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Library Protecting community lands and resources

Protecting community lands and resources

Protecting community lands and resources
Evidence from Uganda

In northern Uganda, common grazing lands are central to village life. While nominally used for grazing livestock, communities also depend on their grazing lands to collect basic household necessities such as fuel, water, food, building materials for their homes, and traditional medicines. Yet growing population density, increasing land scarcity, weak rule of law, and the 1998 Land Act’s legalization of a land market have created a situation of intense competition for land in northern Uganda. The growing land scarcity has contributed to higher rates of land grabbing, boundary encroachments onto neighbours’ lands, intra- and inter-family land disputes, and rampant appropriation of common lands. As a result of these trends, there is a high rate of tenure insecurity in northern Uganda, a prevalence of intra-community land conflict, and a rapid loss of the common grazing lands that community members rely upon for their subsistence and survival. To understand how to best address these trends, the Land and Equity Movement in Uganda (LEMU) and the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) set out to investigate how best to support communities to successfully follow legal procedures to formally document and protect their customary land claims. This effort, the Community Land Protection Initiative, was carried out in Oyam District in northern Uganda from 2009 to 2011.

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