Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation

JPIC Formation

Basical Documents

Letter of invitation to training on Land Grabbing in the JPIC work contest

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.

If you want to walk fast, walk alone;
If you want to walk far, walk together

West African proverb

The Organizing Committee

JPIC Training on Land Grabbing


Dear Sirs and Madams,

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:

  • Send you some essential information on the training, share with you its objectives and how it was developed (Sections 1 to 3 of the document);
  • Share with you a draft of the content of the proposed training programme (Attachment 1 and 2).
  • Kindly note that while we strived to develop a comprehensive and meaningful package, the training programme is a proposal which would be adapted and contextualized based on the local needs and priorities of each country/region. The 24 Sessions can be offered as one whole programme or offered in stages. Some may me omitted or changed based on the reality on the ground.
  • Request your assistance in identifying and referring to us suitable candidates for the upcoming training. Details of the profile of participants sought are provided in Section 4 of this document.
1) Why a training on land grabbing?

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:

  • Time is running out as land is running out.
  • At the global level there is increasing awareness that land is at the core of numerous issues around water, raw minerals, food sovereignty, cultural identity, and climate change.
  • Laws, guidelines, and principles aiming to protect the right to land and the human rights of farmers and indigenous people are many and often very good; sometimes they are also recognized and even theoretically accepted. The problem however continues and is reaching a point of no return.
  • NGOs, groups, Universities, and even international organizations may be already trying to do a good job, and sometimes manage to achieve some lasting results. However the only ones who have the right and the strength to raise consistently their voice, because directly affected by land grabbing, are small farmers and Indigenous People themselves.

2) What are the main objectives of the training?

  • Providing a concrete response to the expansion of land grabbing in the region by equipping relevant local actors with knowledge and tools useful in planning actions to prevent and counteract land grabbing;
  • Training a pool of people from different fields who are representative of the diversity of the community and stakeholders affected by land grabs;
  • Contributing to the establishment among the participants of a local network that can react and respond to land grabbing issues where necessary through concerted efforts.

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

  • We hope soon to do so also in Ecuador. Based on the outcome of this pilot phase the training package will be reviewed and finalized and later rolled out to more countries.

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:

  • Be directly involved in working with communities affected by land grabs and/or engage in land grabbing issues in their capacity as civil society or NGO representatives, religious leaders, animators of local faith communities, indigenous people’s leaders, representatives of farmers’ organizations, women’s groups, cooperatives, youth based, organizations and other relevant local actors.
  • Have a good level of the language of the training in order to be able to follow teaching sessions in this language, as well as actively participate in discussions;
  • Be willing and in a position to transfer the knowledge acquired at the training. Participants are expected to pass on the learning acquired and become “multipliers” in their own communities and organizations;
  • Be passionate about land issues and working to prevent and counteract land grabbing.
  • Have organizational and planning skills and be a convinced communicator and networker.

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 pezzijp@hotmail.com or jpic-mccj@comboni.org 

In the hope of your swift and favourable response, we thank you for your time and attention given to considering our invitation. 

Yours sincerely,

Fr Gian Paolo Pezzi, Mccj

Elizabeth Mary Lanzi Mazzocchini

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