This blog series, brought to you by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and the Land Portal, focuses on the governance of land-based investments in the Global South. The series explores practical strategies and approaches adopted by rights defenders and others to address common challenges surrounding these investments. The series also aims to link the practical experience and approaches of practitioners to the Responsible Land-Based Investment Navigator, a knowledge hub bringing together a wide range of tools and guides on how to address a variety of land-related issues and strengthen the governance of land-based investments.
ALIGN supports governments, civil society, local communities and other relevant actors in strengthening the governance of land-based investments. It is funded with UK aid from the UK government, however the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of ALIGN partners or the UK Government.
Mozambique’s 1997 land law recognises land rights acquired through customary practice and good faith occupancy, even without a formal title. However, the lack of transparent public confirmation or documentation can lead to conflict.
Wind and solar projects have a human rights problem. But they don’t have to.
In Mozambique, community land rights are recognised under the country’s progressive land laws. Yet many private-sector companies also hold long-term leases on wide swathes of land that once belonged to communities. Here, Sarah Lowery of USAID’s Land and Resource Governance Division discusses how USAID partnered with agroforestry firm Green Resources to help it responsibly divest its land-use rights back to local communities.
How private-sector leaseholds affect community land rights
In Cameroon, many rural communities are unaware of their rights, in a context where they are increasingly challenged by large-scale land-based investments. Sandrine Kouba from RELUFA explains how setting up a radio programme has helped to inform indigenous communities about their rights and enable them to feel better prepared to face investors.
Cambodia’s new investment law could open the way for more inclusive, sustainable investment. In a series of virtual meetings, stakeholders from across Cambodia came together to assess the challenges and opportunities arising from that law and investment governance generally.
Over the last 20 years in Tanzania, conflict has escalated between communities and foreign investors over land rights and land-based investments. Here, Masalu Luhula discusses how the use of simplified legal guides is helping to empower communities to engage in dialogue and negotiations with government authorities and investors – and to promote socially responsible land-based investment.