Tirana Declaration

, by International Land Coalition (ILC)

"Securing land access for the poor in times of intensified natural resources competition"

We, over 150 representatives of civil society organisations, social movements, grassroots organisations, international agencies, and governments - including the members and strategic partners of the International Land Coalition (ILC) - from more than 45 countries in Africa, Latin America, North America, Asia and Europe, have gathered in Tirana, Albania, this 24-26 May 2011, the International Year of Forests. We have come together at the invitation of the National Federation of Communal Forests and Pastures of Albania (NFCFPA), (formerly known as NACFPA) and the Government of Albania for an international conference under the theme of “Securing land access for the poor in times of intensified natural resource competition”.

We echo the assertions made in the Kathmandu, Lima and Kigali Declarations calling for land governance to better meet the needs of marginalised land users.

* In particular, we are struck at this moment in history by the intensified and increasingly unequal competition for land, water, forests, rangelands, biodiversity and other natural resources.

* We note that land and other natural resources are increasingly scarce and under threat due to a number of factors, including population growth, migration, changes in consumption patterns, climate change, land degradation, corruption and other forms of poor governance. Moreover, this is taking place in a context in which the control of land is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few, while at the same time, a growing number of rural and urban poor are left with small and fragmented lands. This fosters conflict and food insecurity, and exacerbates poverty.

* We believe that people-centred land governance is essential to address the needs of land-users and the discrimination of small-scale producers, especially women, and also indigenous peoples, pastoralists, fisher folks, users of common pool resources and holders of shifting and overlapping rights, the land poor and landless workers.

Read on the International Land Coalition and download the declaration