“Scaling community legal literacy, land rights certification and climate resilience”: Introducing the LAND-at-scale Mozambique project | Land Portal

Centro Terra Viva, Terra Firma Lda and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) are excited to announce their partnership for a LAND-at-scale project in Mozambique. Starting this year, the project will run for three years focusing on three components, namely scaling community legal literacy, land rights certification and increasing climate resilience.

Poverty in Mozambique is concentrated in rural areas and thus associated with a high dependency on agriculture and natural resources, including land. Mozambique has a legal framework recognizing this dependency through a progressive Land Law. However, main obstacles to the proper implementation of the law include communities’ lack of formalized land tenure, limited knowledge regarding land rights, low participation in decision-making among community members, and a lack of capacity among local government officials. The situation is further hampered by the severe impacts of climate change.

The main objective of the LAND-at-scale project in Mozambique is to increase community legal awareness and strengthen the security of land tenure rights, creating capacity at local level to implement and leverage the progressive provisions of the Mozambican legal framework. “Considering the ongoing large-scale rural land titling campaign of the Mozambican government in collaboration with the World Bank, this is an opportune moment to start this project” says Ernesto Sechene from the Dutch embassy in Maputo. By enriching a land titling process with legal literacy building as well as incorporating effects of climate change, the LAND-at-scale project helps ensure a holistic and sustainable approach to land certification efforts.

The idea submitted to LAND-at-scale by the Dutch embassy builds on more than a decade of experience with building legal literacy and community land rights registration. Through legal empowerment of local communities by means of a legal literacy campaign, the project will contribute to community preparation to intervene in an informed manner. “Community paralegals training and technical support represent the pillar of the social preparation and legal literacy intervention” says Alda Salomão from Centro Terra Viva. “Participation and inclusion are the main vectors, particularly the inclusion of local actors (citizens and institutions), in order to give body to the United Nations SDGs motto ‘Leave No One Behind’.”

Besides building legal literacy, the project will also contribute to the delimitation of community and individual land-use rights based on good faith occupation and customary rights, and their integration into the formal land administration system. “There is a real momentum and concrete opportunity for integrating community-driven land registration into national systems and procedures”, says Simon Norfolk from Terra Firma. As a part of the government’s rural land titling campaign, a redesign is planned for the national land registration system SiGIT. At the same time, the Mozambican government has started a process of revising the 1995 Land Policy. The main objective of this effort is to close the gap between the law on paper and implementation in practice. Bottom-up community-driven land registration can play a crucial role there.

The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs funds LAND-at-scale. This project in Mozambique is funded for 1,7 million Euros and will be rolled out in selected districts from all three regions of the national territory. Read more about the project here. To stay updated on this LAND-at-scale project and others, please sign up for our quarterly newsletter.

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