25 February 2009 – Land access and rural development: New challenges, new opportunities

The 9th Brussels Development Briefing took place on 25th February 2009 in Brussels (Centre Borschette, European Commission) on “Land access and rural development: New challenges, new opportunities” and discussed the links between property rights, investment and the generation of economic opportunities in rural areas. It explored the correlation between inequality in the distribution of land and economic growth. It also discussed the new challenges of global commercial interest in land and natural resources and the issue of rich countries buying millions of hectares of agricultural land in ACP countries. To know more: boto@cta.int.

 

Programme

8h00-8h30 Registration

8h30-8h45 Welcome remarks: Secretary General of the ACP Group, Director of DG Development, Director of CTA

Special guest: Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food

8h45-10h45 Panel 1 – Land tenure and rural development: key issues

This session will discuss the links between property rights, investment and the generation of economic opportunities in rural areas. It will look at the correlation between inequality in the distribution of land and economic growth, improved livelihoods and food security. A diverse array of approaches to strengthening land rights is now emerging, from which stem valuable lessons to be shared between governments, civil society groups and land professionals.

Panelists:

– Changing rural development dynamics: the challenges for land tenure and land policy – Julian Quan, Researcher, NRI, University of Greenwich, United Kingdom [executive summary] [presentation]
– Land policies, a prerequisite for sound agricultural policies – Lionel Vignacq, Head, State Modernisation and Local Governance, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, France [executive summary] [presentation]

– A land reform agenda: Lessons from the AU-ECA-AfDB Land Policy Initiative – Joan Kagwanja, Economic Affairs Officer at the UN Economic Commission for Africa, ECA [executive summary] [presentation]

Discussant: H.E. Mr Ibrahim Bocar Ba, Ambassador of Mali to the European Union

10h45-11h00 Coffee break

11h00-12h30 Panel 2 – Agricultural land: new challenges in a globalised world

Recent global trends are prompting a massive increase in global commercial interest in land and natural ressources. In the context of liberalised trade and property laws in many countries, this is creating unprecedented pressures on land ressources and placing new tensions on land tenure systems. However, could those investments constitute an opportunity in some ACP countries where agriculture needs to be revitalized?

Panelists:

– Large-scale land acquisitions for agricultural investment: trends and issues – Lorenzo Cotula, Senior Researcher – Law and Sustainable Development, Natural Resources, International Institute for Environment and Development, IIED, United Kingdom [executive summary] [presentation]
– Large-scale land acquisition: implications for governments and investors, risks and opportunities for smallholder farmers – Paul Mathieu, Land Tenure Senior Officer, Land Tenure and Management unit, Land and Water Division, FAO [executive summary] [presentation]
– Perspective from farmer’s organizations on land acquisition for agricultural production – Philip Kiriro, President, Eastern African Farmers Federation, Kenya [executive summary] and Marius Dia, Coordinator ROPPA (Senegal)

Discussant: Dr Wilson A. Sunga, Agriculture Secretary, Kenya

Conclusions: Michael Taylor (International Land Coalition), Cécile Broutin (GRET), Dr Hansjörg Neun (CTA).

13h00-14h00 Networking Buffet Lunch