Asia Land Forum for the International Land Coalition in Issyk-Kul: “People-Centred Land Governance, Securing Commons Land Use Rights Towards Improved Livelihoods of Local Communities in Asia”

On 12-15 September, 2017 a regional forum for the International Land Coalition (ILC) took place in Issyk-Kul region. The International Land Coalition was founded in 1995, and its Secretariat is located in the office of IFAD in Rome, Italy. Annual regional Land Coalition forums provide opportunities for members to meet, communicate, share experiences, report and take steps forward. This year, the forum was coordinated by A. Burkhanov, the director of the Association of Land Users in Kyrgyzstan with joint support from the ILC members. Four organisations that represent Kyrgyzstan in ILC are: Rural Development Fund, the National Pasture Users’ Association of Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyz Jayity, the National Association of Water Users, and the National Association of Forest and Land Users.

The forum welcomed representatives from 11 countries including Italy, India, Mongolia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Philippines, Nepal, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, and comprised of more than 100 delegates from these countries and the Land Coalition member organizations. Among the attendees also were deputies of the Kyrgyz parliament, representatives of government institutions, members of the scientific community, representatives of non-governmental organizations, such as Bio-KG, ADI, RDF, CAMP Alatoo, and international organisations such as FAO, KOICA, JICA, the World Bank, and IFAD, as well as guests from the local communities.

During the forum, the participants discussed topics on the current state and future prospects of bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the domains of trade, economy, culture and humanitarian aid. On the last day, the delegation visited the advanced experimental farming sites in the Issyk-Kul region, as well as visited the Ala-Too mountain ranges to study the sustainable forest management practices.

At the end of the forum, aid agencies and governments accepted the proposals and appeals from the local communities and organisations, and they promised to continue their efforts to strengthen the capacity of local communities in order to promote sustainable use of common pasture lands and to improve the living conditions of rural communities.