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Rachael Knight Director, Community Land Protection Program NAMATI Working in Partnership with SDI, CTV, LEMU Scaling Up Legal Empowerment Strategies For.

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Presentation on theme: "Rachael Knight Director, Community Land Protection Program NAMATI Working in Partnership with SDI, CTV, LEMU Scaling Up Legal Empowerment Strategies For."— Presentation transcript:

1 Rachael Knight Director, Community Land Protection Program NAMATI Working in Partnership with SDI, CTV, LEMU Scaling Up Legal Empowerment Strategies For Community Land Protection

2 Large scale-land concessions, rising land scarcity, competition for land  It is necessary to: Protect community lands from bad faith appropriation by investors and elites (intl, national, local) Support the creation of culturally appropriate intra-community mechanisms to safeguard the land rights of vulnerable groups. Some countries have legislation that allows the documentation of communities lands and natural resources as a whole (the “tenurial shell”) but these laws have generally not been well or widely implemented. PILOT: THE COMMUNITY LAND TITLING INITIATIVE, 2009-2011

3 To investigate how to best support communities to successfully follow their nations’ legal community land documentation processes, we ran a RCT in 60 communities in Mozambique, Liberia and Uganda. 20 communities in each nation randomly split into 4 treatment groups - control, monthly education, paralegal support, full legal services; Baseline and Post-Service survey of ~2,225 villagers, 180 focus group discussions; Community meeting observation, tracking of all obstacles, conflicts, deliberations, and decisions. PILOT PROGRAM, 2009-2011

4 GENERAL STEPS OF A COMMUNITY LAND DOCUMENTATION PROCESS 1. Legal education; creation/election of a coordinating committee; election and training of paralegals. 2. Map-making, boundary harmonization, land conflict resolution and boundary demarcation/documentation. 3. Cataloguing, discussing and adopting rules for community land administration and establishing a land and natural resources management plan. 4. Electing a land and natural resources management body that includes representatives of all stakeholder groups. 5. Following necessary administrative procedures and formally GPS-ing/surveying the land.


6 1. Community land documentation is not just a mapping and registration exercise. Rather, it must also involve: The peace-building task of land conflict resolution The governance task of strengthening land and natural resource management and promoting intra-community equity and justice. 2. A highly participatory land documentation process that includes by- laws drafting has the potential to support communities to:  Improve community governance and establish accountability mechanisms for local leaders;  Foster participatory rule-making and promote local democracy;  Promote community conservation of natural resources;  Support communities to create intra-community mechanisms to protect women’s land rights; and  Align community rules with national and human rights law. LESSONS LEARNED: IMPACTS

7 1. If community land mapping efforts are undertaken without accompanying empowerment efforts that promote good governance of lands and resources, they may create more harm than good.  To address these concerns, community mapping/documentation efforts must include by-laws drafting processes and other strategies to ensure good land governance. 2. Community land protection is preventative work: it is necessary to proactively prepare communities for the inevitable investment requests that will come.  Basic awareness of their legal rights and land value  Empowered, educated negotiations; knowledge of who to call for help.  Fearlessness to question government officials and investors and reject investments or successfully secure equitable benefits. WHY LEGAL EMPOWERMENT IS A CRITICAL COMPONENT OF COMMUNITY LAND RIGHTS PROTECTION

8 Let communities define themselves and drive their own documentation processes, supported by trained and supervised paralegals.  The paralegal communities were the most successful. Why? 1.Leaving communities with the responsibility to complete project activities motivates them to claim greater “ownership” over the land protection work. 2.Communities receiving “full legal support” tended to adopt a passive, less community-driven attitude, as “the lawyer is going to run after our papers.” 3.Various obstacles impede success  Outside legal and technical professionals tended to exacerbate intra-community obstacles that they did not fully understand.  Best to introduce each community land documentation activity, build the capacity of the community to complete it, and then leave the community to do the work according to its own timing, knowledge and skills, guided by supervised paralegals.  BUT: Communities unquestionably need legal and technical support at key moments. LESSONS LEARNED FOR IMPLEMENTATION AND SCALE-UP

9 Documenting or registering community land as a “meta-unit” is the least costly and most scale-able means of protecting rural households’ land claims. Best to work with communities of between 2,000 – 4,000 residents; more than 1000 households gets challenging re: complete participation. In Mozambique, the total Phase I costs per community were at most $4,000 USD. In Liberia and Uganda, rough estimates of the Phase I costs came out to ~$7,000 USD per community; subsequent improvements in methodology are reducing these costs to ~$5,000 USD. One field team of 3 to 4 technical and legal experts can supervise up to 50 paralegals working in ~25 communities; scale is limited only to the number of field teams and funds. Process takes 1-2 years for each community, and should not be rushed – legal empowerment process is as important as product. COSTS AND FEASIBILITY

10 GOAL: 100’s OF NGOs AROUND THE WORLD WORKING WITH 1000’s OF COMMUNITIES TO DOCUMENT AND PROTECT THEIR LANDS  Improving our community land protection process  Working with SDI, CTV and LEU to scale up throughout Uganda, Liberia and Mozambique  Working now in over 100 new communities  Training other CSOs and government agencies to implement the model  Partnering with interested CSOs in other nations  Providing technical support to CSOs and governments  Helping to build a cohesive, well-resourced global movement for empowered community land and natural resources protection. HOW NAMATI IS SCALING UP THE MODEL

11  Why are we doing this? Land protection for what?  Human dignity, community prosperity, endogenously-defined development  Grassroots democracy building  Ecosystem regeneration and environmental stewardship  Maintenance of cultures, languages, religions  Alternative economic models  community resilience in the context of climate change  Global scale-up efforts should include:  Protecting land still held by communities  Supporting communities to reclaim land and natural resource rights taken from them in the past (data: communities manage lands better)  Interlaken goal of “doubling of the amount of land recognized as owned or controlled by Indigenous Peoples and local communities by 2018” can only be realized if we collaborate and cooperate and openly share strategies, lessons learned, failures and successes. POTENTIAL FOR GLOBAL SCALE UP

12 1. SHARE TOOLS, KNOWLEDGE, RESOURCES:  Map out who is doing what; undertake a comparison/benchmarking of different strategies  Mobilize resources: create strategies and tactics to share information across regions. Create platforms and tools for:  Communities to share their knowledge and expertise - in person and on-line.  Advocates/NGOs to share their knowledge and expertise - in person and on-line.  Cross-disciplinary expertise exchange – water, forests, land, food security, extractive industry advocates, Indigenous Peoples rights, etc. 2. GATHER DATA  Track what land has been protected, using mapping and other mechanisms.  Track progress towards Interlaken goal (develop a baseline, indicators, method of update). INTERLAKEN LEGAL EMPOWERMENT STRATEGY SESSION ACTION POINTS

13 3. TRACK INVESTMENTS  Establish systems to enforce investor accountability to communities.  Document how individual companies are abusing community land rights cross-nationally.  Trace investments, follow the money, build relevant global financial accountability systems. 4. POLICY ADVOCACY  Create guidance for countries engaged in land reform/policy reform. 5. NO MORE BUSINESS-AS-USUAL  NGOs and global actors to support local/grassroots movements (rather than coming in with our own projects) - strengthening local community land protection CSOs as they want to be supported.  Pressure multilaterals to recognize a new paradigm of development based on indigenous/customary/local systems of knowledge and prosperity. INTERLAKEN LEGAL EMPOWERMENT STRATEGY SESSION ACTION POINTS

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