Namati’s Community Land Protection Program supports communities to use national land laws to protect their customary and indigenous lands. Our integrated approach combines the legal and technical work of mapping and documentation with the local governance work of resolving land conflicts, ensuring intra-community equity, and strengthening mechanisms for accountable and participatory management of land and natural resources.
We work in partnership with national and local organizations to implement community land protection programs and research impacts. We also support governments to enact and implement legislation that protects community land rights and advocate for increased global protections for community land and natural resource rights.
Namati’s step-by-step, practical “how to” manual for grassroots advocates working to help communities protect their customary claims and rights to land and natural resources. This Guide—available in English and French—details Namati’s comprehensive, five-part approach to community land protection that supports communities to build unity and internal capacity, proactively document and map their land claims, strengthen local governance, seek formal government recognition of their land rights, and plan for their own flourishing future.
Click through sections of the Guide and find additional linked resources.
Get an overview of the process and how to use the Guide
Share questions and ideas with other community land protection practitioners.
Provides an overview of the full community land protection process, the role of grassroots legal advocates, and resulting positive impacts.
Describes the land documentation activities of the community land protection process. Communities map their lands and natural resources, resolve land conflicts, mark boundaries with neighbors, and make an official map of their lands.
Illustrates the drafting of by-laws and creation of mechanisms for accountable, equitable and sustainable governance of community lands and natural resources, including protections for the rights of women and marginalized groups.
Explains how communities can empower themselves to negotiate with potential investors – including basic natural resource valuation, impact assessment, and land use planning – to ensure that agreements promote genuine community prosperity.
History in the making: How communities in Kenya are claiming their land rights
This video is the story of 11 indigenous communities' journey to secure their land.Read More
Communities in Kenya Push for Recognition of their Land Rights
With the passage of a new law, pastoralist communities in Kenya secured the legal right to govern their land. Now they are pushing the government to ensure that law is brought to life.Read More
A Herder, a Paralegal, a Protector of the Commons – Francis’ Story
Village leaders in the Kajidao county of Kenya are increasingly sub-diving and privatizing community lands—often with disastrous effects. Francis, who had learning about the law through a Namati partner, decided to take action to protect his community's land.read more
5 Lessons from Applying a Legal Empowerment Approach to Community Land Protection in Sierra Leone
The piloting of the approach in Sierra Leone has led to a number of lessons learned.Read More
Community Land Protection and the SDGs
National and global-level work is necessary, but in this blog Rachael Knight argues that communities may be viewed as the key drivers of the SDGs’ fulfillment.Read More
Ugandan Community Stops Illegal Sale of their Land
When a fellow villager tried to illegally sell their land, the community of Alemere came together and took action.Read More
When Legal Empowerment Meets Community Mapping
Namati and the Kenya Land Alliance test new tools for participatory community mapping in Tana River, Kenya.Read More
Interview with Robert Ojok, Grassroots Legal Advocate
Robert and his colleagues at LEMU work tirelessly every single day to support communities in Northern Uganda to protect their lands and natural resources.Read the Interview
Addressing Land Conflict & Governance in Kenya
Reflections and lessons from Namati's training visit to Turkana and Tana River counties.Read More
Supporting Land Conflict Resolution in Northern Uganda
A story from a new collection of case studies and analysis written by practitioners, for practitioners.Read More
Bad-Faith Contracts & Unjust Investments – How can communities protect their interests?
Rachael Knight and Kaitlin Cordes describe why and how they developed two new guides to help communities prepare for interactions with investors and, if they so wish, negotiate fair, equitable contracts.Read More