Scaling Community Land Rights Certification in Municipal Areas of Mozambique: the launch of a new LAND-at-scale project | Land Portal

Terra Firma and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) are pleased to announce the launch of a new LAND-at-scale project: Scaling Community Land Rights Certification in Municipal Areas of Mozambique. The project started implementation this month (February 2024) in the rural hinterlands of four municipalities in Manica, Sofala and Zambezia provinces.

Municipalities form a crucial component of the Mozambican decentralized government system. Established to promote local governance and enhance citizen participation, the municipalities have played a pivotal role in shaping the socio-economic landscape of Mozambique. Even though municipalities are essentially urban areas, large rural areas including smallholdings that involve agriculture are included within their boundaries. Therefore, the relations between people and land in these areas is all the more dynamic. Currently, land data processing and management processes are largely paper-based, and archives analogue rather than digital.

The project will promote the mapping and registering of community, household and individual land-use rights, and the deployment of a simple and robust online cadastral system to allow community institutions and the relevant municipal authorities to maintain and consult these records. The project will support LTR through the deployment of an innovative and participatory process that enables community groups themselves to legally document the rights they have acquired through their good faith occupation and/or customary occupation and use of land. The project will support local land use planning processes, based on land occupation and household vulnerability patterns, to increase resilience in the face of climate change and environmental shocks.

The intended impact of these activities is to create the conditions for more climate resilient and sustainable use of land and natural resources, improving the capacity of municipal governments to plan land use and laying the basis for improved household food security and diversified, strengthened livelihoods in the target areas.

Terra Firma has been working on customary and formal land administration issues in Mozambique for the last 20 years. Based on these experiences, various municipalities have actively reached out to Terra Firma to work with them on their LTR approach and process, recognizing the increasing urgency of addressing the complicated relationships with land in their contexts. “It is important that municipalities themselves are recognizing the urgency of addressing the dynamic land markets and the need to address this,”  says Simon Norfolk, executive director of Terra Firma. “With our approach and the strong focus on capacity building, we can help ensure the municipalities can sustainably implement their mandate and keep up an affordable and accessible land administration system”.

The project contributes to a wider objective from the Government of the Netherlands in Mozambique to increase food security in the country. “With any support from the Netherlands, there is a strong focus on sustainable approaches that promote durable solutions for (food) systems change,” says Astrid Broekaart, program coordinator for LAND-at-scale. “It will be interesting to learn from the experience of this project, using Open Source software and maps to facilitate the affordability and durability of maintaining land administration systems.”

The project will run up until December 2026 with a budget of 740,000 Euros. The LAND-at-scale program is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. To stay updated on this LAND-at-scale project and others, please sign up for our quarterly newsletter.

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