Skip to main content
Community Contribution

Implementation of social safeguards with the Pijao people in Ataco, Tolima (Colombia)

Paola Aguilar, Julia Madariaga

In Colombia, the Land for Prosperity Activity (LFP) supports the government in implementing the first pillar of the 2016 Peace Accords: Comprehensive Rural Reform. The main objective is to facilitate access to land and property through land formalization in rural areas for poor farmers. The government’s land tenure policies, known as the Social Management of Rural Property, have mainly focused on rural farming communities. Among these farming communities, however, are more than 115 indigenous groups of Amerindian origin as well as various Afro-Colombian communities, who are guaranteed collective property rights under the country’s constitution. Making massive land formalization processes inclusive of these communities is crucial.

In LFP’s third year of implementation, USAID announced important environmental requirements including the promotion of social safeguards that include free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) for indigenous groups. LFP responded by adjusting its operating procedures to make FPIC a necessary step in the process and ensure greater participation of indigenous and Afro-Colombian groups in the formalization of collective lands, known as resguardos for indigenous groups and titulos colectivos for Afro-Colombian groups. The adjustment involved adapting technical and operational processes, training teams, and learning from the experience. Evidence of this is seen in the specific case of Ataco, Tolima, home to several Pijao indigenous communities, who have been considered victims of the armed conflict in Colombia.

Using a Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting (CLA) approach, the Activity documented the process to establish guidelines, which respect indigenous peoples’ rights and are currently being replicated in municipalities undergoing massive land formalization.

Page last updated