Brussels, 14 April 2014 – The Land Policy Initiative (LPI) participated in the High-Level Conference on Property Rights on the theme “Land tenure security, the missing key to eradicating poverty”, organized by the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, on 9 April 2014. In the context of discussions on post-2015 development agenda, the conference was aimed at addressing the insecurity of land tenure and absence of property rights prevalent in developing countries.
The conference discussions were based on the recognition that most of the key developmental challenges – food scarcity, water shortages, urban growth, environmental degradation, and climate change - are correlated with land governance issues. As such, the conference highlighted the need for property rights to be at the center of a development policy designed to empower people to invest sustainably in their future.
The LPI contributed to the panel discussion “Looking ahead: challenges for the European Union and the international development community.” The presentation made by Dr. Joan Kagwanja, Chief of the LPI, offered an overview of the continental and global instruments framing Africa’s agenda on land policy and governance, such as the African Union Framework and Guidelines on land policy in Africa. It further presented some of the projects for reviving land systems on the continent: in Niger - the implementation of the Rural Code, and in Zambia - the process of developing a land policy.
The LPI presentation also highlighted that land rights issues must be included in the post-2015 agenda. A special emphasis was placed on topics like the need to secure land tenure for women, adopt coherent indicators for budgetary and resource allocation, and reinforce legal and institutional frameworks that are participatory and address land tenure rights in both urban and rural settings.
The conference brought together representatives of governmental land commissions, national land organizations, non-governmental organizations, United Nations organizations and agencies, and international land coalitions. The sessions were co-chaired by Nirj Deva, vice-president of the European Parliament Development Committee, and Andris Piebalgs, the European Commissioner for Development.
The Land Policy Initiative is a joint programme of the tripartite consortium consisting of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB), and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). Its mandate is to facilitate the implementation of the AU Declaration on Land Issues and Challenges in Africa.
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