David walks us through the steps of community visioning, a process that helps place community goals and plans at the center of the community land protection.
David Archal is NAMATI Senior Program Officer - Community Land Protection, and he’s based in Nairobi, Kenya. He's one of many participants from the joint ILC, Namati and IIED Community Land Protection Learning Initiative. The Initiative is designed to build a supportive cross-regional community of practice that facilitates learning between community land rights advocates . It equips ILC members with the practical skills to support communities to document and protect their indigenous and customary lands while strengthening local land governance, natural resource management, and the land rights of women and members of marginalized groups.
THE COMMUNITY LAND PROTECTION LEARNING INITIATIVE IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR ILC MEMBERS TO LEARN FROM PEERS HOW TO PROTECT COMMUNITY LAND
what is community visioning?
Community members reflect on the conditions of their lands, natural resources, and socio-cultural life thirty to fifty years in the past, in the present, and thirty to fifty years in the future (if circumstances continued along the current trajectory), then envision the “desired future” they would choose to leave for their grandchildren. The community then brainstorms a work plan for how to achieve its vision; this plan then becomes the basis of their community land protection process.
why is community visioning important?
- Supports communities to recognize and reflect on how their community’s relationship to its lands and natural resources has changed over me;
- Raises awareness of increasing natural resource scarcity and the longterm consequences of unsustainable natural resource use;
- Motivates communities to undertake and complete the community land protection process;
- Empowers communities to strengthen their land governance as well as manage and use their lands and natural resources equitably and sustainably; and
- Creates a united sense of purpose and mission to work collaboratively toward shared goals.
the steps of community visioning
1) Remembering the past
Ask community members to describe what their lands, natural resources and community relations were like in the past, 50 years ago, when today’s elders were children. Ask community members to share their memories with the group. Write down what people say. Make sure to give everyone a turn to speak – elders tend to become very animated during these discussions, while young people may be prompted to share what their grandparents have told them about the past.
2) Reflecting on the present
Ask community members to consider what their lands, natural resources and community relations are like today.
3) Envisioning the likely future
Ask community members what their lands and natural resources/community relations will be like 50 years from now, for their grandchildren, if things continue as they are today. Invite participants to close their eyes to really “see” the vision in their minds.
4) Envisioning the desired future
Ask community members to close their eyes a second time, and to dream about the world they would wish for their grandchildren to have in 20 or 50 years from now. Again, allow a few minutes to think about this in silence, then ask people to share their visions. Write down everything people say on large pieces of paper.
5) Link the visioning exercise with the community land protection work
End the exercise with clear next steps, beginning with protecng community lands. Remind everyone of the steps in the community land protecon process and describe how each step will strengthen the community’s ability to achieve its vision. For example, creating clear rules for the use and management of natural resources like thatch, wood, and water will help to make sure that they are available for future generations. Support community members to brainstorm other actions that they could begin — alongside community land protection efforts — to start moving toward their vision, such as revitalizing community dance performances or planting trees.
Community Land Protecion Facilitators Guide
Namati’s Community Land Protection Facilitators Guide is a step-by-step, practical “how to” manual for grassroots advocates working to help communities protect their customary claims and rights to land and natural resources.
A chapter from the Guide that explains the Community Visioning activity, designed to build community unity and motivation to complete the community land protection process.