The Community Land and Natural Resources Protection Symposium

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Africa Community Land and Natural Resources Protection Symposium

From November 5 to 7, 2013, Namati and the South African NGO Natural Justice, which supports communities to participate in governance over their local environments, convened the Africa Community Land and Natural Resources Protection Symposium. The meeting was held at the !Khwa Ttu San Cultural Center outside of Cape Town, South Africa. Participants included more than 20 advocates from across Africa, chosen for their extraordinary efforts supporting communities to protect their lands and resources, who brought their frontline experience and expertise to discussions.

The objective of the symposium was to provide participants with opportunities to:

2013-11-05 08.26.28The symposium opened with an informal outdoor ceremony, during which participants shared prayers and songs they use regularly in the course of their fieldwork to open community meetings. This was followed by a session in which the full range of challenges, questions, and successful strategies that participants employ in the course of their advocacy were written up and mapped out on the main wall of the conference venue. Thereafter, in both plenary and small groups, participants discussed strategies for addressing challenges related to:

Participants also brainstormed solutions to real-world problems. These included strategies for supporting communities and their land and natural resources in the face of the planned LAPSSET transport corridor connecting Lamu in Kenya with South Sudan and Ethiopia, among other complex threats to community land claims.2013-11-07 10.26.59

The symposium ended with participants outlining a guide for practitioners entitled Stories of Community Land and Natural Resource Protection, which will highlight participants’ success stories, as well as summarise particularly effective land and natural resource protection strategies. In the coming months, participants will work together to produce and publish this guide, as well as continue to support each other in future advocacy efforts.



The Symposium was attended by these groups:

Sustainable Development Institute, Liberia –

Southern Cape Land Committee, South Africa –

American Jewish World Service, Uganda –

Ujamaa Community Resource Team (UCRT), Tanzania –

Auto promotion rurale pour un Développement Humain Durable (ADHD), Togo –

Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation (IRDNC), Namibia  –

Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association, Zimbabwe –

Kivulini Land Trust, Kenya –

Friends of Lake Turkana (FOLT), Kenya –

Botswana Khwedom Council, Botswana –

Movement for Ecological Learning and Community Action (MELCA), Ethiopia –

Save Lamu (SL), Kenya –

Centro Terra Viva (CTV), Mozambique –

Association for Law and Advocacy for Pastoralists (ALAPA), Tanzania –

TOCaDI, Botswana –

Chepkitale Indigenous Peoples’ Development Project (CIPDP), Kenya –

African Biodiversity Network, Kenya –

Land in Uganda, Uganda –

Legal Resources Centre, South Africa –

Natural Justice, South Africa –



November 26, 2013 | Namati