“We, the poor.” This is how Francisco Chicompa introduces the peasant families who live in Napai II, a village in the district of Mecuburi, Nampula province in Mozambique. The label stuck like glue: poor is what they were called, and so poor is what they were. Despite this, the land in the region has provided food for him, his wife and his eleven children. The land has provided money to buy clothes and sent the children to school. The land has held memories of his ancestors, which he was of course obliged to pass on, intact, to future generations.
In Zimbabwe, Transparency International has been working extensively on land governance issues, and what has emerged is that women are often coerced to engage in sexual acts with a male person in authority in order to have access to land. Land is a form of property and a source of livelihood for most people in Zimbabwe. Both men and women find themselves one way or another being coerced to engage in corruption, mostly bribery to own a piece of land both in the urban and rural/communal areas. However, women are often subjected to sextortion in the quest to own land.
Sextortion: referring to a form of blackmail in which sexual information or images are used to extort sexual favors from the victim. One of the biggest challenges for those working in the land and natural resources sector, has been drawing attention to the fact that this happens in our sector, too and most importantly, that something needs to be done about it.
Twenty years ago, I learned a valuable lesson about the power of land and inheritance rights to affirm the status and contributions of women. My father-in-law, then 80 years old, was dividing his land to his children. In doing so, he made a decision that was unusual for a man in Kenya– he gave a piece of land to me, his daughter-in-law. He had come to believe that it was only just to affirm the role that women play in contributing to the household and caring for aging parents.
Online mapping platform MapHubs has recently launched a new service, MapHubs Forest, which combines automated forest change visualization and alerts with tools for making maps online, analyzing spatial data, producing reports and storing information in a secure online portal.
In the midst of last week's High Level Political Forum (HLPF), we took a few moments out and a few steps away from the conference rooms, to speak with women's land rights defender Ms. Joan Carling. Having recently fallen victim to unfounded terrorist accusations, along with several of her colleague from the Philippines, her message is loud and clear. Women such as herself, most particularly indigenous women, will continue to ensure that they are heard.
BANGKOK - In a rare rebuke of another government agency, India's Tribal Affairs Ministry has sent a letter to the forest ministry warning that its proposed policy would lead to the "privatisation" of forests and undermine indigenous rights.
MUMBAI - Women in villages who have to walk miles each day to fetch water are bearing the brunt of India's worst water crisis in history, with activists warning of serious impacts on their health and well-being.
BOGOTA - Nearly four land and environmental activists were killed each week last year, murdered for opposing large-scale agriculture and mining projects in the deadliest year on record, a campaign group said on Tuesday.
This week’s High Level Political Forum, has been an almost dizzying extravaganza, featuring hundreds of side events and welcoming delegates from countries around the world. Taking place at UN Headquarters in New York City, the Forum’s participants have thus far delved into some of the world’s most complex ecological, economic and social problems. From peace and security, to human rights and development, the High Level Political Forum has been covering it all.