Land Observatories (LOs) monitor how large-scale land deals impact the environment, culture, and traditional ways of life of local and indigenous communities.
They try to understand how local, regional, national and transnational land transactions in agriculture, forestry, mining, ranching, and livestock keeping impact livelihoods.
LOs facilitate inclusive participation of local partners in the process of data collection, validation and mapping. LOs equally help local communities to use data to advocate for their rights and negotiate better access to their natural resources.
Community Assistance In Development (COMAID) initiated the creation of Regional Land Observatories (RLOs) in Cameroon to monitor land acquisitions and it disrupts the natural environment, and the livelihoods of local and indigenous communities.
The first Regional Observatory was created in the North West region in 2013, called the North West Land Observatory (NWLO).
The experience of NWLO was shared with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in three other regions which resulted in the creation of the South West Land Observatory, the South Land Observatory and recently the Littoral land Observatory. This story paper discusses their work.