Rome Italy. On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (hereinafter Tenure Guidelines or VGGT), hundreds of organisations of small-scale food producers, Indigenous Peoples, workers, urban communities and civil society signed the International Declaration “We belong to the Land“.
The signatories recognised that, since 2012, through the use of the VGGT, “social organisations have succeeded to influence public policies and open up spaces of dialogue and negotiation with governments, local authorities and regional bodies. In some cases, this has led to new laws and policies“. However, the structural causes of dispossession, land concentration and ecosystem destruction have not been addressed. Signatories called upon Member States, the FAO, and the entire UN system, to implement agrarian reform in order to realise the right to land.
The International Declaration can be found here.
The UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) and the FAO held a commemoration event, in which Mani Jorge Stanley Icaza, a member of the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC), and the Coordination Committee of the Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples’ Mechanism (CSIPM), participated, and affirmed that “Ten years ago we were part of the Tenure Guidelines’ negotiations between Member States, the private sector, social movements and Indigenous Peoples. The negotiations took over 3 years. During that time, many sisters and brothers were killed for defending their territories from land-grabbing.”
During his intervention, he called for an International Conference on Agrarian Reform, in order to coordinate a global response to the increasing and unsustainable concentration of land and natural resources in the hands of a few powerful actors.