Navigating the challenges of land-based investment: new blog series
IIED and Land Portal have launched a new blog series on the governance of land-based investments in the global South. The series will explore practical strategies and approaches adopted by rights defenders and others to address common challenges surrounding these investments.
Governments are facing mounting demands to kickstart their economies in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. But this pressure is also leading to an increase in large-scale land-based investments – and the negative impacts of poorly planned or irresponsible investments are putting growing pressure on land and the communities who use it.
For a new series of blogs, IIED has invited rights defenders and practitioners to reflect on their strategies to push for more responsible and sustainable land-based investments. The series is part of a joint initiative with the Land Portal and the ALIGN project.
In the blogs, partners from diverse backgrounds describe how they are responding to the challenges of land-based investments so that rural communities, pastoralists and Indigenous Peoples can demand greater protections, a seat at the negotiating table and tangible benefits from investments.
The blogs aim to increase awareness and interest in technical and political issues among a community of practice on land and investment issues. Each blog includes a list of resources available on the Responsible Land-Based Investment Navigator, a dedicated knowledge hub of practical resources.
From guides on community preparedness and advocacy to tools dealing with conflict resolution, the resources draw on practical experiences and are tailored to the needs of different actors, from communities and civil society to governments and private-sector actors.
Over the coming weeks, we will explore some of the critical challenges to transforming land-based investment governance, raise awareness of the Responsible Land-Based Investment Navigator and the ALIGN project, and amplify marginalised voices from the global South.
We have launched the series with contributions from IIED, South Africa and Ethiopia:
- Navigating the challenges of land-based investment governance: kickstarting the series, IIED’s Nathaniah Jacobs and Amaelle Seigneret outline the main challenges faced by rights defenders in relation to land-based investments and introduce the Navigator knowledge hub
- Mining and land rights in South Africa: how has the Maledu judgement empowered rural communities? In 2018, this landmark judgement ruled that a community’s consent was required for mining activities on their land. Louise du Plessis from Lawyers for Human Rights explores its importance for other rural communities
- Moving forward with communal land rights in Ethiopia: what are the legal solutions? Daniel Behailu and Jacobs discuss developing laws that recognise and respect communal land rights in Ethiopia, potential legal solutions, and why change will require social legitimacy to work
- Land-based investment in Tanzania: how simplified legal guides are empowering communities – Masalu Luhula look at how simplified legal guides are empowering communities
- Land rights on air: how land voice supports Indigenous communities in Cameroon – 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
- Putting community land rights first: responsible private-sector divestment in Mozambique – Sarah Lowery of USAID’s Land and Resource Governance Division discusses a patrnership with agroforestry firm Green Resources that helped it responsibly divest its land-use rights back to local communities
- A just transition for communities: can wind and solar projects turn human rights lessons into leadership? – wind and solar projects have a human rights problem. But they don’t have to...
- From conflict to public-private partnerships: securing land-use rights and livelihoods in Mozambique – 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.
- Mining and Community Development Agreements: a panacea for community justice in Uganda? – Uganda’s extractives industry is growing exponentially and attracting both foreign and domestic mining companies. But too often, mineral-rich communities fail to benefit. How can Community Development Agreements ensure affected communities both benefit from mining operations and are meaningfully engaged in agreements regulating mining activities?
- Civil society organisations are key to creating better land policies: lessons from Zambia – Jesinta Kunda from the Zambia Land Alliance describes how civil society organisations were key to improving Zambia’s first ever National Lands policy.
About the ALIGN project
The ALIGN project (Advancing Land-based Investment Governance) is a partnership between the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, IIED and Namati. ALIGN supports governments, civil society, local communities and other relevant actors in strengthening the governance of land-based investments – from agriculture to infrastructure, extractives and manufacturing.