The UN negotiations on new global Sustainable Development Goals got under way on Monday in New York. The fight against hunger and extreme poverty and the protection of the environment and biodiversity are among the main issues on the agenda. In both cases, securing land rights has proven to be a particularly effective measure. That’s why the IASS is advocating that land rights be given a prominent role in the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda due to be adopted at a UN summit in September. Together with 42 international civil society and research organisations, the institute has just published a technical briefing on “Secure and Equitable Land Rights in the Post-2015 Agenda”, which contains recommendations for including land rights in that agenda.
The publishers of the briefing wish to inform both politicians and members of the general public about the benefits of securing land rights. Rights to use land allow people to earn a living and strengthen their sense of self-worth. They also contribute to food security and increase the productivity of small farmers. They furthermore provide incentives for sustainable resource management, while supporting inclusive and just societies and existing value systems.
The five recommendations outlined in the technical briefing focus on the following aspects:
- the land rights of indigenous people and local communities based, for example, on the recognition of traditional principles of land allocation;
- the right of indigenous people to free, prior and informed consent, as enshrined in international human rights agreements;
- women’s land rights;
- land rights in cities and urban settlements;
- secure rights to land and natural resources as opposed to mere ‘access’.
The briefing also discusses how we can monitor and verify progress in the area of land rights. It is available in PDF format here.
Dr. Jes Weigelt
Project Leader Global Soil Forum
+49 331 28822-319
photo credits: sustainabledevelopment.un.org