Discover hidden stories and unheard voices on land governance issues from around the world. This is where the Land Portal community shares activities, experiences, challenges and successes.
As a child, Saturdays meant two things for Rhonda: trash and pizza. Her mother ardently believed in being ‘a good member of her community’ and was committed to teaching her children the same. “She’d wake us up Saturday mornings and say, ‘Come on! Let’s go pick up the trash! We’d say, ‘Booo!’ And then she’d say, ‘Well, I’m going to take you out for pizza after.’ And we’d say, ‘Yay!’” recalls Rhonda with a laugh.
It was good land. Before the company’s arrival in 2011, the people of Ngovokpahun village had used it to grow cocoa and other cash crops to help them pay for their children’s education. But when Italian Agriculture offered to build them a school, health center, and roads, provide them with employment, and pay rent, leasing out the land seemed like the wiser option. The company drafted the agreement and the landowners signed.
No one asked them. No one even informed them. The first indicator the villagers had that something was happening in the Ar Yel Mountains was the arrival of men in construction hats.
At the beginning the disturbance was minimal; it was only one or two companies undertaking site explorations and tests. But by 2014, eight companies were “tearing the mountains apart” in their quest for manganese dioxide. That, said the villagers, was when the problems really began.
Many expert vocabularies have emerged from specific and limited scientific fields such as medicine and botany. They have aimed to achieve precise understanding between experts in these fields based on exact definitions of the terms used and originally, in their early examples, through the widespread use of Arabic or Latin as international scientific languages.
In recent years, the on-line discovery and exchange of information has become ever more pronounced. Digitisation has also led to an explosion in the volume of available material. Making this work for land governance and ensuring that new inequalities or exclusions are not unintended outcomes of the process are also key aims of the Land Portal.
In a recent episode of the podcast Uncharted Ground, host Jonathan Levine spoke with Namati about building a global environmental justice movement. You can find it on any major podcast platform or listen to the episode (and access the full transcript) on Stanford Social Innovation Review's website. A recap of the episode, written by SSIR, is below.
- The climate crisis cannot be solved without ending tropical deforestation, which increased by 12% between 2019 and 2020.
- A jurisdictional approach to forest protection enables governments to drive systemic change at a national level while supporting local and private efforts.
- Here are five key reasons why this approach should be central to corporate climate strategies.
The Land Rights Law (LRL), enacted on the 23rd of August 2018, was an impressive feat. It recognizes the land rights of all Liberians, especially rural communities who have historically been subject to mere user rights on their ancestral lands. The LRL protects the rights of communities to their claimed customary areas as their lawful property – “with or without deed”. This provision places an estimated 70% or more of the country under customary ownership.
What is the role of land law in natural disasters? Are current global systems of land law fit-for-purpose as we experience escalating rates of climate disruption?
WHY REJECT CUSTOMARY LAND PRIVATISATION
Most of the world’s land is still stewarded by communities under customary systems. Billions of people rely on communally managed farmland, pasture, forests and savannahs for their livelihoods.
This collective management of resources is viewed in the colonial or capitalist economic model as an obstacle to individual wealth creation and private profit.
Our food systems are in urgent need of transformation, as humanity faces one of our biggest challenges yet; feeding a future population of 10 billion people with safe and nutritious food while keeping a healthy planet. Our food system has the power to tip the scales and transform the future of our planet and humankind.