Drawing on seven years of research and field-testing, Namati and our partners have designed a powerful five-part process for protecting community lands and natural resources. Our approach combines the legal and technical work of mapping and documentation with land conflict resolution and community-wide agreement on local rules for land and natural resource management. Throughout the process, we collect detailed data and observations that we analyze rigorously to continue to learn and improve our work.

Namati has found that each part of this approach is necessary to ensure successful community land protection and equitable, community-driven development and prosperity.

Download Namati Community Land Protection Process PDF


All aspects of the work should be driven by the community’s own priorities and concerns, with facilitators listening carefully and adapting the process as necessary. That said, we recommend that facilitators aim to support communities to complete the entire process in six to twelve months of weekly or bi-monthly meetings. To improve efficiency and maintain community momentum, it is often best to undertake the by-laws drafting process and the boundary harmonization process concurrently, as they both take significant time and effort to complete.

Namati champions innovation, creative adaptation, and shared learning. We encourage land rights advocates to adapt our approach as necessary to their local contexts and cultures. We encourage all organizations to share their adaptations, modifications, lessons learned, and impacts with us so that we can continue to strengthen the land protection work of Namati and our wide network of community land protection partners. Contact us at communitylandprotection@namati.org