The prevalent economic system of our societies is cause of unsustainable food production and consumption and the alarming loss of natural and cultural diversity and traditional values. Land governance is entwined with high rates of corruption and unchecked land grabbing concentrates land in the hands of a powerful few. Citizens are not often engaged in policy design. Even when laws and policies are progressive and embrace people-centred land governance, they often lack in implementation. The limited implementation of existing laws with no consultation is an obstacle to real grassroots democracy. The climate crisis is generating unprecedented extreme weather conditions and displacement, especially in vulnerable landscapes such as those that sustain pastoral systems. Youth are leaving rural areas and the loss of agricultural land and the depletion of towns seems to be an un-reversible phenomenon, compounded in Europe with the aging of rural populations. Instead of dealing with the causes of migrations, war, and inequality, states are building barriers and border-police forces to impede the free movement of people. Women in particular face rates of disproportionate dispossession and marginalization, excluded from most public discourse, and are most vulnerable to fragmentation of community. Certain populations in the region are in particular peril by virtue of their being. The Amazigh, for example, are the indigenous peoples of North Africa, with collective land traditions that predate the modern states, and they face particular marginalization and dispossession of their land and culture. Palestinians also are the native inhabitants of their Palestine, who face occupation by the Israeli state, which threatens to dispossess them of the entirety of their land. The threats and challenges that ILC EMENA members and all rural (and otherwise) inhabitants of the region face are interrelated.
Origins of ILC EMENA
The ILC Europe Middle East and North Africa region (EMENA) was first established in 2015-2016 by organizations previously part of a wider Global Civil Society Organization group. While the members covered three continents and spanned diverse geographic, climatic, social, and political regions, the group of seven member-organisations mutually agreed to unite under one ILC regional umbrella with a shared hope to work together and benefit from each other’s experience and expertise.
Following the 2017 membership call, an additional 10 organisations working in the region applied and were successful in joining the ILC EMENA regional platform, bringing the number of member organisations to 17.