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II. Acting as a facilitator of the local land system
- Local authorities have the necessary legitimacy and knowledge to facilitate dialogue around land
- Expanding the community of people involved in land issues will support the transition to a more regenerative system
Local authorities are first-hand witnesses of changing landscapes and land dynamics. They observe what type of agriculture is practised in their area, land transfers and who they benefit, trends in urban sprawl and land prices, and so on. By gathering and centralising information on this, they can catalyse action towards better local land stewardship. Local governments also have the necessary legitimacy, knowledge of stakeholders, and convening powers to coordinate efforts, organise local dialogue and connect actors on agriculture, food, and land issues. Encouraging more open governance of land can be a powerful lever to:
- fight opacity on land transfers and market dynamics that favour larger farms;
- connect actors that do not know each other, and create more synergies for access to land;
- co-construct decisions that affect land, and therefore create co-responsibility with local owners, farmers, inhabitants to steward the land;
- rebalance power by opening decision processes to people or organisations that do not traditionally take part in institutional processes that affect land;
- increase the awareness and skills of people/organisations that own or manage land;
- support organisations or projects that aim to protect farmland or provide access to it for disadvantaged groups.
How should I involve citizens in deciding on policies that affect land? Can local authorities facilitate land leases to agroecological farmers? Can they support farm succession? Check the infographic for a quick overview of how to act, and read the sections below for more information on providing data, raising awareness, convening, and intermediating relationships around land.
Infographic: Acting as a facilitator of the local land system