Xavier Science Foundation, Inc (XSF) Executive Director, Roel Ravanera attended a planning meeting of Land Rights as Human Rights Working Group of the International Land Coalition – Asia last March 3-6, 2020 at Consortium Pembaruan Agraria, Jakarta, Indonesia. It was participated by other Asian countries like Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Nepal and the Philippines.
Ravanera highlighted that the increased land investments are putting great pressure on fertile, cultivable lands. Most of these investments have resulted to the conversion of agriculture, forest and foreshore lands into plantations, tourist parks and industrial centers. Reports have shown that these agricultural investments, when unregulated, tend to undermine land occupants in the way deals are contracted, the type of agricultural production adopted and the technologies employed. Consequently, conflicts arise and the hard-won struggle for a more equitable distribution of land is reversed.
As a result, this International Land Coalition (ILC) project, under the LRHR Working Group will embark into the following: conduct of scoping study on existing policies and mechanisms which address land grabbing, organize in-country consultations with various stakeholders and organize a regional workshop to present the country studies and the regional summary.
Another event that Ravanera attended was the Regional Training on Land Conflict Monitoring at the Amaris Hotel, Pancoran, Jakarta, Indonesia.
The regional training on land conflict monitoring was intended to formulate a common monitoring tool. Researchers discussed a common approach to data-gathering, identifying sources of data, quantitative and qualitative analyses, and reporting. Many social conflicts are rooted in issues related to land and resource rights. This is a fact recognized globally, even by the UN System in the UN Secretary General Guidance Note on Land and Conflict released in 2019. Land conflicts over time have increased in number, coverage, and intensity. Land conflicts have led to violence mostly directed towards communities or land rights activists.
Through these events, XSF can learn from lessons of other countries in protecting the rights of IPs in governing their ancestral domain and with its experience in handling XU Lands, XSF can initiate a training program on Land Conflict Resolution especially among farmers and IP communities.