From the Ground Up: the multi-functionality of land

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 10:00
Raymond Building R2-046, 21111 Lakeshore Road, St Anne de Bellevue, QC, H9X 3V9, CA

On February 14, you are invited to join us for the Margaret A. Gilliam Lecture in Food Security, featuring guest speaker Bruce H. Moore, civil society activist, international development advisor and former United Nations Director.


At present, Bruce Moore serves on the Board of Transparency International Canada and is a member of the Advisory Boards of the Huairou Commission, an international alliance of grassroots women’s organizations; Canadians for Tax Fairness; and the Institute for Global Food Security at McGill University.  He is the immediate past Chair of the North South Institute, an international development research institute; and, the Forum on Democratic Global Governance.  Additionally, he is a member of the C20, the civil society consultative body to the G20. From 1998-2008, he was the founding Director of the International Land Coalition (headquartered in Rome), an alliance of United Nations, civil society, and multilateral organizations working to enable rural poor families to gain their land and resource rights. His civil society career, from 1973 to 1998, included 10 years as the Director of Partners in Rural Development. He has chaired the NGO Advisory Committee to the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development; served on the international executive of the Society for International Development 1998-2008; been an advisor to the European Commission, FAO, African Union, Asian Development Bank, and World Bank.  He has chaired a number of high-level policy dialogues during the UN Commission on Sustainable Development; and served on the committee that designed the action plan for the Commission on the Legal Empowerment of the Poor.


Whereas the property rights of poor people were previously seen as a call for social justice, today land rights are understood to also be at the nexus of the economic, environmental, political and social order. If these issue and challenges are approached separately, the responses to one often offsets one or more of the others, due to competing  and powerful vested interests and the common exclusion of those most highly affected - the land poor.  When land issues and rights take multi-functionality as their starting point, the potential for a more inclusive, equitable and sustainable outcome rises significantly.

The agenda for change and the ways to get there are well known.  The multi-functional potential of land to simultaneously work on multiple levels of economic, environmental and social importance are within reach.  Whereas the “nay-sayers” say there is a need to know more, citizens are saying more than enough is known to do more.  While leaders who are not listening are doing so at their peril, they put the rest of their people at peril. Citizen voices must be heard.  It is in our common interest.

Back to top