Ensure that processes of decision-making over land are inclusive, so that policies, laws, procedures and decisions concerning land adequately reflect the rights, needs and aspirations of individuals and communities who will be affected by them. This requires the empowerment of those who otherwise would face limitations in representing their interests, particularly through support to land users’ and other civil society organisations that are best able to inform, mobilise and legitimately represent marginalised land users, and their participation in multi-stakeholder platforms for policy dialogue.
Inclusive decision-making is pivotal to people-centred land governance, and its promotion has become a crucial part of the work of many ILC members. Through Commitments 4 and 5, ILC has structured approaches to promoting the inclusion of women and Indigenous Peoples in land governance processes and in Coalition initiatives. Particular emphasis is given under Commitment 7 to intergenerational justice.
The Programa de Pasantías (internship programme) targets youth in member organisations, as does the CBI on Rural Youth; both initiatives are based in Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC).
Since 2015, the internship programme has to date benefited 19 young professionals from ILC members, who have been hosted by members in Bolivia (Fundacion TIERRA), Nicaragua (Nitlapan and CADPI), and Colombia (CDS). This has given them an opportunity to add to their own skills and experience, building the capacity of their organisations and building relationships with other members.
The CBI on Rural Youth, coordinated by Procasur, launched a leadership and learning exchange programme with the aim of increasing youth access to land and improving their advocacy capacities. It brought together 24 ILC members and 26 non-member organisations through the Rural Youth and Employment Forum in 2016 in Guatemala and the regional exchange on Rural Youth Rights and Perspectives held in Colombia in 2017. Both of these exchanges helped link CBI operations on youth with the NES processes in these two countries. Additionally, a technical note was produced with concrete recommendations on youth and the VGGTs. A new CBI on Youth was consolidated in Asia in 2017, led by RMI.
Spotlight on ILC Members: Latin America and Caribbean Internship Programme
Rony Morales, of Unión Verapacense de Organizaciones Campesinas (UVOC) in Guatemala, was an intern on placement with Colombian ILC member Corporación Desarrollo Solidario (CDS) on the 2017 Programa de Pasantías. The implementation of the peace agreement in Colombia and the position of indigenous and Afro-descendant land rights and rural reform in this process made the internship with CDS particularly valuable. My experiences on the internship, around 60% of which focused on field work, also allowed me to gain knowledge on issues around food security and sovereignty as they apply not just to Colombia, but also to Guatemala, Peru, and El Salvador.”
Gabriel Urbano of CDS cited the opportunities for rural reform presented by Colombia’s peace process as a major contributing factor in his organisation’s interest in hosting the internship in 2017, but also noted CDS’s priority goal of empowering young people around land rights: “Tensions in LAC countries over the future of the countryside in a context of extractive industries, environmental and energy crises, food sovereignty and security, and the rights of peasant, indigenous, and Afro-descendant communities, make it critical we listen to regional rural youth.”
Programa de Pasantías interns had the opportunity to learn from the experiences of peasants involved in agro-ecological production, processing, and marketing initiatives; from the struggles of peasant and Afro-descendant peoples to achieve collective titling and land restitution; and from women seeking to secure their own land rights. They also learned from the Seed Catalogue of Young Researchers (Semillero de Jovenes Investigadores) and the Rural Communication Team at Organizaciones de Poblaciones Desplazadas, Étnicas y Campesinas (OPDS) Montes de Maria), which is mostly led by young people, about the peace-building initiatives by rural communities in Montes de Maria during the conflict.