1, June, 2012

Spotlight on Organisations: Extractive Industries and Land Use

This selection highlights some of the key organisations who are doing work around extractive industries and land issues, covering a variety of themes ranging from land use planning and environmental impacts, to community and indigenous peoples’ participation in decision making and promotion of land rights.

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Agustin Codazzi Geographic Institute (Instituto Geográfico Agustín Codazzi – IGAC)

Link: http://www.igac.gov.co/wps/portal/english/Inicio/Home
Areas of Expertise: Land use planning
Key Activities: Cartography, cadastral surveying, geography and geospatial technology, management support for national land planning and development processes
Based in Colombia, the IGAC is responsible for developing geographical information to support Colombia’s land use planning processes. The institute also trains and educates professionals in geographic information technologies and coordinates the ‘Colombian Spatial Data Infrastructure’. Though their website only covers Colombia, it could still be useful for practitioners and researchers from other countries since it provides access to comprehensive research data and methodologies on land use planning for territorial development, including for extractive industries, that can be adapted for use in other contexts.

AGTER: Association to Contribute to Improve the Governance of Land, Water and Natural Resources

Link: http://www.agter.asso.fr/rubrique69_en.html
Areas of Expertise: Land access, land and natural resources governance
Key Activities: Networking, dissemination of knowledge materials
Since 2005, AGTER has operated as a network of experts from civil society who disseminate research results aimed at generating debate and providing alternative solutions to issues related to access to natural resources and land. The Association provides a list of recent publications by an international panel of experts on land, water and natural resource governance. It runs a website and periodically holds thematic meetings open to the public. The website provides access to a quarterly newsletter and a list of international organisations working on land issues.

Blacksmith Institute

Link: http://www.blacksmithinstitute.org
Areas of Expertise: Environmental impacts of mining, pollution
Key Activities: Technical research, networking, financial support
The Blacksmith Institute is an international non-profit organisation that provides grants for pollution remediation projects and assists local governments, private companies and communities facing significant pollution problems that affect human health and the environment. In particular, it includes a focus on tackling pollution problems generated by extractive industries such as mining, including artisanal mining and lead mining. The Institute also develops networking and collaboration opportunities and supports planning and implementation for land pollution remediation projects. The resources available on their website can be searched by industry and region.

Fundación Tierra

Link: www.ftierra.org/
Areas of Expertise: Rural development, indigenous people, natural resources
Key Activities: Research, capacity building, information sharing
The Tierra Foundation is a Bolivian non-profit organisation focusing on sustainable rural development, conducting capacity building and producing research designed to push policies to be more targeted at rural needs. In its Natural Resources programme, the foundation addresses and publishes news, opinion articles, and research about natural resources and land use and access in indigenous territories. It is maily focused on Bolivia, but also includes other Latin American countries as well. The foundation also hosts the Indigenous Territories Observatory, a website devoted to sharing information about issues related to Bolivian indigenous peoples’ lands.

GeoData Institute

Link: http://www.geodata.soton.ac.uk/geodataweb/themes/environment/
Areas of Expertise: Conservation and nvironment, land use
Key Activities: Environmental research and consultancy services
The GeoData Institute, based at the University of Southampton, specialises in environmental management, data analysis and processing. It offers research and consultancy services through in-house and associated experts. The Institute’s environmental services include mapping, field survey, and environment impact assessment of projects and policies. It works in the areas of environmental research, conservation, environmental management and land use,among others.

International Land Coalition - Latin America Portal

Link: http://americalatina.landcoalition.org/
Areas of Expertise: Land access, commercial pressures on land from extractive industries, land grabbing, indigenous people, natural resources
Key Activities: Information sharing, research, capacity building, advocacy
The International Land Coalition (ILC) was formed by civil society and intergovernmental agencies from 50 countries worldwide to promote rural peoples’ access to land, mainly through information-sharing via the website and by holding discussion events. Among its thematic areas, ILC addresses issues related to land and extractive activities. Its portal on Latin America contains an extensive collection of research papers, media articles and multimedia resources, as well the Coalition’s own publications on land issues in the region. It also manages the Land Portal, an online knowledge sharing platform, with a section focused on sharing information related to Commercial Pressures on Land due to extractive activities that affect the rights and livelihoods of rural, pastoral and indigenous communities, and includes a strong focus on Latin American countries.

Latin American Network on Extractive Industries (Red Latinoamericana Sobre las Industrias Extractivas)

Link: http://www.redextractivas.org
Areas of Expertise: Natural Resources, sustainable development, civil society participation, extractive industries issues such as land use, conflict, transparency, use of extractive industries resources
Key Activities: Influence policy decisions, network, knowledge sharing, information dissemination
The network was formed by a number of civil society organisations working on sustainable development of extractive industries. It aims to offer a space for civil society to debate different issues related to extractive industries in Latin America to influence public policy design. In its thematic areas of land planning and sustainable development, the network addresses issues like the construction of legal frameworks for land use planning and environmental mechanisms to promote sustainable development of extractive projects. The network also occasionally organises online forums on these issues. This organisation may be a useful resource for other regions as it makes available different Latin American experiences that could be adapted to other contexts.

Peruvian Centre of Social Studies (Centro Peruano de Estudios Sociales – CEPES)

Link: http://www.cepes.org.pe/portal/tierras
Areas of Expertise: Rural and indigenous peoples, land rights, natural resource rights
Key Activities: Research and policy recommendation on land and natural resource rights
CEPES is a Peru-based non-governmental organisation, focusing on, among other issues, the recognition and defence of land, resources and territorial rights of rural and indigenous peoples living in extractive industries areas. The organisation engages in research, capacity building and support to communities and civil social organisations. CEPES offers free access to its publications, statistical data, news and multimedia resources including online radio and videos. The site is only available in Spanish.

USAID Land Tenure and Property Rights Unit

Link: http://usaidlandtenure.net/
Areas of Expertise: Land access, land rights.
Key Activities: Information sharing, research, land rights and land tenure projects
The USAID Land Tenure Unit executes land rights and land tenure projects in all regions, with a special focus on capacity building. In Latin America, USAID transfers knowledge about land rights to rural communities affected by extractive activities and promotes sustainable natural resource management. It also administers the Land Tenure and Property Rights Portal, that contains not only a collection of data and research documents, but also knowledge products such as briefs and country profiles, as well as tools for trainings and interventions related to land rights.

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