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Land and Environmental Justice Core Group In Person Convening(s)

After 10 months of convening virtually, the Land and Environmental Justice Core Group of the Legal Empowerment Network met in person for 4 days in August 2022. The 20 groups came together to reaffirm their common struggles, find areas where they can learn from each other’s approaches, and define an agenda for collective action. The participant organizations were carefully selected to preference organizations that center the needs of impacted communities, represent geographic diversity, represent a range in the size and structure of organization, preference those led by indigenous people or impacted communities, and include gender and age diversity. Because of visa challenges, the discussions took place across two locations: Mexico City, Mexico and Nairobi, Kenya.

The four days were filled with engaging discussions, spurred by contributions from everyone attending. The collaboratively designed agenda carried participants through a process of defining areas of a campaign vision, considering how to translate that vision into campaign demands in different advocacy spaces, and articulating ways that the collective would like to operate as a movement.

By the end of the week, in addition to walking away with a strong sense of solidarity and joy, the participants were able to articulate a shared vision for the movement that they are building together. This movement seeks to support communities impacted by environmental harm to have control over the land where they live. Important aims of this movement include requirements for consent, protection of community members speaking out for their land, recognition of community monitoring efforts, access to resources for communities to organize, and investment in communities for their own development visions. The approach of the movement is to uplift impacted communities as the primary change-makers while also recognizing the importance of bringing the movement to women so they can participate actively. The movement was envisioned to bring global power to local fights and to create change in global advocacy spaces.

Going forward, the organizations involved are dividing themselves into 4 committees based on their organization’s priorities (Global Advocacy: Corporate Accountability; Global Advocacy: Climate Finance; Building our campaign narrative globally and locally; and Testing consultations with impacted communities). Each group has the immediate opportunity to apply for funding to get started on movement next steps within the ongoing work of their organization. At the same time, Namati will shepherd a process of finalizing the campaign vision language and transforming that vision into a shared brand identity for the groups.

August 11, 2022 | Namati