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Territorial development and local knowledge systems

Engaging local farming knowledge through a right-based approach to agricultural development







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    Sustainable Development Goal 16 & Indigenous Peoples’ Collective Rights to Land, Territories & Resources 2021
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    Land rights are interlinked with peace and development, being the trigger for conflict and disputes involving Indigenous Peoples’ rights in almost every region in the world (United Nations Indigenous Peoples Major Group for Sustainable Development, 2019). Access to land is closely related to the right to adequate food, as recognized under article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Natural resources are the main direct source of food for the majority of Indigenous Peoples. While land and water are central to food production, forest resources provide a basis for subsistence harvesting as well as for income-generating activities, e.g. through the collection and use of non-wood forest products. Thus Indigenous Peoples’ right to food often depends closely on their access to and control over their lands and other natural resources in their territories. For many traditional communities, especially those living in remote regions, access to hunting, fishing and gathering grounds for their subsistence livelihoods is essential for ensuring their adequate nutrition, as they may have no physical or economic access to marketed food (Knuth, 2009). There is therefore a key relationship between realising the right to food and improving access to natural resources which is also recognised by the Voluntary Guidelines to support the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security (Right to Food Guidelines) adopted by FAO Council in 2004. This paper has highlights the intrinsic relationship that exists between the collective of Indigenous Peoples to land, territories and resources, and SDG 16 on peace justice and strong institutions. In the light of the goals set out in the 2030 Agenda, the fulfillment of the entire SDGs for Indigenous Peoples depends on the legal recognition and legal protection of their collective rights as an essential condition for the implementation of the right to self-determination as enshrined in UNDRIP and the other international treaties. The legal protection of collective rights of Indigenous Peoples implies not only respecting their collective right to natural resources which is at the core of FAO’s mandate, but also their right to exercise their justice and governance systems. Respect for their institutions, legal regimes, and customary law within the framework of legal pluralism is an intrinsic part of SDG16, and the achievement of peace depends precisely on this.
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    Women’s land rights and agrarian change: Evidence from indigenous communities in Cambodia 2019
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    Current changes in land tenure in Cambodia are reshaping indigenous communities agrarian and socio-economic systems. Customary laws that have determined land usage and rights, are now undergoing profound transformations. The commodification of land, influenced by processes of dispossession and alienation, is reshaping communities’ norms and customs. Land, before freely available to users, is now substantially a private asset and as such transferred from one generation to the next one like other assets. Customary laws derive their legitimacy from social systems that are context specific and change with time. This determines their ambiguous character as instruments for resistance and self-determination as well as generators of unequal social relations in rural communities. The experiences from other continents and countries have shown the contradictory and often conflicting linkage between customary land rights and women’s rights to own land. This study analysis the customary inheritance system of indigenous groups in Northern Cambodia, prevalently centred around matrilineal or bilateral kinship, where women used to inherit and own the principal family assets. The research questions focus on indigenous women’s inheritance and property rights as they apply to land, in the context of increasing land commoditization and scarcity. The aim of the enquiry is to contribute to the understanding of the gender implications of these changes, by gaining insight about women’s position vis-à-vis land property, inheritance and transfer to new generations. The changes in land tenure that have occurred in Ratanakiri province during the last decades have resulted in a substantial alienation of land and resources formerly available to indigenous people. Consequently, the area farmed under shifting cultivation has significantly decreased and been replaced by permanent commercial crops, while the increasing monetization of communities’ economy has triggered new processes of social differentiation. Little support has been given to indigenous farmers in order to manage this transition and adapt their farming system while maintaining its sustainability. The legal instruments deriving from the Land Law, which in theory should have contributed to provide formal legal protecting to indigenous land and allow communities to continue using land according to their traditional tenure system were impaired by delays and the obstacles in the practical implementation of the law. External actors, institutional as well as non-governmental, have been actively promoting agricultural practices centred on rapid gains, unsustainable exploitation of land and forest, carpet introduction of monocultures without creating the conditions for the establishment of favourable value chains and market conditions. The changes that have taken place have important implications in terms of women’s role and status within communities: not only because of the farming system transition, but also as a consequence of the increasing influence of the mainstream culture, in which gender norms are more hierarchical and constrictive then the ones in use among the indigenous peoples targeted by this study. Following the evidence presented here, strengthening indigenous women land rights may result from a multipurpose approach that embraces different areas of interventions and actors, detailed in the recommendations provided.
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    Biocultural Community Protocols for Livestock Keepers 2010
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    Biocultural Community Protocols are a new approach that provides livestock-keeping communities the opportunity of documenting and showcasing their role in the management of animal genetic resources and agro-ecosystems. They offer insights into the all-important socio-cultural dimensions of livestock diversity that have remained invisible during standard livestock research on animal genetic resources. They provide an opportunity for communities to tell the story from their perspective and bring t o light issues that researchers and development workers have not paid attention to so far. They describe the ritual and ceremonial meaning of livestock, they document traditional resource management and drought adaptation strategies, they identify the factors that may have led to the decline of a breed, and they make specific requests to outsiders for recognition of their role as custodians of biological diversity. Establishment of a biocultural community protocol involves a facilitated process in which a community or group of livestock keepers reflects about the meaning of their breeds, their own role in maintaining it and their vision and concerns for and about the future. The reflections are put on paper, and the community is informed about existing national rules and international legal frameworks that support its role in biodiversity conservation. Although the number of biocultural community protocols that has been established by livestock keepers is still limited, they have alrea dy validated the concept and there is an enormous interest among other communities in developing their protocols. Biocultural community protocols contribute to the implementation of several international frameworks. The most important of these are the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and the Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources. They also correspond to and implement the provisions of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People as well as the Voluntary Guidelines to S upport the Progressive Realization of the Right to Adequate Food in the Context of National Food Security. Furthermore, they may provide an answer to the increasingly debated question of how to protect the rights of small-scale livestock keepers in a global scenario in which Intellectual Property Rights become ever more prevalent in animal breeding. At community level, the development of biocultural community protocols strengthens interest in the conservation of indigenous livestock breeds and i nitiates a discussion about how to deal with factors undermining conservation

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