Cattle of the Ilchamus community near Lake Baringo

Initiatives for Land, Lives and Peace (ILLP)

Restoring land, Transforming lives



To deepen understanding of links between land degradation and human security and to build the trust needed for effective collaboration on joint 'land-peace' initiatives.


Peace, development and environmental sustainability are usually promoted separately. However, they can often only be achieved together. This is especially so where dry or degraded lands put populations under pressure. More than 75% of the world’s conflicts occur in dryland areas (see diagram), which are home to just 35% of the world’s population.

The world's drylands (click to enlarge)While many people are aware of the rapid speed of desertification (1% of agricultural land lost each year), few understand that deserts are often manmade. And fewer still realize that by applying simple techniques, lost land can be restored to sustainable productive use, enhancing food security. And on top of this, improved management of the world’s land represents 1/3rd of the overall global climate change abatement potential by 2030.

Where land degradation is occurring and restoration is not happening, the primary reasons are often not technical or financial, but are connected to lack of trust or actual conflict. Change in human attitudes, behaviour and relationships, which is the principle focus of Initiatives of Change (IofC), are key to achieving both peace and land restoration.

The Initiatives for Land, Lives and Peace (ILLP) programme has been set up as a programme of IofC International to promote peace-building through land restoration. The Steering Group is chaired by Dr Martin Frick, Representative of Germany to the International Organizations based in Germany, and the Executive Committee is drawn from various IofC bodies from around the world. It works by:

  • promoting and demonstrating changes in human relationships and attitudes as a key condition for both peace and land restoration
  • bringing together stakeholders in an atmosphere of mutual trust to facilitate partnerships for land restoration and to spread the experience and methodology of trust-building
  • advocating policies and practices which favour peace, trust-building & land restoration, which draw on the long experience of IofC in trust-building, reconciliation and breaking down human barriers to progress


Land restoration can indeed be a path to building sustainable peace, locally and globally. At the same time, peace is a prerequisite for restoring land. Changes in human attitudes, behaviour and relationships are a key to achieving both.


Initiatives of Change has been focusing on land restoration over several years. In 2011 and 2012, at the request of Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, dialogues on these issues took place as part of the Caux Forum for Human Security, leading to a formal request from UNCCD to partner with IofC.

ILLP reinforces its project experience and expertise on the ground, mainly in Chad and Kenya, by building on the existing capacity of the local IofC body in Kenya, and developing its network and contacts, particularly through the Caux Dialogue on Land and Security (CDLS). The CDLS brings together NGO representatives, diplomats, practitioners, business leaders, academics and funders, to study what methodologies work best in land restoration and why.

Who we are

The direction and strategy for ILLP is set by a Steering Group, and supported by an Executive Group. The Steering group also receives advice from more senior figures, forming an Advisory Group.

Steering Group:
Dr Martin Frick (Chair)
Dr Alan Channer
Edward Peters
Dr Peter Rundell

Executive Group
Chris Evans (Chair)
Rainer Gude
Jennifer Helgeson
Meera Shah

Land, Lives and Peace website


Latest news


The international community needs to understand that instead of fighting each other, we have one common mission: stop climate change.


In the context of a drought that has put three million people in need of emergency food aid and killed millions of livestock, the second annual ‘International Dialogue on Land and Human Security in Kenya’ was held in an effort to mitigate conflict and reverse environmental degradation in the region.

A meeting of people in Baringo County, Kenya, displaced from their homes and grazing land by armed cattle raids.

A key tenet of Initiatives for Land, Lives and Peace' (ILLP) is that care of the land and building peace are mutually enhancing. Dr Dennis Garrity, UN Drylands Ambassador and Chair of the Evergreen Agriculture Partnership, and Dr Alan Channer of ILLP, articulate this vision in a new, two minute video entitled 'Restoring Land, Lives and Peace'.

Cattle and goats (Photo: Mary Winstanley Channer)

Humanity faces three enormous, inter-related challenges in the 21st century: mitigating the impact of climate change, feeding the world’s population and preserving the integrity of the planet’s ecosystems. These challenges are felt acutely in semi-arid Africa. In the search for solutions, the County Governments of Baringo and Elgeyo Marakwet in Kenya have invited the IofC programme 'Initiatives for Land, Lives and Peace' to partner with them in the organization of a 'Dialogue on Land and Security'.

United Nations Flags

Rainer Gude, Chargé de Mission of IofC for International Geneva recently spoke (remotely) at a Yale University Graduate level class entitled, 'Sustainable Development Goals & Implementation'.

2014 Caux Dialogue on Land and Security report cover

The report of the 2014 Caux Dialogue on Land and Security is just out. It was an extraordinary Caux event, with the heads of two UN Agencies, 40 NGOs, the launch of a new film, and much more. The Caux Dialogue is building up a reputation as an incubator of new ideas and partnerships and as a place where individuals can find insights into their own calling.

ILLP Archives