Global Land News


Every week, we collect the latest on land and environmental justice from a wide range of sources. These stories share challenges and victories from the local to the global.


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Uganda: Museveni Concedes to Opposition on Proposed Land Law Changes

August 17, 2017
in: Land Grab, Legislation

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni is to set up a special committee to examine land law after charges that proposed amendments to it will fuel land-grabbing. Plans to sell 10,000 hectares of land for investment have already sparked naked protests in the north of the country.

Papua New Guinea: Four Years on, Govt Still Dragging Chain on SABL

August 17, 2017
in: Community Rights, Forest, Land Titles

“The illegal logging has actually continued and is continuing as we speak and the leaseholders are currently on the land itself,” said Mr Tanago. “We are calling on the Minister to confirm that all the SABLs have been cancelled [and] logging in the SABL areas have been stopped.”

Cambodia: Gov’t Debates Ethnic Minority Say Over Development Projects

August 17, 2017
in: Community Rights, Dams, Indigenous, Land Dispute, Legislation

The country’s many ethnic indigenous minorities have long complained of being steamrolled by government-backed projects, including dams and rubber farms, with little to no input and at the expense of their land and culture. The draft code would require their “free, prior and informed consent” before such projects are approved.

South America: Maps Reveal How Amazon Development is Closing in on Isolated Tribes

August 17, 2017
in: Conflict, Forest, Indigenous, Mapping, Natural Resources

Development projects in the Amazon Basin—including dams, roads, and oil and gas operations—are encroaching on forests that are the last refuges of thousands of indigenous people who continue to shun contact with the outside world, according to a study that estimates the tribes’ locations.

Brazil: Supreme Court Upholds Land Rights of Indigenous People

August 17, 2017
in: Conflict, Indigenous, Legislation

The Brazilian supreme court has ruled in favour of two tribes in a case that is being hailed as a significant victory for indigenous land rights. The unanimous decision – which went against the state of Mato Grosso do Sul – settled a dispute over land traditionally occupied by indigenous people and ordered the authorities to respect the demarcation of land.

Tanzania: Maasai Displaced After Huts Burned

August 16, 2017
in: Community Rights, Conflict, Eviction, Pastoralists

More than 100 Maasai huts in Tanzania have been allegedly burned down by game reserve authorities near the Serengeti National Park. Hundreds of people have reportedly been left homeless by the evacuation of local pastoral communities. One young Maasai is said to have been shot and critically injured.

Thailand: Harassed by Palm Oil Company, Village Defends Land

August 9, 2017
in: Community Rights, Conflict, Corporate Social Responsibility, Land Titles

Since 2008, this community of around 70 families have been embroiled in a conflict with a palm oil company that locals believe is behind the violence. For decades the palm oil company Jiew Kang Jue Pattana Co Ltd has illegally occupied and cultivated palm oil trees on a 535-acre plot of land in the Chai Buri District of Surat Thani Province.

Mongolia: How a Group of Mongolian Herders Took on a Mining Giant — and Won

August 9, 2017
in: Accountability, Community Rights, Legislation, Mining, Pastoralists

But the herders are fighting to defend their way of life. In May, they won a landmark agreement with the operators of one of the world’s largest copper mines — the World Bank-backed Oyu Tolgoi — dedicated to improving the lives of their families, their animals and their environment. Constituting more than 50 separate commitments on the part of Oyu Tolgoi LLC and the Mongolian government, a co-owner of the mine, activists have described the victory as “rare” and “historic” — the culmination of four years of negotiations mediated by the World Bank’s Compliance Advisor Ombudsman in one of the few successful cases of its kind.

Iran: How Indigenous Nomadic Pastoralists are Using GIS Maps to Defend and Conserve their Territory

August 8, 2017
in: Community Rights, Conservation, Indigenous, Mapping, Pastoralists

The Centre for Sustainable Development (CENESTA), a Civil Society Organization working in Iran and a founding member of IUCN, has been advocating for ICCAs for decades. This photo-essay captures CENESTA’s experience supporting Iranian Indigenous communities in mapping out their territories.

India: How Embracing Self-Governance Transformed this Adivasi Village in Madhya Pradesh

August 6, 2017
in: Community Rights, Conservation, Customary Law, Indigenous, Legislation

Santlal echoes the sentiments of many in the community that has taken its affairs in its own hands. With the confidence that comes from self-governance, the community has breathed life into its schools and anganwadis – day care centers for pre-school children – besides managing their common resources such as forests, ponds and check dams efficiently.

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