Community / Customary Land Rights

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Gendered Aspects of Land Rights in Myanmar II: Evidence from Paralegal Case Work (Myanmar language)

Namati,

Land reform in Myanmar is integral to ensuring the nation’s development is both sustainable and inclusive. The recent and complex history of land confiscation, acquisitions, and conflict has permeated every aspect of life for many smallholder farmers, leaving them to rebuild and reclaim their livelihoods. While progress has been made to empower smallholder farmers under…

Gendered Aspects of Land Rights in Myanmar II: Evidence from Paralegal Case Work

Namati,

Land reform in Myanmar is integral to ensuring the nation’s development is both sustainable and inclusive. The recent and complex history of land confiscation, acquisitions, and conflict has permeated every aspect of life for many smallholder farmers, leaving them to rebuild and reclaim their livelihoods. While progress has been made to empower smallholder farmers under…

Innovative Financing Solutions for Community Support in the Context of Land Investments

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment,

Communities affected by agricultural, forestry, and other resource investments urgently need increased funding for legal and technical support. Too many communities struggle to access the support they need to protect their interests, in large part because they cannot afford it. This is in stark contrast to companies, who can generally afford the legal and technical…

How to Register Vacant, Fallow, and Virgin Land (Burmese)

Namati Myanmar, Green Peasant Institute, Civil and Political Rights Campaign Group, My Justice Program,

In September 2018, the Myanmar government passed an amendment to the 2012 Vacant, Fallow, and Virgin Land (VFV) law that stipulated that all smallholder farmers currently using VFV land must submit an application for the right to use the land by March 3, 2019. Anyone who fails to do so may be evicted. This manual…

Most Farmers Do Not Know about the Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Land Management Law as the Grace Period to Register Closes (Burmese)

Nwe Ni Soe, Sung Chin Par,

This report is written in Burmese. Find an English verison, here.  On September 11, 2018 parliament passed an amendment to the Vacant, Fallow and Virgin (VFV) Land Management Law. This law has been criticized by many groups ranging from civil society groups to mining companies. The primary concern is that it will cause further insecurity…

Most Farmers Do Not Know about the Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Land Management Law as the Grace Period to Register Closes

Nwe Ni Soe, Sung Chin Par,

On September 11, 2018 parliament passed an amendment to the Vacant, Fallow and Virgin (VFV) Land Management Law. This law has been criticized by many groups ranging from civil society groups to mining companies. The primary concern is that it will cause further insecurity for farmers and ethnic communities. For purposes of this report when…

Wapichan Environmental Monitoring Report

South Rupununi District Council,

This report presents an overview of the South Rupununi District Council (SRDC) Monitoring Programme and provides a case study of one particular site that the Monitoring Programme has been targeting – Marudi Mountain. The report begins with background information regarding the Monitoring Programme and how it operates. It continues by providing a summary of the…

Wapichan set up Ground-breaking System to Defend Human Rights and Monitor Ancestral Lands

South Rupununi District Council (SRDC),

Amidst increasing concerns about threats to their forests, wetlands and way of life, the Wapichan People of Guyana (South America) have set up their own ground-breaking system to defend their human rights and monitor their ancestral lands against harmful development. Community information has been collected using a grassroots land use monitoring arrangement that involves community…

How to Solve a Land Grab (Burmese)

Namati,

This publication guides paralegals and those affected by land grabs through solving their cases. It includes useful laws, regulations, institutions, and methodologies drawn from the practical experiences of handling these cases. This document is written in Burmese.

Community Land Protection Facilitators Guide (French)

Rachael Knight, Marena Brinkhurst, Jaron Vogelsang, and Namati's Community Land Protection partner organizations,

This resource, Guide des Facilitateurs de la Protection des Terres Communautaires, is the French version of the Community Land Protection Facilitator’s Guide. The English version can be found here. Namati’s Community Land Protection Facilitators Guide is a step-by-step, practical “how to” manual for grassroots advocates working to help communities protect their customary claims and rights to…

OPINION: Myanmar is confiscating land that people depend on

Posted by Vivek Maru and Nwe Ni Soe in Advocacy & Systemic Change, Community Land Protection, Land & Natural Resources, Namati News, Resources & Research

In Thompson Reuters, Namati’s Vivek Maru and Nwe Ni Soe describe how Myanmar’s Vacant, Fallow, or Virgin land law is leading to a land grab on a massive scale across the country. Millions who depend on the land risk displacement and imprisonment under this new draconian law. Our recent survey of farmers in affected areas…

The Land Rights Act victory in Liberia means the work has just begun

Posted by Rachael Knight and Ali Kaba in Advocacy & Systemic Change, Community Land Protection, Land & Natural Resources

In September, Liberia passed the long-awaited Land Rights bill into law, representing a major victory for community land rights, but the work has only just begun. This new op-ed in PLACE by Namati’s Rachael Knight and Ali Kaba of the Sustainable Development Institute highlights key provisions of the new law and calls for a nation-wide…

What next for Sierra Leone’s endangered forests?

Posted by Sonkita Conteh, Namati in Advocacy & Systemic Change, Community Land Protection, Land & Natural Resources

Last week, the government of Sierra Leone announced that all forest logging concessions are to be suspended “with immediate effect.” This was welcomed news in a country with only 5% original forest cover remaining. In this op-ed in Place, Sonkita Conteh, Director of Namati Sierra Leone, writes that now “the government must work to ensure…

New Guides Help Communities to Negotiate Fair Contracts with Investors

Posted by Namati, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment in Environment, Land & Natural Resources, Namati News, Resources & Research

WASHINGTON, DC — With investors increasingly turning to more remote locations for the establishment of forestry, agribusiness, mining, and infrastructure projects, it is critical that communities worldwide gain a practical understanding of contract negotiations, according to two new guides by Namati and the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI).   Launched today, the Community-Investor Negotiation…

LEGEND Land Policy Bulletin: “Namati’s experience of using GeoODK GPS Mapping”

Posted by Marena Brinkhurst in Community Land Protection

Maps are critical tools that assist communities in securing formal legal recognition of their rights to customary land and supporting local land governance. However, the map-making support Namati could provide to communities in Africa and Asia was, until recently, limited to hand-drawn sketches. GPS and satellite technologies were too costly and technically complex. In 2016, Namati partnered with…

Sierra Leone Land Policy: An Open Letter to President Koroma

Posted by Sonkita Conteh in Advocacy & Systemic Change, Land & Natural Resources

Dear Mr. President, Last Thursday I was at State House to witness the low-key start of a potentially profound revolution in the land sector. For decades, our people and the environment have borne the scourge of a broken land tenure system. Many attempting to buy land to build a future for their families have lost…

Video: When Land Laws are Not Enough, Enter the Barefoot Lawyers

Posted by Place - Thompson Reuters Foundation in Community Land Protection, Community Paralegals

In this two-minute animation, Namati’s CEO, Vivek Maru, explains how “barefoot lawyers” help connect communities with justice. The video was produced by the Thompson Reuters Foundation for their new initiative, Place. Through exclusive reportage, analysis, commentary, photographs and video, Place explores the complex social, economic and political effects of inadequate land rights – from environmental…

BBC Africa: Sierra Leone Land Grab Thwarted

Posted by McKinley Charles in Community Land Protection, Community Paralegals, Land & Natural Resources, Namati News

Over 70 families in Nimiyama Chiefdom, Sierra Leone have had their land returned after taking a large multinational company to court. Local leaders had sold the families’ land to Orient Agriculture Ltd. without their knowledge or consent. With the support of a Namati community paralegal, the affected families learned about their right and how to…

Protecting Community Lands — Everything We Know in a New Guide!

Posted by Marena Brinkhurst in Community Land Protection, Land & Natural Resources, Namati News, Resources & Research

We are thrilled to launch an important new resource for frontline land rights advocates around the world: the Community Land Protection Facilitators’ Guide. After years of working with partners to support communities to protect their land rights, today we are sharing what we’ve learned. This Facilitators’ Guide is a step-by-step, practical “how to” manual for grassroots advocates…

Is the Hubli-Ankola Railway line approved?

Posted by Kanchi Kohli in Environment

India’s media reports that the country’s National Green Tribunal (NGT) has given clearance to Indian Railways to approach the state government regarding the Hubli-Ankola rail link, which will pass through the dense Western Ghats in Karnataka. Kanchi Kohli writes on how the orders of NGT do not necessarily imply a complete go-ahead for the railway…

New book on protecting community lands and resources in Africa from Namati and Natural Justice

Posted by Marena Brinkhurst in Advocacy & Systemic Change, Land & Natural Resources, Resources & Research

In 2013, a group of 20 expert advocates from across Africa gathered for a three-day symposium to share experiences and practical strategies for effectively supporting communities to protect their lands and natural resources. The symposium illuminated many similarities between the types of threats to communities’ land and natural resource claims, as well as underlying factors that drive and exacerbate…

Online Database of Land-based Investment Contracts Invites Innovative Proposals

Posted by Marena Brinkhurst in Environment, Land & Natural Resources, Opportunities

OpenLandContracts.org aims to promote greater transparency of land-based investments, facilitate a better understanding of the contracts that govern them, and provide useful tools for governments, communities, companies, and other stakeholders. Initially launched in October 2015, the repository provides the full text of contracts, as well as plain language summaries of each contract’s key social, environmental, human…

New online interactive map helps Indigenous peoples and communities assert land rights

Posted by Marena Brinkhurst in Community Land Protection

LandMark is a new online mapping platform that provides critical information on the collective land and natural resource rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities around the world. The interactive, global map is designed to increase the visibility of indigenous and community lands and present crucial information on the state of land rights. LandMark currently provides…

Global Call to Action on Indigenous and Community Land Rights

Posted by Marena Brinkhurst in Global Legal Empowerment Network, Land & Natural Resources

Namati is proud to support the Global Call to Action on Indigenous and Community Land Rights. The worldwide campaign aims to double the area of land recognized as owned or controlled by indigenous peoples and local communities by 2020. This campaign is an opportunity to support and make visible the struggle of Indigenous Peoples and communities…

Using the Law to Defend Indigenous Lands: New Video from ‘Territories of Life’

Posted by Marena Brinkhurst in Environment, Land & Natural Resources, Resources & Research

Territories of Life is a series of videos produced by LifeMosaic to shares stories of resistance, resilience and hope with communities on the frontline of the global rush for land. The latest video, ‘Using The Law‘, examines strategies for using national, regional and international law to fight against the takeover of indigenous lands. The 12-minute video looks at three legal cases in…

TerraNullius profiles the Community Land Rights CaseBase

Posted by Rachael Knight, Naomi Roht-Arriaza and Melissa Riess-James in Global Legal Empowerment Network, Land & Natural Resources

TerraNullius – a leading blog on topics of land rights, human rights, and rule of law – has published a profile of CaseBase, Namati’s new online database of community land rights case law. Read the blog on TerraNullius to learn about the goals and development of the Community Land Rights CaseBase. Explore CaseBase CaseBase – Namati’s  free, online,…

New legal database on community land and natural resource rights

Posted by Marena Brinkhurst in Global Legal Empowerment Network, Land & Natural Resources, Namati News, Resources & Research

Namati has launched a groundbreaking new tool for lawyers and advocates working to protect community rights to land and natural resources: the Community Land Rights CaseBase. More and more lawyers and front line legal advocates are stepping forward to defend communities’ rights, yet they often struggle to find supportive legal precedent – within their own country or…

Videos on Community Land Protection

Posted by Rachael Knight in Community Land Protection, Namati News

Namati is thrilled to release four new videos that illustrate our approach to Community Land Protection. The first video is an overview of our approach, while the second and third videos describe the challenging work of making maps, resolving land conflicts, harmonizing boundaries with neighbors, drafting by-laws to ensure just and equitable governance, and electing diverse…

Call for New Partners: Community Land Protection

Posted by Marena Brinkhurst in Community Land Protection, Environment, Namati News

Namati is looking for new partners to adapt our approach to support communities in their regions. Drawing on five years of research and field-testing, Namati and our partners have designed a powerful four-step process for protecting community lands and natural resources. Our approach supports communities to map their resources, harmonize boundaries, and formally register their…

Land Rights in the Post-2015 Agenda

Posted by Namati in Community Land Protection, Land & Natural Resources, Post-2015 Agenda

Namati has joined with a coalition of organizations to produce a briefing paper on the place of land rights in the new Sustainable Development Goals. The briefing has been endorsed by organisations such as ActioAid, Oxfam, Landesa, Global Witness and Habitat for Humanity. It contains five headline recommendations: 1. The Post-2015 Agenda should advance and monitor…