customary land rights
Customary land rights refer to the enjoyment of some use of land that arises through customary, unwritten practice rather than through written codified law.
This year's Goldman Environmental Prize winner says the battle for land rights in Liberia is just getting underway. Alfred Brownell is the recipient of the 2019 Goldman Environmental Prize and founder of Green Advocates an NGO and academic at Northeastern University School of Law
Fred Nelson is executive director of Maliasili and Michael Taylor is director of International Land Coalition
Land rights have finally been invited to the party - sitting at the intersection of some of the world’s most urgent development, environmental, and human rights priorities.
African governments should recognise customary rights to water for millions of small farmers who have been sidelined or "criminalised" by permit systems created during the colonial era, said a report published on Monday.
Restrictive permit systems in Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe have left more than 100 million people without access to enough water, according to the report by the Sri Lanka-based International Water Management Institute (IWMI).
Those countries should "decolonise statutory water law through a hybrid approach", according to the report.
There is no doubt that land use and reforms are at the heart of Kenya’s political and economic future stability. In Kenya in particular, land has a central position in Kenya’s social, economic and political history. An estimated 75% of the country’s population depends on land for their livelihoods, making the ownership, management and control of the resource of great importance. Land is an enabler to support manufacturing, access to affordable and decent housing, universal health care, food security and nutrition.
On September 19, Liberian President George Manneh Weah signed into law the Land Rights Bill (LRB), a landmark piece of legislation that recognizes the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities to their customary lands and gives customary land the same standing as private land in Liberia.
The world would be a pretty dull and hungry place if it weren’t for Indigenous Peoples and local communities.
Indigenous Peoples and local communities play a central role in feeding the world. They look after much of the world’s biodiversity, with at least 80% of planet’s biodiversity found in Indigenous territories and waters. And they have an incredible track record of protecting the climate by preventing deforestation and properly managing pasturelands.
BERTA CÁCERES, ASSASSINATED in her home in March 2016, was just one of hundreds of Latin American environmental activists attacked in recent years. At least 577 environmental human rights defenders (EHRDs) were killed in Latin America between 2010 and 2015 – more than in any other region. In addition to violence, EHRDs suffer legal threats and harassment, severely impeding their work. Before Cáceres' murder, she faced trumped-up charges due to her opposition to hydroelectric dams on her indigenous community's territory.
Land conflicts can be fatal for burgeoning agribusiness or other enterprises located in rural regions, but many companies have limited knowledge of how to anticipate and evaluate land-related risk. This is particularly true for land held under collective arrangements by Indigenous peoples or other communities, which is seldom formally documented.
Malcolm Childress visited Honduras in April as part of a fact-finding and speaking delegation sponsored by the US State Department.
On the northern coast of Honduras, palm forests give way to white sands, blue seas and one of the world’s most spectacular coral reefs. But, in a story that will be familiar to observers of land rights worldwide, that beauty has brought developers eager to build, and conflict around the ownership of land occupied and claimed by longstanding Garifuna communities.