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puce Newsletter AGTER February 2018. Inventing new forms of territorial governance
Michel Merlet
La lettre d'information du rseau Agter

La lettre d'information du rseau Agter

The association AGTER runs an international network of people, exchanging and thinking together how to improve the governance of land, water and natural resources.The network selects and makes information available but it also formulates suggestions and alternatives to face the current great challenges. This quaterly newsletter is presenting the latest information available on our website : www.agter.asso.fr.

27 February 2018

Inventing new forms of territorial governance


Michel Merlet (AGTER Director)

2018 started with two great victories, the vote of the Members of European Parliament for the ban on electric fishing and the withdrawal of the Notre Dame des Landes airport project, in western France. You will find below an article about the first topic that resulted of an exemplary mobilization, but it is about the second that we want to talk here. This victory was won by the peasants who worked on these lands and by all those who occupied them in order to defend a preserved farmland ecosystem and to invent new ways of living. It is also a victory for the thousands of people who supported their exemplary fight, as they were convinced that the good intentions expressed by the governments during the Climate Conferences are not enough and that a deep questioning of our ways of life is absolutely necessary.

Five years ago, we stated in an editorial of this newsletter that the burial of this anachronistic airport would not be a step back, but an opportunity to take the turn of the ecological and social transition as long as there was still time. The ecological transition, which is more and more touched upon in speeches, is still very poorly translated into reality. We therefore welcome both the decision of the French government, its consistency with its positioning re global warming and the courage of the opponents against the airport project who fought for decades on the ZAD Zone dveloppement diffr (Postponed Development Area) renamed Zone dfendre (Area to be defended) and elsewhere, without whom these agricultural lands and this wetland would already have been concreted and irreversibly destroyed.

History is not a long calm river. There are rare moments, when the evolution of the balance of power provides opportunities that allow decision-making to break with prevailing trends. New spaces of creation then open up, the range of possibilities widens, but not always for a long enough period for this to result in legal, institutional and political changes. The AGTER project was born from this observation, made by people who had worked on different continents: collecting experiences related to the governance of land and natural resources, collectively analysing their successes or failures and making these reflections available for those who struggle and for decision makers, in order to contribute to the invention of new management methods, legal provisions and democratic forms.

As the fight against Notre Dame des Landes airport, the fight against the expansion of Larzac military camp that was victorious 37 years ago was not just a local struggle. The peasants of Larzac, by creating the Socit Civile des Terres du Larzac, enabled the management by the inhabitants of the plateau of lands that had been expropriated by the State, combining in a new way the rights of the State, those of the inhabitants of a territory and those of peasants and breeders. By acting outside the law at some point they helped to create new norms, a new law. At the same time, trade unionists and politicians were searching for new ways of managing rural territories that could adapt to new development requirements. In 1977 Edgar Pisani, the Minister of Agriculture who had been one of the architects of the modernization of French agriculture in the 1960s, proposed a project to create Land Offices, that was included in the joint program of the left in 1981, then abandoned by the government of Franois Mitterrand (see below the coverings of several articles of the documentary fund of AGTER on these subjects).

Governance of rural territories is still a relevant topic in France. We are witnessing a gradual but radical rethinking of the modernized peasant agriculture model that made the agricultural development of France after World War II possible. We are moving towards an agriculture model without farmers, which is controlled by the financial world, like in Argentina, Brazil, Russia or Ukraine. We must reverse the trend of spreading ever-larger production units, operating in the form of capitalist enterprises that increasingly mobilize capital from other sectors and whose financial profits often partly come from public subsidies.

Paradoxically, the interventions on land operated by the State for the construction of the airport can become an opportunity now, at the end of the fight: they facilitate the experimentation of other ecologically and socially sustainable governance mechanisms, together with all the actors who made the victory possible. Building the future of the territory of Notre Dame des Landes means exploring with them new forms of management of rural territories aiming at conservation and development on human scale of family farms that preserve the general interest starting with production of quality food and job creations.

In this newsletter, you will find a series of unpublished articles that discuss the importance of strengthening or creating collective rights management bodies at different levels, but first of all, at local level, in forest ecosystems in Guatemala and Cameroon, with or without indigenous populations. Implementing multi-level governance, run not only by States, with top-down binding global regulations, but also bottom up while recognizing various degrees of territorial autonomy, is a leitmotif of AGTER’s work. Several articles in this newsletter contribute directly to this reflection, especially those of our colleagues in Central America. We also touched on these issues in the land workshop and the 4 / 1000 initiative about soil carbon sequestration that was attended by several AGTER members. You can read a first report about it on the website of the Land Tenure and Development Technical Committee.


We draw your attention to the beautiful video "I’ve never been to the ZAD" that we have reviewed below.

AGTER joined the call to celebrate the victory on February 10 at Notre Dame des Landes and to support all those who want to write a page of the construction of new management solutions for our rural territories.

We also invite you to watch three interviews of Global Land Access Forum attendees (WFAT 2016), which address the issues raised in this newsletter in Mexico, Niger and Cambodia.

article(s) French  Spanish English  - video French  Spanish English 


Retour sur les Offices fonciers, une proposition audacieuse d’Edgar Pisani, il y a 40 ans!

5 February 2018, by Gwenaelle Mertz

Conscient des limites que prsentait dj dans les annes 70 la gestion du foncier agricole, Edgar Pisani, ancien ministre de lagriculture propose de mettre en place des Offices Fonciers, qui auraient pour objectif de concilier progressivement droits collectifs sur le territoire et droits dusage privatifs. Retour sur une rflexion en profondeur qui mrite d’tre relance aujourd’hui, pour arriver des propositions adaptes la situation actuelle.

Retour 33 ans en arrire sur la cration de la Socit Civile des Terres du Larzac. Un article du fonds documentaire d’AGTER

22 January 2018, by Jos Bov

Cette fiche, une des premires du fonds documentaire d’AGTER, aborde la contribution des habitants du Larzac la rflexion nationale sur la gestion du foncier agricole. La SCTL prsente un intrt qui dpasse le cadre local. Cette petite rgion, o les habitants grent eux-mmes les terres rcupres aprs la lutte contre l’expansion du camp militaire et loues l’tat, est sans doute la seule en France qui ait vu le nombre de ses agriculteurs et leveurs augmenter au cours des trois dernires dcennies.

Les parlementaires europens votent l’interdiction de la pche lectrique

19 January 2018, by Michel Merlet
Nous avions relay en Dcembre dernier la ptition lance par lONG Bloom pour demander aux parlementaires europens de se prononcer trs clairement contre la pche lectrique, une mthode qui dtruit la fois les ressources et les pcheurs artisanaux. Le vote a donn une large victoire aux partisans de linterdiction. Merci tous ceux qui ont sign la ptition, et un grand bravo lquipe de Bloom. Nous reprenons ici la vido de Claire Nouvian, Prsidente de lassociation Bloom, qui alerte sur le fait (...)

Associations, syndicats et partis politiques sengagent pour lavenir de la ZAD de Notre Dame des Landes

19 January 2018
AGTER fait partie des premiers signataires de cet appel. Quelques jours plus tard, le gouvernement franais a pris la dcision dabandonner la construction de laroport de Notre Dame des Landes, une dcision en accord avec son engagement sur le climat dont nous nous flicitons et que nous applaudissons. Cest une victoire pour tous ceux qui ont lutt pour la prservation de ces 1600 hectares de bocage breton, une lutte exemplaire et symbolique, qui contribue aux changements fondamentaux que (...)

La foresterie communautaire. Regards croiss sur les expriences du Cameroun et du Guatemala

19 January 2018, by Michel Merlet, Marta Fraticelli

Regards croiss sur la gestion communautaire des forts au Cameroun et au Guatemala, une tude mene par AGTER avec des organisations de petits exploitants forestiers de ces deux pays. Les analyses et les leons de 3 ans de travail.

Organisation communautaire et action collective. Comment crer ou renforcer les capacits pour la gouvernance collective des ressources communes?

19 January 2018, by Juan Girn

Comment crer ou renforcer les capacits des habitants pour la gouvernance collective des ressources communes?? Le regard et les rflexions de l’ancien sous-directeur de l’Association des Communauts Forestires du Peten (ACOFOP - Guatemala), aprs un voyage d’tude dans les forts du Cameroun organis par AGTER.

Reconnatre des systmes de gestion des droits collectifs de la terre et des ressources naturelles dans des contextes lgaux divers, afin de penser des stratgies innovatrices adaptes chaque situation

18 January 2018, by Sergio Dionisio

Suite au voyage d’tudes dans les forts du Cameroun organis par AGTER auquel il a pris part, l’ancien sous-directeur de l’association de foresterie communautaire du Guatemala (Ut’z Che’) dmasque ici lomnipotence dun droit de proprit unique et absolu qui nie lexistence de droits multiples. Tant au Guatemala qu’au Cameroun, ce sont les instances de gouvernance locales et territoriales qu’il faut renforcer ou crer si elles n’existent pas.

Droits fonciers et squestration du carbone dans les sols. 13-14/12/2017. Comit Technique Foncier et Dveloppement et Initiative 4 pour 1000

15 January 2018

AGTER a t invit participer cet atelier en organisant la troisime et dernire table ronde: Lenvironnement institutionnel et les politiques publiques visant favoriser la squestration du carbone sur le long terme et leurs liens avec les questions foncires. Vous trouverez ici l’article publi sur le site du comit technique foncier et dveloppement ce propos.

Caja de herramientas para sistematizar normativas de gobernanza territorial indgena y elaborar lineamientos de desarrollo auto determinado

24 January 2018, by Carlos Camacho-Nassar

Instrumentos para sistematizar y escribir las normas que ya existen en los territorios indgenas, tierras comunales y otras categoras de espacios de ocupacin o posesin ancestral, independientemente de si el pueblo indgena las ocupa actualmente o no.

Gobernanza territorial para la accin climtica en un territorio Maya de Guatemala

24 January 2018, by Carlos Camacho-Nassar

El caso paradigmtico de la tierra comunitaria de Chuarrancho recuperada mediante un fallo judicial. Bases para la gobernanza territorial establecidas por la Comunidad indgena Maya Kaqchikel Chajoma de Chiwatutuy.

33 aos atrs, naca la Sociedad Civil de las Tierras del Larzac. Un artculo del fondo documental de AGTER

22 January 2018, by Jos Bov

Este documento, uno de los primeros publicados en el fondo documental de AGTER, discute la contribucin de los residentes del Larzac a la reflexin nacional sobre la gestin de las tierras agropecuarias. El SCTL tiene un inters que va ms all del contexto local. Esta pequea regin, donde los habitantes manejan las tierras recuperadas despus de la lucha contra la expansin del campo militar y alquiladas al Estado, es probablemente la nica en Francia que ha visto aumentar el nmero de sus agricultores y ganaderos durante las ltimas tres dcadas.

La Foresteria comunitaria. Puntos de vista cruzados sobre las experiencias de Camern y de Guatemala

20 January 2018, by Michel Merlet, Marta Fraticelli

Sntesis de la reflexin cruzada sobre la forestera comunitaria en Guatemala y en Camern que AGTER llev a cabo con organizaciones de ambos pases.

Back 33 years ago on creating the Civil Society of the Larzac Lands. An article from AGTER’s Knowledge Base

22 January 2018, by Jos Bov

This paper, one of the first ones of the AGTER documentary collection, discusses the contribution of Larzac residents to the national reflection on the management of agricultural land. The SCTL has an interest that goes beyond the local context. This small region, where the inhabitants themselves manage the lands recovered after the fight against the expansion of the military camp and rented to the State, is probably the only one in France which has seen the number of its farmers and breeders increase during the last three decades.


FMAT 2016. Entretien avec Harouna Abarchi, de lAssociation pour la Redynamisation de llevage au Niger (AREN). Niger

20 January 2018

Harouna Abarchi, responsable du dpartement pastoralisme lAssociation pour la Redynamisation de llevage au Niger nous parle ici de laccaparement des terres pastorales du Niger pour les besoins de lindustrie nuclaire et revient sur les consquences sanitaires et environnementales de lexploitation de luranium.

Notre Dame des Landes. Dfendre ceux qui se battent pour nous.

15 January 2018, by Michel Merlet
Regardez ce petit film, beau et mouvant, "Je ntais jamais venue sur la ZAD", ralis par des habitant-es de la zad, le ralisateur Leo Leibovici et lactrice Lizzie Brochere. Il permet tous ceux qui nont pas encore t visiter Notre Dame des Landes de voir qui sont ces zadistes [1] qui sont quotidiennement traits comme des criminels par de nombreux mdias et politiques. Les expulser est en train de devenir un "projet politique". Cest tout simplement scandaleux, alors que sont protgs par la (...)

FMAT 2016. Entrevista con Elena Lazos. Privatizacin de tierras y de recursos naturales en Mxico.

20 January 2018

Elena Lazos Chavero, profesora en la UNAM (Mxico) nos habla de la privatizacin de las tierras y de los recursos en Mxico, de la evolucin de los ejidos, de las migraciones, de los cambios que se dan en las relaciones familiares y en los pueblos indgenas, del maz y de los peligros de la introduccin de plantas transgnicos.

WFAL 2016. Interview with Neth Prak. Bunon Indigenous People Association. Cambodia

20 January 2018

Neth Prak, spokesperson ot the Bunon Indigenous People Asociation (BIPA). Cambodia tells us about the loss of the ancestral territories of the Bunong people, the destruction of indigenous cultures. But it is not only a problem of the natives, it is a problem for the whole of humanity.

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