Connecting land rights and climate change; Landesa welcomes 3 new board members; Seed the Change raises $375k+; Meet Li Ping.
This newsletter was sent on April 8, 2021
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Plotlines - Landesa's Monthly e-Newsletter

Growing climate change program advances win-win solutions

Land rights matter for people and planet

Across the globe—and everywhere we work—communities in rural areas are among the most vulnerable to climate change impacts, like land and soil degradation and more frequent extreme weather events. These environmental changes exacerbate ongoing social and economic issues like food scarcity, migration, and conflict.

Climate change and poverty are now so intertwined that they can only be solved together. Recognizing this, Landesa advances win-win solutions that benefit local environments and livelihoods alike. Landesa’s efforts to strengthen land rights hold promise for:

  • climate change adaptation and mitigation
  • environmental conservation
  • community wellbeing

When rural and Indigenous communities are equipped with secure land rights that are gender-equal and socially inclusive, they are better able to make investments – in sustainable farming techniques like terracing, improved irrigation, and agroforestry – that conserve soil and water and build resilience to climate change.


Welcoming three new Board members

Headshots of Luciana Aquino-Hagedorn, JD; Dr. Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg; Darshana Shanbhag, MD

Landesa is excited to introduce three new additions to its Board of Directors.

The new board members (shown from left to right above), Luciana Aquino-Hagedorn, J.D., Senior Fellow at the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, Columbia University; Dr. Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg, Director of African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD); and Darshana Shanbhag, M.D., a primary care physician in the Seattle area, add to a diverse and talented team of professionals who advise on our mission to strengthen land rights for women and men in the world’s poorest places.

“Luciana, Wanjiru, and Darshana bring with them a wealth of experience and knowledge of inclusive social and economic enterprises from around the world. I'm proud to welcome three leaders of their caliber to our ranks,” said Landesa Board Chair Vikesh Mahendroo.

Terms for the three new board members officially began with Landesa’s March 19 board meeting.


Over $375K raised at Seed the Change

Sally Jewell, Former Secretary of the Interior speaking at Seed the Change 2021

Thank you to everyone that attended our (first virtual!) Seed the Change Gala this year. Together, we raised over $375,000 for land rights action! We are deeply humbled by your support and dedication to strengthening land rights for people experiencing poverty around the world.

If you didn't have a chance to catch the whole show, or want to share with friends, you can watch a highlight reel or full recording of the gala.

Landesa in the news

Environmental Law Institute logo

Making America A Better Place for All: Sustainable Development Recommendations for the Biden Administration
Scott Schang coordinated a robust public discussion about how to accelerate the transition to a sustainable society by using the Sustainable Development Goals framework. Karol Boudreaux wrote the section on Goal 5: Gender Equality.

Land Portal logo

Women’s participation in land decision-making bodies in Tanzania: An overview
Godfrey Massay highlights some of the international, regional, and national commitments that seek to improve women’s participation in land governing bodies in Tanzania.

Reuters logo

In India's tea estates, next generation of pickers want land, not jobs
Pinaki Halder was quoted in an article about the next generation’s push for land rights on tea plantations in West Bengal to break the intergenerational cycle of labor.

Yahoo! News logo

Women grow as much as 80% of India's food – but its new farm laws overlook their struggles
Landesa was cited in an article about the gendered impacts of the new farm laws in India.


Staff Spotlight: Li Ping

Li Ping alongside Tim Hanstad, Roy Prosterman, and a farmer in China
(left to right) Tim Hanstad, a farmer, Roy Prosterman, and Li Ping conducting fieldwork in Anhui Province, China circa 1995.

Li Ping is the China Program Director and Senior Policy Advisor based in Seattle, Washington. Li joined Landesa in 1995, though he began working in 1987 for Landesa’s founders, Roy Prosterman and Tim Hanstad, as an interpreter for their fieldwork and government meetings in China. Leading up to his current role at Landesa, Li served as a Senior Attorney, Tenure Specialist, Staff Attorney, and Chief Representative in Beijing.

What inspires your work with Landesa?
I once worked on a collective farm in a remote Chinese village, earning seven cents a day. Despite suffering from this extreme poverty, I did not realize its deep roots in a lack of secure land rights. It was Landesa and its founders Roy and Tim who helped me realize the root cause of many Chinese farmers’ poverty, which has led me to be devoted to this mission. These experiences have yielded my strong and never-shivering commitment to reducing poverty for farmers experiencing poverty by creating economic opportunities through securing their land rights.



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