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The Challenge of Protecting Community Land Rights: An Investigation into Community Responses to Requests for Land and Resources (Executive Summary)

Namati,

From 2009 until 2015, Namati and its partners Centro Terra Viva (CTV) in Mozambique, Land and Equity Movement in Uganda (LEMU), and Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) in Liberia supported more than 100 communities to document and protect their customary land rights. In late 2017, Namati evaluated the impacts the process had on communities’ responses to…

The Challenge of Protecting Community Land Rights: An Investigation into Community Responses to Requests for Land and Resources (Full Report)

Namati,

From 2009 until 2015, Namati and its partners Centro Terra Viva (CTV) in Mozambique, Land and Equity Movement in Uganda (LEMU), and Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) in Liberia supported more than 100 communities to document and protect their customary land rights. In late 2017, Namati evaluated the impacts the process had on communities’ responses to…

Redress for land and resource rights violations: a legal empowerment agenda

Brendan Schwartz, Lorenzo Cotula, Masalu Luhula, Tomaso Ferrando, Hayden Fairburn,

A recent wave of large-scale commercial investments in agriculture, extractive industries and other land-based sectors has compounded the ‘global resource squeeze’ in low- and middle-income countries. But many communities affected by land rights violations struggle to assert their rights or obtain redress. Demand for legal support outstrips resources and what is available is not always…

Legal Empowerment as Social Entrepreneurship: The KwaZulu-Natal Cases of Bulwer and New Hanover

Fayth Ruffin, Winnie Kubayi Martins,

In this chapter, theoretical foundations of social entrepreneurship and legal empowerment are explored and intersection of these social actions by community based-paralegal practice in rural KwaZulu-Natal examined. Conceptually, integration of social entrepreneurship and legal empowerment innovatively contributes to the broader discourse on self-determined community development and democratic governance. Empirical evidence shows that community-based paralegals generate…

Complicity in Destruction II

Amazon Watch,

How northern consumers and financiers enable Bolsonaro’s assault on the Brazilian Amazon. As the world’s largest rainforest, the Amazon provides 20% of our oxygen, houses 10% of the planet’s biodiversity, and helps stabilize the global climate. The world needs it to survive. None understand this better than the indigenous peoples and traditional communities who call…

Gendered Aspects of Land Rights in Myanmar II: Evidence from Paralegal Case Work (Myanmar language)

Namati,

Land reform in Myanmar is integral to ensuring the nation’s development is both sustainable and inclusive. The recent and complex history of land confiscation, acquisitions, and conflict has permeated every aspect of life for many smallholder farmers, leaving them to rebuild and reclaim their livelihoods. While progress has been made to empower smallholder farmers under…

Gendered Aspects of Land Rights in Myanmar II: Evidence from Paralegal Case Work

Namati,

Land reform in Myanmar is integral to ensuring the nation’s development is both sustainable and inclusive. The recent and complex history of land confiscation, acquisitions, and conflict has permeated every aspect of life for many smallholder farmers, leaving them to rebuild and reclaim their livelihoods. While progress has been made to empower smallholder farmers under…

Innovative Financing Solutions for Community Support in the Context of Land Investments

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment,

Communities affected by agricultural, forestry, and other resource investments urgently need increased funding for legal and technical support. Too many communities struggle to access the support they need to protect their interests, in large part because they cannot afford it. This is in stark contrast to companies, who can generally afford the legal and technical…

How to Register Vacant, Fallow, and Virgin Land (Burmese)

Namati Myanmar, Green Peasant Institute, Civil and Political Rights Campaign Group, My Justice Program,

In September 2018, the Myanmar government passed an amendment to the 2012 Vacant, Fallow, and Virgin Land (VFV) law that stipulated that all smallholder farmers currently using VFV land must submit an application for the right to use the land by March 3, 2019. Anyone who fails to do so may be evicted. This manual…

Most Farmers Do Not Know about the Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Land Management Law as the Grace Period to Register Closes (Burmese)

Nwe Ni Soe, Sung Chin Par,

This report is written in Burmese. Find an English verison, here.  On September 11, 2018 parliament passed an amendment to the Vacant, Fallow and Virgin (VFV) Land Management Law. This law has been criticized by many groups ranging from civil society groups to mining companies. The primary concern is that it will cause further insecurity…

5 Lessons Learned From Applying a Legal Empowerment Approach to Community Land Protection in Sierra Leone

Posted by Hassan Sesay in Community Land Protection, Land & Natural Resources

The Namati team in Sierra Leone is engaged in an ongoing effort to discover sustainable measures for community ownership, management, and administration of land and natural resources throughout the country. To this end, we have taken on a new project: the application of a legal empowerment approach to community land protection. Land administration in Sierra…

Myanmar’s Foray into Deliberative Democracy: Citizen Participation in Resolving Historical Land Grabs

Posted by Namati in Advocacy & Systemic Change, Land & Natural Resources, Namati News, Resources & Research

Namati and a coalition of non-governmental representatives have published a policy brief on the committees tasked with overseeing the investigations of Myanmar’s historical land grab cases. It is hoped the brief will help strengthen the implementation of the committees, making them more responsive to the lived experience of ordinary Myanmar citizens trying to secure their land…

Video: Sonkita Conteh speaks about the paralegal approach in Sierra Leone at the “Solutions Summit”

Posted by Namati in Community Paralegals, Land & Natural Resources, Namati News

Namati’s Vivek Maru and Sonkita Conteh were among the 16 individuals honored with the Schwab Foundation’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award for 2017. As one of the 9 honorees from sub-Sahara Africa, Sonkita was invited to attend the “Solutions Summit” which took place in Durban in early May, directly ahead of the World Economic Forum on…

LEGEND Land Policy Bulletin: “Namati’s experience of using GeoODK GPS Mapping”

Posted by Marena Brinkhurst in Community Land Protection

Maps are critical tools that assist communities in securing formal legal recognition of their rights to customary land and supporting local land governance. However, the map-making support Namati could provide to communities in Africa and Asia was, until recently, limited to hand-drawn sketches. GPS and satellite technologies were too costly and technically complex. In 2016, Namati partnered with…

How One Experience in Bangladesh Advanced Women’s Rights Work in Myanmar

Posted by Nant Thi Thi Oo in Gender, Global Legal Empowerment Network

The following is a blog by Nant Thi Thi Oo, a data entry associate with Namati’s program in Myanmar.    In November 2015, I had the chance to participate in a learning exchange hosted by Namati and the Bangladesh National Woman Lawyers Association (BNWLA). I was very grateful to be selected to go. The exchange focused…

Streamlining Institutions to Restore Land and Justice to Farmers in Myanmar

Posted by Namati in Land & Natural Resources, Namati News, Resources & Research

A new policy brief has been released emphasizing the need for the Myanmar government to put in place simple, transparent mechanisms to ensure that land and justice is restored to farmers who were dispossessed of their livelihoods without due process or compensation.  According to the Parliamentary Land Investigation Committee, more than 500,000 acres of land in Myanmar…

Bringing Law to Life: Paralegal Interventions in Natural Resource Exploitation

Posted by Sonkita Conteh in Community Paralegals, Land & Natural Resources

Introduction When a diamond mining company closed its operations in Mofuwe Village, in the south of Sierra Leone, it left behind three mined-out pits the size of several football pitches, a collapsed bridge, a blocked stream and an uncompleted community school building. It was as if the villagers woke up one morning and the company…

Gendered aspects of land rights in Myanmar: Evidence from paralegal casework

Posted by Namati in Gender, Land & Natural Resources, Namati News, Resources & Research

Namati has published a new policy brief on the gendered aspects of land rights. It is our hope that Myanmar’s national reforms and the implementation of the country’s new National Land Use Policy can grow from the lived experience of ordinary Myanmar citizens. Namati and our partners assist farmers in Myanmar to claim their land…

Protecting Community Lands — Everything We Know in a New Guide!

Posted by Marena Brinkhurst in Community Land Protection, Land & Natural Resources, Namati News, Resources & Research

We are thrilled to launch an important new resource for frontline land rights advocates around the world: the Community Land Protection Facilitators’ Guide. After years of working with partners to support communities to protect their land rights, today we are sharing what we’ve learned. This Facilitators’ Guide is a step-by-step, practical “how to” manual for grassroots advocates…

Is the Hubli-Ankola Railway line approved?

Posted by Kanchi Kohli in Environment

India’s media reports that the country’s National Green Tribunal (NGT) has given clearance to Indian Railways to approach the state government regarding the Hubli-Ankola rail link, which will pass through the dense Western Ghats in Karnataka. Kanchi Kohli writes on how the orders of NGT do not necessarily imply a complete go-ahead for the railway…

The Community Land Protection Facilitator’s Guide

Posted by Namati's Community Land Protection Team in Community Land Protection, Resources & Research

Namati’s Community Land Protection Facilitator’s 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. 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…

Myanmar faces fresh hurdle in land rights and justice

Posted by Caitlin Pierce in Land & Natural Resources

Download Namati’s report Returns of Grabbed Land in Myanmar: Progress After Two Years (in English or Burmese) UMyint Tun was working in his field in Sagaing when four officers pulled up in a military jeep with the bad news: his land now belonged to the government. He could no longer farm it. This was April…

CRZ: Why coastal communities are troubled by these three letters

Posted by Vinod Patgar in Environment

The coastline of Uttara Kannada district in Karnataka is poised at a critical juncture. Both the government and the private sector are looking out for opportunities and have begun setting up resorts, ports, and industries signalling “new” opportunities. In this context, sustaining common use areas like beaches and creeks and access to the shore for…

Stretching the meaning of ‘reforestation’ beyond breaking point

Posted by Manju Menon in Environment

This OpEd first appeared in The Caravan Magazine. Ever since he took charge as the minister for the environment and forests in May last year, Prakash Javadekar has appeared to be in quite a hurry. His task, he has stated over and over again to the media whenever the opportunity has presented itself, is to…

Myanmar: Namati & Landesa Make Recommendations for Pro-Poor Land Policy

Posted by Laura Goodwin in Land & Natural Resources

In this major new report Namati and Landesa highlight the pressing needs of Myanmar’s rural population – and recommend potential solutions – as the Myanmar government embarks on wide-reaching land policy reform. Download the report in English. Download the report in Burmese. Myanmar is undergoing a major transition, opening space for significant change for the…

“We are looking at gold and calling it rock”

Posted by Rachael Knight in Community Land Protection

Originally published for the World Bank’s People, Space, Deliberation blog, Namati Community Land Protection Program Director, Rachael Knight, presents Namati’s approach for supporting communities to calculate the replacement costs of their communal lands and natural resources. Communal land, forests, and water sources are essential to the survival of many communities around the world. However, investors…

New legal database on community land and natural resource rights

Posted by Marena Brinkhurst in Global Legal Empowerment Network, Land & Natural Resources, Namati News, Resources & Research

Namati has launched a groundbreaking new tool for lawyers and advocates working to protect community rights to land and natural resources: the Community Land Rights CaseBase. More and more lawyers and front line legal advocates are stepping forward to defend communities’ rights, yet they often struggle to find supportive legal precedent – within their own country or…

Land Rights in the Post-2015 Agenda

Posted by Namati in Community Land Protection, Land & Natural Resources, Post-2015 Agenda

Namati has joined with a coalition of organizations to produce a briefing paper on the place of land rights in the new Sustainable Development Goals. The briefing has been endorsed by organisations such as ActioAid, Oxfam, Landesa, Global Witness and Habitat for Humanity. It contains five headline recommendations: 1. The Post-2015 Agenda should advance and monitor…

No Consent in Nimiyama Chiefdom

Posted by Karima Tawfik in Land & Natural Resources

Innovative Legal Remedies to Protect  Land Rights in Sierra Leone By Karima Tawfik For one woman in Nimiyama Chiefdom in eastern Sierra Leone, the first sign of trouble came when she went into her family’s fields to brush for planting and was told to leave immediately because the land had been “sold.” For another landowner, it…

Targeting Illegal Mining in India’s Forests

Posted by Kanchi Kohli in Environment

Namati’s Kanchi Kohli explains how public interest litigation finally forced the authorities to act against illegal iron ore mines in the forests of Odisha. 27 October 2014 – The discourse around iron and steel in India has taken a huge political turn since 2007. In 2007, the Karnataka state government, while recognising the problem of rampant illegal…

No Consent in Nimiyama Chiefdom

Posted by Karima Tawfik in Land & Natural Resources

Innovative Legal Remedies to Protect  Land Rights in Sierra Leone By Karima Tawfik For one woman in Nimiyama Chiefdom in eastern Sierra Leone, the first sign of trouble came when she went into her family’s fields to brush for planting and was told to leave immediately because the land had been “sold.” For another landowner, it…