Namati’s Community Land Protection Program builds off of a two-year study undertaken by the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), the Sustainable Development Institute in Liberia (SDI), the Land and Equity Movement in Uganda (LEMU), and Centro Terra Viva (CTV) in Mozambique from 2009-2011. The investigation’s objectives were to: facilitate the documentation and protection of customarily held lands through legally established community land titling processes; understand how to best and most efficiently support communities to successfully document their lands; and support communities to establish mechanisms to address intra-community injustice and discrimination relative to land and natural resource rights. The findings and conclusions of that effort are detailed in a series of final reports.
In August 2013, Namati and the Sustainable Development Institute released the “Community Guide to Protecting Lands and Resources.” The new guide is designed specifically for communities and provides information and instructions they can use to guide their land protection efforts. Chapters include topics like “how to harmonize your boundaries with your neighbors”, “how to develop community by-laws” and “how to interact with outside companies and investors”. Namati and SDI are now working on a similar guide for paralegals and facilitating NGOs.
In September 2013, Namati and the Sustainable Development Institute released the “Community Guide to Getting a Fair Deal from Companies and Investors.” This is a “How To” guide for rural communities considering whether to share their land and natural resources with investors. The guide explains how a community can proactively prepare themselves before an investor approaches them, what questions community members should ask both themselves and investors before going into contract negotiations, and how to ensure that they receive truly equitable benefits in return for sharing their land and resources. The guide also includes actions that communities can take if, having already signed an agreement in the past, they feel as though they are being treated unfairly or want to enforce elements of the contractual agreement.