An encouraging story from Tanzania about how four communities regained control of their lands.
In East Africa, the commercialisation of land accelerated as part of the global land rush, dating back to the 2000s. The widespread leasing or sale of public lands to foreign companies and governments for food production, tourism, biofuels, agro-commodities, logging and mining coincided with the Africa Rising narrative of economic growth, driven – in large part – by large-scale land-based investments.
Many civil society organisations and academics questioned whether the global land rush presented a genuine development opportunity for African countries or a speculative boom driven by rising commodity prices and international investors in search of high returns. Stories of ‘land-grabbing’ received considerable press attention, but little has been written about what happened to communities impacted by land-based investments.
In this blog we tell the story of four communities’ struggle to take back control of lands acquired by the Bioshape jatropha plantation in Tanzania’s Kilwa District.
This work was conducted with the financial support of the ILC and through the NES Tanzania’s working group on land-based investments. Read the full story on IIED website.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Masalu Luhula (firstname.lastname@example.org) is an attorney and land tenure specialist at Landesa and formerly the land-based investment coordinator at Tanzania Natural Resource Forum (TNRF). He joined the first cohort of the Community Land Protection Learning Initiative, that is equipping ILC members with the practical skills to empower communities to document and protect their land rights.
Brendan Schwartz (email@example.com) is a senior researcher in the legal tools team in IIED’s Natural Resources research group, co-leading the Community Land Protection Learning Initiative.
MORE STORIES FROM TNRF
TNRF's diary: experience with the Community Land Initiative
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Learn more about the community land protection learning initiative