The Parliament of South Africa has agreed to amend the Constitution of the country in order to make it explicit that it is possible to expropriate land without paying compensation in order to further land reforms. The supporters of this move - the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) – argue that this is necessary to speed up land reforms in order to overcome the continuing extreme and still largely racially defined inequalities in land ownership.
I write this blog as our project team embarks on a fifth year of work on women’s land tenure security (WOLTS) with pastoral communities in mining-affected areas of Mongolia and Tanzania. Just before Christmas 2019, we were in Mundarara village in northern Tanzania. Exceptionally heavy rains made getting around much more challenging than usual. Locals travelling on foot had to make wide detours to avoid getting bogged down in waterlogged grazing land, and it took everyone much longer to get to the village primary school for our long-planned training day.
Will skyscrapers one day represent the prosperity that every Angolan citizen has dreamed about? Perhaps.
From the Middle East to North America, high-rise buildings and skyscrapers are cropping up as a symbol of wealth and prosperity in global cities. Modern Africa has experienced unprecedented urban growth and embraced zoning regulations and reforms that incentivize high-density growth and mixed-use buildings in major metropolitan areas.
During my recent trip to Luanda, the capital of Angola, the first thing that caught my attention was the city’s skyline.
Next week the Conference on Land Policy in Africa - Winning the Fight against Corruption in the Land Sector: Sustainable Pathway for Africa’s Transformation, will take place in Abidjan. The African Union recognises that corruption is a key factor hampering efforts at promoting governance, socio-economic transformation, peace and security, and the enjoyment of human rights in the Member States.
What the US faces on its southern border is not a security problem, but a humanitarian crisis, and punishing attempts at deterrence cannot resolve it. Enabling people to stay where they are requires, first and foremost, strengthening their right to be there.
The climate crisis will reshape our relationships to land around the world. Journalist David Wallace-Wells warns that, once the planet warms 2°C above preindustrial levels — the target set by the Paris Agreement — “major cities in the equatorial band of the planet will become unlivable,” and 400 million more people will suffer from regional water scarcity.
In the climate and development arenas, the most current alarm being sounded is for rights –securing the land rights and freedoms of Indigenous peoples, local communities and the marginalized members therein. How can these custodians of a quarter of the world’s terrestrial surface be expected to care for their traditional lands if the lands don’t, in fact, belong to them? Or, worse, if they’re criminalized and endangered for doing so?
In the past decade, significant international attention focused on “land grabs” in developing countries by companies and others hungry for land to grow food and procure resources for the world’s growing population.
The data ecosystem is an extremely vast and cluttered space. What data exist? What data is up to date? What data is reliable? Who owns the data? Can I use the data without inflicting harm? Who are the data subjects? Many people across numerous sectors struggle with such questions and more on a daily basis. The land governance sector in India is no different. But somehow, it seems the land data ecosystem in India is more complex and controversial.
Conservation, said Aldo Leopold, is harmony between (wo)men and land. Land should justifiably figure not only into the conservation, but also in development debates, policy and discourses. Missing land rights and land tenure security can be costly for states, communities as well as local and global development.