Colombia - Recognition of collective land tenure rights in Colombia is among the strongest in Latin America: there has been constitutional backing since 1991, and more than 30 million hectares of forests have already been designated as indigenous land. However, this legal protection often falls short of securing rights on the ground.
As the country moves on from a five-decade conflict and launches a nationwide land-planning process, securing collective rights — not just individual ones — becomes key to the success of a hard-won national peace agreement.
To better understand the state of affairs and what drives collective tenure security, experts at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and Pontificia Javeriana University in Bogotá gauged the perceptions of indigenous and afrodescendent communities in the Pacific and Caribbean regions. That study was complemented by analyses of the legal framework and the evolution of communal land titling in Colombia.
“Now, it is more important than ever to address collective rights,” says Johana Herrera, a researcher at Javeriana University and co-author of a working paper on the topic (in Spanish). “Colombia is changing its regulations on access to land, but these rights are being relegated to the background,” she adds.
Iliana Monterroso, a a post-doc research fellow with CIFOR’s Equal Opportunities, Gender, Justice and Tenure Team, highlights the urgency of the matter: “Lack of acknowledgement of preexisting rights may result in conflict, so there is a need for mechanisms to review existing claims,” she says.
To help bring these concerns to the forefront of negotiations and guide public policies on land tenure, Herrera and fellow researchers looked to a method known as Participatory Prospective Analysis (PPA).
The researchers organized a series of workshops with representatives of five ethnic communities and guided them through a triple task: defining the concept of security concerning collective land tenure; identifying variables that affect it and how they relate to each other, and coming up with action plans leading to a desired future scenario.
Para consultar la nota de prensa completa seguir el siguiente link: httpss://forestsnews.cifor.org/54723/land-rights-essential-peace-colombia?fnl=en