The World Bank Land and Poverty conference Report – 2015 “Linking Land Tenure and Use for Shared Prosperity”
The World Bank Land and Poverty Conference was held at the World Bank headquarters in Washington DC from the 23rd – 27th March. The conference was attended by over 1200 participants from national and international organizations spanning across developed and developing countries.
A one day pre-conference workshop, 3 days of parallel paper sessions and a post-conference masters class was organized during this year´s land and poverty conference. The paper sessions featured topics ranging from land rights and tenure, land use and land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) to land related investments in developing countries. Since small-scale agroforestry climate change mitigation and financing strongly aligned with my research, I purposefully choose to attend the paper session tailored to this subject matter. The session on agroforestry and deforestation presented an avenue to explore the monetary evaluation of forestry as well as the change in behavioral patterns of indigenes in deforested areas. One of the take home messages from the conference was that in some instances existing customary forms of secured land tenure or rights were efficient in settling land dispute while redundant in others. Therefore, investors and project developers in LULUCF projects are urged to analyze and improve on land right systems that are efficient in the rural areas. The session on leveraging climate change policies to promote local forest rights resonates opportunities in climate finance and land use especially amongst small forest communities and smallholder farmers. “Climate finance has provided a huge financing boost for forests and landscapes at a scale. It has also emphasized a multi-sectoral approach to forest conservation with a focus on many drivers of deforestation outside the forest sector” - Ellysar Baroudy. World Bank Group. Therefore, the World Bank Group in partnership with multistakeholders is looking to scale up reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) and other landscape, thus, further expanding emission schemes. This may therefore lead to the development of a comprehensive carbon market which encompasses LULUCF and contributes to improving rural livelihood in developing countries.
I presented the results of the research carried out within The International Small Group and Tree Planting Program (TIST) in 2013 around the Mount Kenya region. This study analyzed the factors that are likely to affect the use of LULUCF by smallholder farmers and their participation in conservation programs. It is important to ensure that agriculture conservation programs are not an exclusive ‘club’ accessible only to a limited number of wealthier farmers. Our findings indicate that the spread of information (formal and informal), peer involvement and secure land tenure influences participation in the TIST programs. Conversely, participation by smallholder farmers in the TIST program does not seem to be influenced by their level of education or size of farmland. The results seem to suggest that rural conservation programs and corresponding payment for ecosystem services (PES) in developing countries may be reaching the targeted audience and therefore promoting inclusiveness of the poorest of the poor smallholder farmers.