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MRLG participates in the 3rd ASEAN Mayors Forum in Manila
The Mekong Region Land Governance project participated in the recently concluded 3rd ASEAN Mayors Forum with a theme of “Empowering Communities for a Stronger ASEAN.” The Forum gathered hundreds of local government leaders from the ASEAN member countries in Manila on 26 – 27 July 2017 to discuss the impacts and ramifications of the ASEAN Integration on local communities in the region. It also sought more ways to improve the quality of life and environmental sustainability within the region in accordance with the ASEAN Blueprint of 2016.
MRLG’s Acting Team Leader, Mr. John Meadows, presented MRLG’s experiences in improving land governance in the CLMV countries in the “Sustainable Land Governance Working Session” on the second day of the Forum. The “Sustainable Land Governance Working Session” showcased international and local best practices in land administration and management which offered practical solutions to existing land governance issues in the ASEAN. Key messages and recommendations were formulated in the working session and reported to the Plenary Session at the end of the Forum. Some of the key messages provided to the plenary included MRLG’s recommendations: 1) For ASEAN member countries to review agricultural investment laws and policies to ensure standardization and harmonization and include adequate social safeguards for smallholder farmers; and 2) To ASEAN to include in its agenda a framework or mechanism to monitor and evaluate key land governance policies, particularly where there are critical cross-border implications or impacts.
The Mayors Forum provided what until now has been a rare opportunity to discuss land governance issues, concerns and solutions within the ASEAN context.
This is the second ASEAN event that MRLG has been represented at in recent months following participation in the he ASEAN Working Group on Social Forestry (AWG-SF) biennial conference In Chiang Mai, Thailand.
MRLG will continue to look for opportunities to engage with ASEAN in order to both raise the profile of the project and importantly to improve knowledge and understanding of the critical importance of good land governance.