Log in

Land & Natural Resources

July 30, 2019

A Historic Step Towards Securing Community Land Rights in Kenya

by Jaron Vogelsang in Community Land Protection, Land & Natural Resources, Namati News Representatives from 11 pastoralist communities gather outside the Ministry of Land

This article was originally published by Thomson Reuters Foundation. Indigenous, pastoralist communities in Kenya made history last week by marching to the nation’s capital to demand official registration for their communal lands. This was unprecedented and the culmination of years of effort to empower communities to understand and claim their land rights. In 2016, the Government of…

June 21, 2019

Land Law Threatens to Displace and Criminalize Millions in Myanmar

by Namati in Advocacy & Systemic Change, Land & Natural Resources, Namati News, Resources & Research

Myanmar is being threatened with a land grab on a massive scale. In September 2018, Myanmar’s parliament, led by Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party, passed an amendment to the Vacant, Fallow and Virgin (VFV) Lands Management Law, requiring anyone occupying land classified as “vacant, fallow, or virgin” to apply for 30-year…

June 5, 2019

Q&A: Putting law in people’s hands to demand environmental justice in the United States

by Alayna Chuney in Environment, Land & Natural Resources

Historically, the U.S. environmental movement has focused on litigation and high-level advocacy. The communities who bear the greatest burden of harm who are mostly poor and of color—have had little opportunity to use the law themselves. In 2018, Namati recruited our first crew of legal empowerment advocates. In 2019, we’re working with this group to…

June 4, 2019

Q&A: Legal empowerment as a beacon for environmental justice in Sierra Leone

by Daniel Sesay in Environment, Land & Natural Resources

To spur economic growth, the government of Sierra Leone has been aggressively courting large-scale agriculture and mining investments. These have often led to the exploitation of communities and environmental devastation. Namati supports communities to protect customary land rights, challenge land grabs, remedy environmental harm, and, if they wish, negotiate fair deals with investors. This Q&A…

June 3, 2019

Q&A: How legal empowerment advances environmental justice in India

by Vidya Viswanathan in Environment, Land & Natural Resources

In India, mining, industrial development, and other private and public projects damage the environment and endanger the livelihoods of local communities. Despite robust laws on the books, there is a very poor record of compliance. Paralegals on the Centre for Policy Research-Namati environmental justice team support communities to understand and use the law to find…

May 28, 2019

OPINION: Myanmar is confiscating land that people depend on

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…

April 17, 2019

A Herder, a Paralegal, a Protector of the Commons – Francis’ Story

by Namati in Community Paralegals, Land & Natural Resources

Francis first heard the news in late 2017: The village leaders responsible for managing Kuku B’s community land were reportedly holding secret meetings with private investors. This is all too common in Kenya, he knew what would come next: the leaders would sub-divide, privatize, and sell off parcels of the community’s land, leaving him and…

April 16, 2019

From a Land Grab to a Fair Deal – A Story from Masimra Town

by Namati in Community Paralegals, Land & Natural Resources

Political power often enables corporate abuse. The Masimra community in Port Loko District, Sierra Leone can, unfortunately, attest to this after politicians elected by them to protect their interests instead opened them up to exploitation. In 2009, the then Deputy Minister of Trade and the Chairman of Port Loko District Council ushered the Dutch-owned agricultural…

April 16, 2019

The Council and the Coal Giant – Aslam’s Story

by Namati in Community Paralegals, Environment, Land & Natural Resources

This is a story of how, with the power of law, a small village collectively challenged a multi-billion dollar conglomerate to restore environmental justice for its people. And won.   The residents of Nana Mandha village in Gujarat State are primarily farmers, herders, and shepherds of modest means. Situated near India’s western coast, the small,…

April 15, 2019

From Witness to Problem Solver – U Win Naing Htay’s Journey

by Namati in Community Paralegals, Land & Natural Resources

In 1980, during the midst of military rule in Myanmar, the Ministry of Electricity and Energy seized 920 acres of farmland in Bago Region to build a fertilizer plant. The land belonged to over 100 families. The Ministry gave them no warning and no compensation. And when it did not use 297 of the acres…