Joint Statement: Global Strategies for Strengthening Community Land Rights

Global Strategies for
Strengthening Community Land Rights

Bellagio Center, Italy

19-21 March 2013

In recognition of the growing threat to local peoples, the ecosystems they manage, and their social and economic development posed by fast accelerating large-scale land acquisitions and industrial investments, environmental degradation and persistent land tenure insecurity, participants representing a diverse group of development, conservation and human rights organizations and networks supporting the land rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities met in Bellagio, Italy on 19-21 March 2013 to:

  1. Develop a common framework to generate enhanced and accelerated global and national actions to support community land rights; and
  2. Identify opportunities for greater coordination and collaboration amongst leading civil society organizations and networks to secure community land rights.


As participants at the meeting on Strengthening Community Land Rights held in Bellagio, Italy on 19-21 March 2013, convened by Rights and Resources Initiative, International Land Coalition Secretariat and Oxfam International, we believe that the unprecedented threats to the tenure security of millions of the world’s poor, concurrent with a growing awareness of the importance of land rights to development, food security, environmental stewardship, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and other global challenges make this an important moment to give much greater global attention to secure community rights to land and natural resources.

Conscious that securing tenure rights of rural communities and Indigenous Peoples over their lands and natural resources is critical for poverty alleviation, dignified lives, cultural survival, social cohesion, and ecosystem sustainability, we agreed to:

  1. Work toward the establishment of a broad-based global partnership to better support the efforts of rural communities to have their land and natural resource rights recognized, respected and protected;
  2. Undertake collaborative actions to more effectively support national and local efforts to strengthen community land security;
  3. Work jointly at the global level to promote greater attention to community land rights security in multilateral processes and donor priorities;
  4. Establish measurable targets to monitor global progress on community land rights security, and improve our systems for collecting relevant data;
  5. Work within our respective organizations to engage in global, national and local action to support this emerging set of goals and new collaborations;
  6. Call on other organizations from government, non-governmental, community, and private sectors to strengthen their engagement in such actions and to support this effort; and
  7. Reconvene on 17 September 2013 in Switzerland immediately prior to the International Conference on Scaling-Up Global Efforts to Secure Community Land and Resource Rights (18-20 September 2013) with a wider array of organizations to broaden the emerging partnerships and determine their future.

We are thankful to the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center for hosting and supporting this meeting, and to the convening organizations for the opportunity to support rural communities’ efforts to ensure their land and resources rights are respected.


The participants,


Andy White

Coordinator, Rights and Resources Initiative


Jeffrey Hatcher

Director of Global Programs, Rights and Resources Initiative


Duncan Pruett

Land Policy Advisor, Oxfam International


Michael Taylor

Global Policy Programme Manager, International Land Coalition Secretariat


Gonzalo Oviedo

Senior Advisor for Social Policy, IUCN


Tony La Viña

Dean, Ateneo School of Government


Ruth Meinzen-Dick

Senior Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute


Peter Veit

Acting Director, Institutions and Governance Program, World Resources Institute


Richard Chase Smith

Executive Director, Instituto del Bien Común, Perú


Vicky Tauli-Corpuz

Executive Director, TEBTEBBA (Indigenous Peoples’ International Centre for Policy Research and Education), Philippines


Fred Nelson

Executive Director, Maliasili Initiatives


Michael Ochieng Odhiambo

Director, People, Land and Rural Development, Kenya


Liz Alden Wily

Independent Land Tenure Expert, Kenya and Fellow, Rights and Resources Initiative


Rachael Knight

Director, Community Land Protection Program, Namati


Darío Fajardo

Director, Instituto Amazónico de Investigaciones Científicas Sinchi, Colombia


Ghan Shyam Pandey

Coordinator, Global Alliance of Community Forestry, Nepal


Samuel Nguiffo

Secretary General, Center for Environment and Development, Cameroon


Thomas Stadtmüller

Senior Advisor in Sustainable Land Management, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation

April 17, 2013 | Namati