Community Land Protection Program
The Community Land Protection Program presents the results of a two year study on community land titling – a potential solution to the global land grab. The study uncovered an effective and cost-efficient process to help rural communities work together to document and protect their lands and natural resources. The report is produced by Namati, IDLO, SDI (Liberia), CTV (Mozambique), and LEMU (Uganda).
About the Program
The Community Land Protection Program’s goal is to proactively strengthen communities’ ability to protect, enforce and defend their customary land rights. The program endeavors to promote genuine legal protections for customary land tenure and the recognition of customary land rights as legally-enforceable ownership claims. In the coming years, Namati and its partners will pursue the following objectives:
- Expand and scale-up the model
- Scale-up community land protection activities throughout Liberia, Uganda and Mozambique, both through continued support to the Phase I study communities as well as through expansion into other rural communities throughout these nations.
- Expand and strengthen the network of civil society actors protecting community land rights globally, working to transfer “lessons learned” during Phase I to other NGOs and communities across the world, with the goal of documenting and protecting as many community lands as possible.
- Impact policy
- Impact national land policy and practice in Liberia, Uganda and Mozambique, with the goal of promoting improvements that facilitate communities’ successful completion of community land documentation processes.
- Advocate for other nations to establish community land documentation processes, and in those nations whose legislative frameworks already provide for such processes, advocate for widespread implementation of such legislation.
- Promote a model of community land protection that emphasizes intra-community governance, accountability, conflict resolution, conservation, equity and justice as important goals of community land protection processes, on par with securing land rights documentation.
- Ensure equity and justice in community-investor relations
- Support just, equitable and empowered community-investor partnerships, ensuring that communities are properly prepared and have legal representation during all negotiations with investors and state actors concerning the use of community lands and natural resources.
- Investigate impacts
- Investigate the long-term impacts of community land documentation efforts and monitor what long-term support communities require to successfully implement and enforce their by-laws/constitutions and leverage their land for endogenously-driven local development.
- Influence global dialogue
- Impact the global dialogue on community land and natural resource rights, promoting community land protection as a critical, high profile issue and expanding the audience of actors invested in protecting community land claims.
Namati will continue to work closely with the Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) Centro Terra Viva (CTV), the Land and Equity Movement in Uganda (LEMU), and other local partners to accomplish these aims.
The intention is that through our combined efforts, we can support vibrant community empowerment; authentic community sovereignty and authority over land and natural resources; good community governance that fosters equity, justice, fairness and accountability for leaders and community members alike; equitable, enforceable investor-community partnerships that result in tangible land and natural resources benefits for communities; and community stewardship of the earth, ensuring that land and resources are managed sustainably, in trust for future generations.
The Community Land Protection Programwas implemented by the IDLO Unit for Research, Policy and Strategic Initiatives, in partnership with local NGOs in Mozambique, Liberia and Uganda. Namati is honored to be taking forward these groundbreaking efforts.
The International Development Law Organization is an intergovernmental organization that promotes legal, regulatory and institutional reform to advance economic and social development in transitional and developing countries. Founded in 1983 and one of the leaders in rule of law assistance, IDLO’s comprehensive approach achieves enduring results by mobilizing stakeholders at all levels of society to drive institutional change. Among its activities, IDLO conducts timely, focused and comprehensive research in areas related to sustainable development in the legal, regulatory, and justice sectors. Through such research, IDLO seeks to contribute to existing practice and scholarship on priority legal issues, and to serve as a conduit for the global exchange of ideas, best practices and lessons learned.
The Sustainable Development Institute(SDI) works to transform decision-making processes in relation to natural resources and topromote equity in thesharing of benefits derived from natural resource management in Liberia. The organization’s vision is a Liberia in which natural resource management is guided by the principles of sustainability and good governance and benefits all Liberians. Its activities cover a range of crosscutting issues including: governance and management; the environment; state and corporate social responsibility; economic and social justice for rural populations; and thedemocratic participation of ordinary people in government management of natural resources. The organization received the Goldman Environmental Prize, the world’s largest prize honoring grassroots environmentalists for outstanding environmental achievements, in 2006.
The Land and Equity Movement (LEMU) aims to unite the efforts of local people, government, civil society organizations, students, elders, volunteers, and others to improve the land rights and tenure security of thepoor. LEMU works to ensure that policies, laws and structures are put in place to allow all Ugandans to have fair and profitable access to land. To this end, LEMU undertakes research, policy analysis, and grassroots legal advocacy. LEMU serves as a link between government and communities: it educates rural communities about their rights, roles and responsibilities under Uganda’s Land Act 1998, while simultaneously working to help government and policy makers understand rural communities’ experiences of land tenure insecurity.
Centro Terra Viva (CTV) is a Mozcambian NGO whose vision is of a national natural resource management policy and practice that isenvironmentally sound, scientifically-based, economically viable and institutionally responsible, and whose mission is to contribute to improved national policies and legislation and to increase the capacity of civil society to participate in environmental management through informed and relevant contributions.