Latin America and Caribbean Land Forum Meeting Calls for Land Reform

December 2012: Participants at the 2012 Latin America and Caribbean Land Forum Meeting have issued the Cartagena Declaration, summarizing main points of agreement on land rights and territories reached at the meeting. The meeting was organized by the International Land Coalition and a number of other partners. 

The meeting took place in Cartagena, Colombia, on 27 November 2012, and focused on the theme “Sowing peace through land reform.”

Participants including governments, intergovernmental agencies, NGOs and academics from 12 countries discussed the challenges facing rural populations in Latin America and the Caribbean region, particularly in the areas of land policy, global frameworks and commercial pressures on land, political representation and defense of territories. They highlighted challenges related to armed conflict, concentration of land ownership in a few large landholders, and fragmentation of smallholder farms. Some participants noted the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security.

The Cartagena Declaration calls for: greater participation and leadership from civil society in pro-rural public policy; broad-based participation in access to and control of land; consideration of the dangers of land consolidation; the need to address the concept of territory, which is broader than land access; use of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests; and rural development strategies that are based on understanding the values and identities of farmers, indigenous peoples and African descendants. The Declaration also denounces human rights violations in connection with the defense and resistance of rural territories. [ILC Press Release] [Cartagena Declaration]