North East Land Conference at Martin Luther Christian University under way Shillong

Shillong, Jan 28: North East India exemplifies and boasts unique and rich diversity in land governance regimes which not only varies as per constitutional provisions (viz. Schedule VI areas, Article 371 A, C, G and H), but also as per local traditional customary and community tenures, different even across villages and tribes.

Of late these local culture and ecosystem friendly tenure regimes are witnessing a rapid transformation vis-à-vis development paradigms, generating opportunitiesand risks for community and other land actors.

There have been contestations around acquiring and appropriation of land for conservation or development by state and/or private/external actors.  Privatization has started affecting customary land relations. Patriarchal structures in many communities continue to discriminate women land ownership.

Land is now increasingly contested and often found to be the raison d’etre for communal, village/family dispute with increasing population, migration, climate change and resources depletion. Vulnerable groups viz. landless, women, minority tribes and poor are affected heavily by loss of livelihoods, identity and a sense of belongingness with no land rights.

Engagements of land actors including administrators, lawyers and academicians has not been adequate to generate desired appreciation and analysis of the legal pluralism of the customary systems. Limited engagements that have been carried out, lack connections to policy and practice, due to lack of space for connection among the researchers as well with other land actors.

Civil society engagements around land have largely been around advocacy or practices around landuses while sporadic initiatives have attempted questions around women land rights, farmers’ rights, forest rights and community tenure and the contestation of role of state and other actors in changing the land relations.

In this backdrop Martin Luther Christian University, Shillong in Collaboration with NERCORMP, North East Network, RNBA and NRMC Centre for Land Governance, is organizing a 2-days National Conference on ‘Land, Laws, Locals and Livelihoods: Tenure Dynamics and Development Paradigms in North East India’ to be held on January 30-31, 2020 at MLCU, Nongrah, Shillong.

Thisconferencewill bring together scholars, practitioners and other land-actors from NE India as well as from outside. It seeks to promote conversations, facilitate connections and trigger processes and actions towards more intense and interdisciplinary engagements around land tenure and development for impacting inclusive land rights and development.



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