LANDex Training for Central Asia held in Mongolia
Global Land Governance Index training organized in Mongolia in collaboration with International Land Coalition and JASIL from 21st to 22nd of May 2019.
International Land Coalition member representatives from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Kyrgyzstan and all Mongolian members (Mongolian National Federation of Pasture User Groups, JASIL, Centre for Policy Research and Mongolian Land Management Association) have participated for two-day workshop about LANDex tool introduction, objectives, expected results, practices and lessons learned from pilot launch in Nepal. In additional to ILC members, there were representatives from Agency for Land Affairs Geodesy and Cartography, Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry and other land related civil society organizations from Mongolia. The training was specifically focused on introduction of LANDex tool on land governance monitoring, detailed introduction of indicators, methodology, source of database, how it is currently implemented in other parts of the world such as Nepal, Columbia and Senegal.
LANDex tool also supports internationally-accepted principles and standards for responsible practices, providing a framework for governments, the private sector and civil society to use when developing policies and programmes for improving food security such as Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forest in the context of National Security. The VGGT were officially presented to the Government of Mongolia and other stakeholders during a national workshop in Ulaanbaatar in October 2014. The VGGT were positively received and seen as a timely and important tool to strengthen and improve the country’s legal framework. PCC together with FAO organized a number of capacity development activities in various parts of Mongolia as well as developed some key materials between 2016 and 2017. The project had an impact on a number of areas, including strengthening CSO networks at provincial level, encouraging the exchange of experiences and proactive involvement in policy decision-making processes and increasing knowledge, participation and tenure security at the local level.
LANDex was developed based on the 10 commitments of the International Land Coalition such as secure tenure rights, strong-small scale farming, diverse tenure system and equal land right for women. In consultations, the indicators that were proposed by members and partners tended towards three categories per commitment, for an approximate total of 30 indicators: A) legal indicators measuring presence or lack of a legal and institutional framework surrounding a land issue, B) implementation indicators measuring to what degree policies or programs established in such frameworks had been implemented, and C) outcome, impact or perception-based indicators that measured the results of implemented projects or policies. Besides these core, standardised indicators, LANDex allows for a flexible approach by facilitating the integration of country specific indicators.
By the end of the training members from Mongolia have realized the significance of the tool and accepted to implement LANDex land governance index within the National Engagement Strategy by involving it into the country strategy.
After a two-day training about introduction of LANDex tool, joint seminar of ILC and VGGT working group was organized to discuss about how to sustainably promote the capacity building activities in Mongolia and opportunities on how to coordinate the activities of International Land Coalition and LANDex tool implementation in the national level.
Along with the training, Mongolian National Federation of Pasture User Groups and Centre for Policy Research organized tour for International Land Coalition member from India, Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan and Nepal visited to Gandan Monastery which has been restored and revitalized since 1990.
Interview from Nepal participant, about his experience of replicating and LANDex tool in Nepal
Could you briefly introduce yourself and about your organization?
My name is Dharm Raji and I work National Engagement strategy in Nepal and I am based in Community Self Reliance Center (CSRS). CSRC has been working in the land related issues for 25 years and we have been keenly involved in many types of land related issues, main activities are land advocacy, land movement to strengthen and promote land rights of people. The organization has an access to 56 districts out of 77 and we have been strengthening, supporting, formulating and re-formulating people centered organization and now that has become a national organization and it is called National Land Right Forum, which is also ILC member, it has around 500,000 members including small farmers, land laborers, landless people and marginalized farmers.
What is the benefit and advantages of being an ILC member and could you mention the results and impact being and ILC member?
Being ILC member has huge benefit in a sense that it is a global coalition of members where you can share your learnings, experience at the same time you get to learn many diverse activities and experience of organizations around the world working in many different scenario advocating for land rights, how they are advocating land rights, in what situation they have been successful. If there are cases of failures, you can also learn lessons from them. Apart from that, since it is a coalition of members and providing support, it has exposure to the world class capacity building activities and other learning activities. ILC is a good platform for national organizations to be introduced in the global level.
What about launching and implementing LANDex tool in Nepal?
This is early to talk about the details of our experience, because we have just completed the pilot test phase in Nepal. But it has some good signs that indicated clearly of what kind of gaps are existing in land sector which are very crucial to advocate result based policy advocacy. We though we can’t have good evidence to prove this and that, why do we need something that is not in place. So while we are advocating that, we realized that we need to back-up with some kind of concrete evidence and LANDex has become such tool that identified some clear gaps. Now we are working with government land agencies and ministries showing the evidence that these are the crucial gaps. If we are talking about promoting strengthening people centered land governance, we need to have this kind of information is place and government needs to work in this direction. We are recommending, convincing and motivating the government by showing the benefits of data. Currently we are in a continuous debate with central bureau office of statistics, ministry of land management, land management cooperative, at the same time we are trying to have policy advocacy based on this result. Although they are initial, they have become very beneficial for us.
How did you see this challenges of replicating LANDex tool in Nepal?
Definitely there are challenges, because you don’t always have everything ready in a situation, so what LANDex requires 100 percent you can’t fit in, because we have specific context and the national scenario is very diverse. The case in Nepal for family farming, in our context, family farmers are not well defined, almost 76 percent of Nepalese are relying on agriculture and they are all family farmers, we can say that. But when you need to show some data evidence, there is no well documentation, so we are struggling with that. Another challenge is that there are diverse many stakeholders working on land and their approaches and resources are so much scattered. LANDex has become such instrument, to organize people in a platform, it has strengthened the platform which is based on need quiet expressively shown the impact of platform. So people are now willing to think that let’s try to go for collectively, at least for common results, so let’s see what happens. We are going in that directions and that is not quite easy stilly, but we have a good sign to go.