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CIP Hosts ‘2020 Land Administration Workshop’ to Promote Land Ownership Rights for Indigenous Peoples

  • 更新時間:2020/08/26 15:25:42

The Council of Indigenous Peoples (CIP) hosted a two-day workshop on land administration on July 22–23, 2020 at the Conference Hall of the Chateau de Chine Hotel Kaohsiung, with 210 government officials of various levels in attendance, including city mayors, county magistrates, heads of townships with significant indigenous populations, and representatives from the competent authorities.

During his opening address, CIP Minister Icyang Parod noted that after President Tsai announced the amendment of Article 37 of the Slopeland Conservation and Utilization Act on January 9, 2019, the CIP immediately removed the five-year waiting period requirement from its Regulations on Development and Management of the Lands Reserved for Indigenous People and related administrative guidelines. The amended law has benefited approximately 30,000 indigenous people, who are now entitled to land ownership within indigenous reserves. CIP records show that 11,045 lots of land covering 4,844 hectares have been registered as of July 22, 2020. According to Mr. Icyang, the CIP has incorporated the Indigenous Land Development Strategies and Indigenous Land Use Guidelines into the chapter pertaining to indigenous peoples in the Strategic Plan for National Spatial Development to address the lack of land in indigenous communities for housing, farming, and burials. Even before the amendment, the CIP had been working with the Ministry of the Interior to formulate a set of guidelines to govern land use in indigenous reserves.Beginning in 2017 and as of H1 2020, the CIP has organized 77 national/regional hearings, community empowerment workshops, and consultation meetings in total. In the second half of 2020, the CIP plans to provide administrative training for each city, county, and indigenous township government. Mr. Icyang described the CIP’s efforts as a “policy breakthrough” that not only settled long-disputed land ownership rights in indigenous reserves by restoring the right of indigenous peoples to utilize their land, but also demonstrated the government’s acknowledgement of and respect for indigenous cultures and lifestyles. Mr. Icyang concluded his address by reiterating his commitment to the sustainable development of indigenous reserves.

The administration of indigenous reserves is complex and involves a variety of laws. Government operatives must possess a high level of professional knowledge of laws and regulations as well as a deep understanding of human rights protections in order to process these matters. Therefore, the CIP will continue to provide training for local governments to increase their professional skills, improve service quality, and speed up the land rights restoration process. Mr. Icyang expressed his hope that the government officials and land registration officers in attendance would take a more proactive, professional, and pragmatic stance in protecting the rights of indigenous land owners.