Tackling Inequality through Land Redistribution: Lessons from Colombia Reflections from the International Conference on Global Land Grabbing.

It’s time for an emancipatory land politics that puts land into the hands of small-scale food producers and places indigenous peoples on centre stage. Colombia's approach may show how to tackle growing inequality through land redistribution? 

Authors

Blog by

Members of the peasant cooperative Cooperativa Multiactiva Frontera Sur (Coomfrosur), San Joaquín farm, Puerto Salgar, Colombia.

Sylvia Kay

Members of the peasant cooperative Cooperativa Multiactiva Frontera Sur (Coomfrosur), San Joaquín farm, Puerto Salgar, Colombia.

I was recently in Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, for an international conference on land grabbing co-organised by TNI in partnership with the Land Deal Politics Initiative. Bringing together over 500 academics, activists, and policymakers from around the world across three days of intense exchange, the conference was an important moment to discuss current trends and strategies of resistance to ongoing land and resource grabs. A key point of discussion that emerged was the role that land redistribution can play in pushing back against extreme land inequality and the concentration of land and wealth in the hands of the few.

Towards a new International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development

There is momentum to put land redistribution and agrarian reform onto the agenda of global land policymakers. At session on Land Reform in the 21st Century organised at the conference, it was clear that land reform is still relevant in very diverse countries, with experiences shared from the Philippines, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Mali, South Africa, Indonesia, France and Scotland and beyond. Some of these reforms have progressed, some have stalled, and some have reversed. The key question, as articulated by Morgan Ody, General Coordinator of La Via Campesina, the world-wide peasant movement, thus remains, “How can we use this momentum from social movements, to make [these developments in Colombia and elsewhere] a new wave of land reform?”

A call by the We Belong to the Land Campaign spearheaded by the International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty and allies puts forward a proposal for a new International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ICARRD) to be organised in 2026 to coincide with the twenty year anniversary of the first landmark ICARRD in Brazil. At the Bogotá conference, the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Jhenifer Mohijca, expressed her support for the government of Colombia to host precisely such a conference under the banner of ICARRD+20. 

It’s time for an emancipatory land politics that puts land into the hands of small-scale food producers and places indigenous peoples centre stage. 

Discover the remarkable story behind the transformation of former drug lord estates in Colombia into lands of hope for Indigenous peasants and former FARC rebels. This video was recorded as part of a site visit during the LDPI International Conference on Global Land Grabbing in Bogotá.

Ideas into movement

Boost TNI's work

50 years. Hundreds of social struggles. Countless ideas turned into movement. 

Support us as we celebrate our 50th anniversary in 2024.

Make a donation