I write this blog as our project team embarks on a fifth year of work on women’s land tenure security (WOLTS) with pastoral communities in mining-affected areas of Mongolia and Tanzania. Just before Christmas 2019, we were in Mundarara village in northern Tanzania. Exceptionally heavy rains made getting around much more challenging than usual. Locals travelling on foot had to make wide detours to avoid getting bogged down in waterlogged grazing land, and it took everyone much longer to get to the village primary school for our long-planned training day.
In the past decade, significant international attention focused on “land grabs” in developing countries by companies and others hungry for land to grow food and procure resources for the world’s growing population.
The land sector is in the throes of the Global Data Revolution, which, of course, has created opportunities as well as challenges. Government data portals, open access academic journals, community mapping and other citizen-generated data initiatives create possibilities for inclusive and open approaches to data collection and management. But how can these opportunities be leveraged for real change and benefits to citizens?
Rural women and girls are far from the public or media spotlight, but their struggles deserve urgent attention
Until today, the world had no internationally comparable data on citizens’ perceptions of the security their property rights; no way of tracking how people evaluated the likelihood of their home or other land being taken from them.
In a saturated marketplace, food and beverage companies too often avoid addressing land rights issues.
Sextortion: referring to a form of blackmail in which sexual information or images are used to extort sexual favors from the victim. One of the biggest challenges for those working in the land and natural resources sector, has been drawing attention to the fact that this happens in our sector, too and most importantly, that something needs to be done about it.
By Jim Grabham (Mokoro Ltd, UK) with Ezekiel Kereri (HakiMadini, Tanzania), team members of the global Women’s Land Tenure Security (WOLTS) project.
Northern Tanzania’s iconic savannah landscapes, home to some of the greatest cultural and biological diversity found anywhere in the world, encapsulate many of the challenges and opportunities facing community land rights in Africa. In contrast to most African countries, Tanzania’s landmark 1999 land reforms provide full legal recognition of customary land rights, which are administered through elected village councils.
In the effort to address global sustainability challenges affecting people, prosperity, and planet, in 2015, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by the global community to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). SDGs have recognized women’s land rights as opposed to its predecessor, MDGs. Of over 230 indicators, three are on women’s land rights and seven are generally on land rights.
Land in Tanzania is a scarce resource without which life cannot be sustained (FAO, 2007), and it is “increasingly recognized as an important governance issue” around the global (Palmer et al., 2009, p.1). Hundreds of millions of people including farmers, herders, forest dwellers and agro-industries all rely on land resources for their survival.