The Asian Farmers Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA), in partnership with NTFP-EP, the MRLG alliance, and the ASEAN Secretariat and the ASEAN Working Group on Social Forestry, will be conducting a Regional Learning Exchange and Policy Dialogue on Customary Tenure (CT) Recognition, Food Security and Traditional Livelihoods in the ASEAN region on December 1-3, 2021, 2PM Manila time via Zoom.
The State of the World’s Forest in 2018 underscored that clear and secured tenure rights are recognized as an important prerequisite for the sustainable management of natural resources. Tenure covers multiple rights, including at a minimum, the right to access, the right to make management decisions and the right to withdraw resources from a particular area. Over the past few years, there have been progress in the areas of tenure and safeguards at the ASEAN (regional) level, particularly in the Mekong sub-region. Free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) provisions under international and national laws, policies and programs have gained strength. Several legal reforms have been proposed, and in part adopted, in recent years on land in the region. Both customary tenure (CT) and FPIC have been recognized as key indicators in an important guideline for responsible investment in food agriculture and forestry.
However, despite these developments, several challenges remain. For customary forest tenure, access and ownership are still conditional and restricted in several cases. Land conflicts remain high. Further cases of encroachments in customary land and forests threaten customary rights and impede on traditional livelihood and customary conservation and resource management practices. In terms of safeguards, FPIC guidelines have not been developed and institutionalized in several ASEAN countries, and many development projects such as dam construction, mining, and agroindustry crops are taking place without the consent of communities. The lack of capacity and awareness by the local communities and indigenous peoples on the international and regional mechanisms that provide safeguards over community rights limit their ability to engage authorities about the adherence to these safeguards.
Building on these gains and recognizing existing challenges, it is vital to continue amplifying the work towards the development, adoption and implementation of CT recognition and the use of safeguards such as FPIC in securing rights over customary forest tenure in the Mekong region through strengthening the policy and practice work (action research, analyses and assessments, capacity building and knowledge exchange) that will deliver increased capacities, key lessons, policy recommendations, and policy guidance in securing customary forest tenure and FPIC safeguards.
Learning Exchange and Policy Dialogue on Customary Tenure (CT) Recognition, Food Security and Traditional Livelihoods in the ASEAN Region
The regional learning exchange and policy dialogue is part of the project, “Strengthening regional mechanisms and capacities in engaging, implementing, and adopting CT recognition and FPIC as safeguards in the Mekong region”. It aims to contribute towards the following Outcome:
ASEAN Guidelines for CT recognition is supported, adopted, and implemented by ASEAN Member States to support national policies and legislations (Outcome 2)
In this Learning Exchange and Policy Dialogue, the organizers aim to:
Please register to join the event here.
For more about the event and to view the programme visit the AFA website here.