Namati

Community Land Protection Facilitators Guide

By: Rachael Knight, Marena Brinkhurst, Jaron Vogelsang, and Namati's Community Land Protection partner organizations

Namati’s Community Land Protection Facilitators Guide is a 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.

Download the complete Guide PDF from this page. Or access the Guide as an online Toolkit to download individual chapters.

After years of working with partner organizations around the world to support communities to protect their land rights, Namati has developed a comprehensive, five-part approach that supports communities to: build unity and internal capacity for community land protection, 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. The goal is not just to protect land, but to leverage community land protection efforts to build:

  • Inclusive, diverse communities that respect the rights of women and marginalized groups;
  • Sustainable local economies fueled by diverse local livelihoods;
  • Environmental stewardship that results in flourishing ecosystems, food security, and the protection of future biodiversity; and
  • The revival, maintenance, and inter-generational transfer of dynamic local cultures, languages, ceremonies, and traditional knowledge.

The Facilitators Guide details Namati’s five-part process for protecting community lands and examines questions such as: “Who is included or excluded when defining a ‘community’?”, “How to resolve longstanding boundary disputes?”, and “How can communities prepare for interactions with potential investors?” The Guide goes beyond documentation to address issues of women’s land rights, inclusive governance, cultural revitalization, ecosystem regeneration, and more. Each chapter includes exercises, sample forms, and tips from veteran land protection advocates. All activities are easily adaptable to a range of cultures, contexts, and community goals. The guide is accompanied by short animated videos that demonstrate the community land protection process visually.

This Guide is intended for the directors and staff of local, community-based organizations, national civil society organizations, faith-based organizations, government actors, and other community land protection advocates and activists. The Guide refers to these groups as “facilitating organizations,” and their field staff as “facilitators.”

Namati recommends reading the entire Guide at least once before beginning community land protection efforts. Facilitators can then review specific sections of the Guide as they support communities to move through the process. However, because all the activities within each “step” are inter-related, it is best to be familiar with all the land protection activities before beginning facilitation.

If you are interested in implementing or adapting Namati’s community land protection approach, or to order a printed copy of the Facilitators Guide, please contact communitylandprotection@namati.org.

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