Public Forum “Towards Peasant’s Rights to Land in Ukraine”

Ukrainian Rural Development Network, European Coordination La Via CAMPESINA, and Institute for Economics and Forecasting, NAS Ukraine  initiate Public Forum “Towards Peasant’s Rights to Land in Ukraine”, which will take place on 26 November 2019, Ukraine, Kyiv.

The lifting of the moratorium on agricultural land sales is one of the top urgent priorities for Ukrainian government. The proposed models for land market and land sales are designed to provide an easy access to agricultural land for big investors and legal persons. At the same time, there are considerable risks that about 4 million of Ukrainian farming households, which are not legal persons, will not have priority and real possibilities to acquire land. Implementing the governmental approach to agricultural land market will lead to loosing jobs, marginalization of rural population and exclusion of smallholders in agricultural sectors. It is a cause of concern that there are no real regulations to prevent land concentration. According to the draft of new land low, one natural or legal person, as it is proposed, will be allowed to own 15 percent of all agricultural land in a region or 0.5 percent of all agricultural land in Ukraine (more than 200 thousand hectares). Another point is that peasants have not priority to buy agricultural land. City residents and other physical persons without education or experience in agriculture have the same rights. The governmental approach to land market does not also resolve the issue of deeper involvement of local rural communities in land governance.

Ukrainian Government planned to adapt all legislative changes on agricultural land market by 1 December 2019. This decision provoked increasing protest activity of civil society and different professional associations. That made decision makers order the Parliamentary hearing on land market on 4 December. URDN intends to support grassroots organizations of peasants, farmers and local rural communities and help them to prepare for the parliament hearings. For this, URDN initiate a public forum to bring together representatives of Ukrainian grassroots organizations, ECVC, OHCHR, and UNDP to discuss the guiding principles for land governance, rights for land, main ideas of UN Decade of Family Farming, and the role of family farms in implementing approaches for land management according to the principles of agroecology.

In October 2019, URDN has also sent a letter to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food. In the letter, URDN expressed concern of peasants and farmers about the possible consequences of land reform that would lead to loss of opportunities for a large part of peasants and rural communities to produce and consume local agricultural products. We expect Ukrainian government to respond to the communication of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food.

Participants of the Forum will be informed on the results. Participants of the Public Forum will develop the resolution to introduce the public position with regard to the agricultural land market in Ukraine, and present the document at the Parliamentary hearing on 4 December 2019. After the Forum, URDN will promote the Resolution among decision makers in order the proposals of the Forum to be implemented in Ukrainian legislation.

26 November 2019, 9.30-18.00
Ukraine, Kyiv, Panas Mirniy str., 26
Facilities of the Institute for Economics and Forecasting, NAS Ukraine (Conference Hall, 2 floor)

Languages: Ukrainian, English
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