The Civil Society Organizations’ urban cluster of the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN), in partnership with Habitat for Humanity’s Solid Ground Campaign, hosted a two-day learning exchange on Strengthening land tenure security for urban poverty reduction in Asia-Pacific, in the Manila Bay area, Philippines.

The learning exchange brought together 43 participants, from 20 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) from 11 countries (India, Malaysia, Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Cambodia, Nepal, The Netherlands, United States, Kenya) discussed land-related challenges in the region, explored the strategies that CSOs are currently using to tackle them and identified ways in which shared knowledge and collaboration among the cluster members can advance individual and collective goals. Together, they worked towards: 

  • Building a common understanding around the range of land tenure options and ways to strengthen security of tenure in urban areas in Asia and the Pacific from the civil society point of view
  • Sharing information, experience and perspectives on meeting land-related challenges, including piloting and application of a selection of innovative land tools
  • Discussing practical challenges, tactics and lessons learnt from the diverse experience of GLTN’s partners in the urban cluster
  • Identifying key aspects in which the GLTN secretariat and partners can support and collaborate with each other at the local, national and regional

Participating organizations were introduced to the report on “Land Tenure in Asia and the Pacific: Challenges, Opportunities and Way Forward” by David Mitchell (RMIT) and the he led an engaging discussion around five key thematic areas: security of land tenure and access to other rights, urbanization and rural-urban linkages, climate change and natural disasters in cities, women’s tenure security and access to land and limitations in legislation, policy, land administration and management.

The urban CSO cluster includes Action Aid, ACHR, Asian NGO Coalition for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development, Habitat International Coalition, Huairou Commission, International Land Coalition, Namati, Norwegian Refugee Council, Oxfam International, Protimos and Slum Dwellers International.

Addressing urban land and poverty issues is more critical now than ever before. In 2018, for the first time, more people in the Asia-Pacific region will be living in cities than in rural areas. Thank you to everyone who participated and to those who were unable to do so — we hope you will engage with us in the future as we continue to work towards change.