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Global Land Forum concludes with adoption of Dead Sea Declaration

By Maria Weldali - May 27,2022 - Last updated at May 27,2022

The 2022 Global Land Forum concluded on Thursday with the adoption of the Dead Sea Declaration at the King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Centre in the Dead Sea region on Thursday (Photo courtesy of ILC Twitter page)

AMMAN — The 2022 Global Land Forum (GLF) concluded on Thursday with the adoption of the Dead Sea Declaration, which focuses on shifting power to people and attention to land rights as key ingredients to addressing global challenges.

“Land rights are human rights. Equitable land rights are the key to inclusive development, flourishing and healthy societies, and a sustainable planet. They are central to the most urgent challenge of our time: Avoiding catastrophic climate breakdown,” according to the Dead Sea Declaration, a copy of which was made available to The Jordan Times on Thursday.

The declaration adds that equitable land rights are the foundation of peaceful and democratic societies and sustainable and resilient local food systems.

The most pressing challenges facing the MENA region include the high income inequality, acute land degradation and desertification, conflicts, youth unemployment, and increasing migration and internal displacement, according to the declaration.

“We admire the spirit of solidarity that moves our host, Jordan, as an anchor of peace and stability in the region, a country whose population comprises the largest proportion of refugees of any country in the world,” the declaration notes.

The first session on day four titled, “Secure Land Rights for Equitable, Just and Peaceful Societies”, shed light on stories from Palestine and the Philippines, presenting land as a cause of conflict, as well as a solution for sustainable peace.

During the first session, Palestinian panellist Rahaf Rifai, representative of the Agricultural Development Association, spoke about the “key role” of national organisations, which she described as part of the local community.

On the same note, Abdul Rahim Bisharat, who is a community leader from the occupied West Bank city of Jenin, said that “the challenges are high when it comes to land registration and management in Palestine”.

He noted that the Israeli occupation remains the major challenge for Palestinian land owners who face “continuous obstacles”.

Further, Ombretta Tempra, human settlements officer and land specialist at the UN Habitat Global Land Tool Network, highlighted that “we must recognise the role of community in managing their land. That is the very first step to stop conflict and build a peaceful world.”

Article 12 of the declaration extended particular support to International Land Coalition (ILC) members and the people in the occupied Palestinian territories, offering ILC platform as a space to connect and influence for “more peaceful, equitable, just, and sustainable societies for Palestinians”.

The final session of the 2022 GLC reflected on land struggles and how to address them. 

Throughout the forum, which lasted for four days, discussion topics included sustainable land governance, women’s access to land rights, climate change, food systems and other critical issues.

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