOR ACTION”.

Organized by the International Land Coalition (ILC), the forum is open to members and the public as well.

To register, visit

To respond to ILC’s extended call for membership, visit

Continue reading Invitation to the Global Land Forum 2015

AFA joins Southeast Asia land hearing advisory group

In a meeting last June 11, 2013 at the Partnership Center in Quezon City, Philippines, AFA represented by Maria Elena Rebagay, agreed to join ANGOC, OXFAM and other regional and national groups in the Southeast Asia Regional land hearing advisory group tasked to provide advisory support in the conduct of regional land hearing. The group aims to:

1) Provide an overview of the facilitating and constraining factors on the entry of agricultural and land investments in the communities in different Southeast Asian contexts;
2) Assess the negotiation terms and processes to see if they are transparent, inclusive and participative, and if they conform to the prevailing legal/regulatory policies and standards (both national and international);
3) Analyze current and potential impacts of these investments on the communities in relation to land tenure, livelihood, basic services, food security and the environment, and develop community safeguards based on the people’s perspectives;
4) Recommend appropriate actions, whether by reforming policy or accountability mechanisms and structures, to address the flaws and gaps in regulation and in the negotiation terms and processes and identified (potential) impacts at community, national and international levels.

Continue reading AFA joins Southeast Asia land hearing advisory group

News Summary: Activists call on Cambodian government to address rising land insecurity

Opaque private sector deals, increasing demand for land, insufficient consultations and impact assessments, and alleged complicity of powerful interests in land grabs, among others, have contributed to continuing land insecurity in Cambodia. This, in turn, has led to wide-spread forced evictions and land-grabbing among poor farmers, as activists call for transparency in economic land concessions and resolution of land disputes, while government promises a moratorium on new ELCs, a review of existing ones, and a nationwide titling program.

IRIN/Phnom Penh, “Land rights have key role in Cambodia”, Gulf Times, March 16, 2013

Farmers’ bargaining power needed for more inclusive agricultural investments

[“Making agricultural investments more inclusive: building a framework for action”. February 28, 2013. London. International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).]
To make agricultural investments more inclusive, farmers’ organization should be engaged to ensure the bargaining power of the smallholder producers.

This was one of the main points emphasized by AFA in a recent roundtable discussion organized by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) last February 28, 2013 in London.

In the meeting entitled “Making agricultural investments more inclusive: building a framework for action,” AFA Policy Advocacy Officer Lany Rebagay said that small-scale farmers could have greater bargaining power if they deal with investors on a collective approach rather than on individual basis

AFA joined the first panel to articulate the perspective of small-scale women and men farmers on important elements that a prospective investor should include in their community engagement and on concerns related to embedding inclusiveness in contracts specifically on important elements that should be included in an investment contract that will ensure inclusion of smallholder producers.

Continue reading Farmers’ bargaining power needed for more inclusive agricultural investments

Farmers, fishers, and indigenous peoples walk 320 kilometers to Manila in protest of economic zone in the Philippines

One hundred twenty marchers, composed of farmers, fishers, and indigenous peoples from the town of Casiguran in the northern Philippine province of Aurora are about to complete their 320-kilometer walk to Metro Manila on December 10, Human Rights Day, to personally meet the President and raise their concerns over the disastrous impacts on their communities of the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone (APECO), which they have been protesting.

The group began their march dubbed “Lakad Katarungan, Lakad Matuwid na Daan” (walk for justice, walk for the straight path, in reference to the President’s campaign pledge of good governance) 15 days ago on November 24 with the support of “Task Force anti-APECO,” a multi-sectoral coalition of farmers organizations  NGOs, students, church workers, agrarian reform and human rights activists, among others. PAKISAMA, an AFA member in the Philippines, is a co-convenor of the task force.

After meeting with supporters at different stop-over places in Metro Manila, they will proceed to the Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City, where they will join a press conference, mass, candle lighting ceremony, photo exhibit, and spend the night before finally heading to the President’s office in Malacanang on December 11.

The lands and livelihoods of more than 3,000 families from the town of Casiguran, Aurora, have been threatened by the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone (APECO) since 2010.

APECO is a 12,923-hectare special economic zone which has been shepherded by Senator Edgardo Angara, Congressman Juan Edgardo Angara and Governor Bella Angara-Castillo through the passage of R.A. 9490 in 2007, and expanded twenty-four times over by R.A. 10083 in 2010.

(Photo Credit: Veejay Villafranca)

Click here to read a brief background on the Anti-APECO campaign

Click here to sign the Anti-APECO petition letter

For more info and updates, visit:

Video: Farmers’ Voices on Agricultural Land Investments

This video presents the experiences of small scale women and men farmers, fishers, and indigenous peoples with agricultural land investments and their impact on their lives and livelihoods.

Six cases are featured – three in Cambodia and three in the Philippines.

The video is one of the knowledge products that came out of the project “Expanding the Dialogue on Large-Scale Land Acquisition and their Alternatives” implemented by the Asian Farmers’ Association (AFA) with the support of the International Land Coalition (ILC) in 2011-2012.

Total running time: 12 minutes

AFA presents farmers’ perspectives on agricultural investment and access to land

AFA participated in the “Expert Consultation on the Implementation Guide on Agricultural Investment and Access to Land,” which was held at the Amari Watergate Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand on 18-20 January 2012, organized by FAO.

AFA KM Officer Jun Virola presented the “Farmers’ Perspective on Agricultural Investment and Access to Land,” which looked at: (1) issue and problems being experienced by farmers related to agricultural land investment and access to land; (2) farmers’ demands and possible solutions; (3) the case of a successful farmers’ cooperative; (4) the case of the Sumilao farmers; (5) lessons learned from these cases; and, (6) recommendations for the implementation guide on agricultural investment and access to land. The invitation from FAO was a follow up to the land rights consultation that was also attended by AFA in the latter part of 2011.

Click here to download the powerpoint presentation on Farmers’ Perspective on Agricultural Investment and Access to Land

FNN attends land rights conference in Chang Mai

An organic farmer from FNN shows his bitter gourd harvest. Many small farmers in Cambodia are struggling to secure access to land, while improving food security through sustainable agriculture practices.

by Pan Sopheap, FNN

Chang Mai, Thailand — Mr. Mao That, FNN representative, attended the conference on land rights in Chang Mai last November 9-11, 2011.

Participants to the conference shared their experiences from different countries on land rights issues and how they are responding to them.

A conference statement was issued on the need to raise awareness on land rights and to speed up land titling to secure tenure of small farmers, as well as the implementation of land reform.

In the News (Thailand): 300 landless farmers invade national park

BURI RAM : About 300 landless farmers from Non Dindaeng district have moved on to land in Dong Yai National Park.

Farmers from six villages in tambon Lam Nang Rong yesterday divided up the occupied land among themselves and planted rubber tree seedlings.

They said the seedlings represented their ownership over the land.

The farmers said the government was too slow in fulfilling a promise to allocate them the land, so they decided to take it for themselves.

Read the full story at Bangkok Post

In the News: The battle for Cambodian farm land

Cambodia has reportedly been promised one hundred million US dollars from the United States to help fight hunger and develop agriculture among small-scale farmers. The money will be given directly to the Cambodian government, even though it’s regarded as one of the most corrupt in Asia. While donor countries throw lots of money at the issue of food security, the challenge faced by many small-scale farmers in Cambodia is the forced take-over of their land by those with government or military connections. One of the biggest cases currently being fought out is in Kampong Speu province.

Read the full story

In the News: Cambodian Farmers Speak Up for Land Rights

Land rights abuses in Cambodia rarely spill into the global spotlight, particularly in connection with food insecurity. In the absence of legal documents often lost or destroyed during decades of civil war, Cambodian farmers frequently struggle to prove their ownership of land. Many of these farmers along with Cambodian NGOs have accused Cambodia’s government of awarding a wave of land concessions to foreign and local firms without negotiation or adequate compensation to local farmers. What’s more, Cambodian farmers and villagers have been unjustly evicted from their land as a consequence of international big business.

Yesterday, AlertNet reported that Cambodian rights groups and farmers are urging foreign donors who have played a major role in the development of Cambodia’s economy to press the government to suspend land concessions to investors and use fair and lawful means to settle land disputes.

Read the full story

Partnership Formed to Initiate Broad Dialogue on Large- Scale Land Acquisitions and their alternatives

23 April 2010

by Asia Farmers Association, ROPPA, COPROFAM, ActionAid, International and International Land Coalition

An international dialogue process on large-scale international land acquisitions – or “land grabs” – has been initiated to amplify the voices of affected peoples who have been largely excluded from the discussions so far, and to widen the debate on how the international community should respond to this growing phenomenon.

These transactions have attracted significant attention since the food price crisis of 2007-08. While some agencies have begun discussing appropriate principles to govern such transactions, the discussion has so far not adequately included civil society organizations, farmers groups, and representatives of others likely to be affected, including indigenous people, forest dwellers, women, pastoralists, and fisherfolk.
Continue reading Partnership Formed to Initiate Broad Dialogue on Large- Scale Land Acquisitions and their alternatives

In the News: Cambodian farmers rise up over “land-grabbing”

PHNOM PENH, March 19 (Reuters) – Nearly 1,000 angry Cambodian villagers rallied on Friday to oppose what they said was land-grabbing by a local business tycoon, the latest in a series of flare-ups over land disputes in the impoverished country.

The protest in Kompong Speu, 48 km (30 miles) from Phnom Penh, came a day after irate farmers burned down makeshift wooden shelters on a sugar plantation, accusing the company of colluding with the authorities to rob farmers of their land.

Villagers who spoke to Reuters by telephone said some protesters had planned to torch offices belonging to the Phnom Penh Sugar Company, owned by Senator Ly Yong Phat, which was awarded a 9,500-hectare land concession there. The plan was later called off, they said.

Read the full story at Reuters India

In the News: Indonesian Environmental Forum: Food Estate a Dangerous Project

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:There is a protest against the food estate project once again.

This time it is the Indonesian Environment Forum (WALHI) that has spoken up.

“If this project continues, then Indonesia would enter a period of validated land seizures,” said M. Islah, Walhi Campaign Manager for Water and Food in a press release, Tuesday (3 / 2) evening

According to Islah, the land seizures would happen if local and foreign big businesses and small farmers are allowed to compete legally.

Read the full story at Tempo Interactive