Sample letter to be sent to civil society representatives, Superior Generals of Missionary Institutions, religious leaders, leaders of indigenous communities, regional networks, coalitions, and alliances, and other institutions interested in or concerned with LG issues.
The fast expanding land grabbing phenomenon poses a threat to the people on Earth today and to those yet to be born. Considering its devastating effects on the livelihood opportunities, human rights, and cultural identity of people and communities, we have worked hard to develop Training on Land Grabbing. Through this letter we wish to:
The training is consistent with the Catholic Church’s efforts in promoting Peace, Social Justice, and the Integrity of Creation. It was developed echoing the outcome of the 2009 Synod for Africa where Bishops voiced their deep concern at the fast expanding phenomenon of land grabbing in Africa. It is born out of further concerns, which are increasingly voiced by missionaries working alongside local communities in Africa, Latin America and Asia as well as civil society:
2) What are the main objectives of the training?
3) How did the initiative come about?
Catholic faith based NGOs, especially the Africa Europe Faith and Justice Network (AEFJN), have been involved for several years in producing solid research and promoting actions to counteract Land Grabbing.
At the beginning of 2013, at the initiative of VIVAT International, a group focusing on land grabbing was formed among faith based NGOs with consultative status at the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and UN Department of Public Information (DPI). Roles were divided among the members of the group, some of whom took the initiative of reviewing research, information and evidence at the global level on land grabbing, and researching which organizations are working to address the issue in the different world regions.
In compiling a literature review based on worldwide sources -now available on line-, it soon became clear that there was a wealth of information and evidence available and a lot of what was being produced as well as the campaigns are of high quality. It was noted however that no consistent global strategy on land grabbing has been proposed. Good practices are appearing here in scattered fashion often as a result of collaboration between international organizations and local communities, showing that training at grassroots level is the starting point to address the issue of land grabbing.
A group of volunteers, religious and lay, deeply concerned about the threat that land grabbing poses to the Earth and to the future on Earth took the initiative of developing this training proposal.
The work undertaken up to now was supported by VIVAT International (New York – UN) and AEFJN (Brussels – European Parliament).
Seeking to collaborate with local actors, we offered a few on-site regional and country level pilot trainings in Peru and Guatemala
4) Who is the target for this training?
We believe that to ensure maximum impact of this training participants should normally have a combination of the following criteria:
Please note that the participation of women and youth meeting the eligibility criteria is strongly encouraged. The organizing committee will strive to ensure that the diversity of local actors involved in and affected by land issues is represented in the training group.
These documents are in English, Spanish, Italian and soon in French for wide distribution.
We look forward to receiving your response, comments and suggestions to help us move forward in preparing the training for your country/region.
Please send them to Fr Gian Paolo Pezzi, mccj at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
In the hope of your swift and favourable response, we thank you for your time and attention given to considering our invitation.
Fr Gian Paolo Pezzi, Mccj
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