Land tenure should be beneficial to local communities and indigenous peoples who own and use land.
Developers are increasingly acquiring land for large-scale investments in most African countries, putting local communities' land rights at risk, participants at the regional conference on customary tenure rights in Eastern Africa have confirmed and urged for free, prior, and informed consent of local communities.
Several cases of large-scale land acquisition for conservation and development purposes have been noted in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and DRC, to name a few, with farmers, pastoralists, local communities, and indigenous peoples suffering the most.
Large-scale investments are a threat to local communities and indigenous peoples. In cases such as the evictions in Kenya and Tanzania, in the Ogiek and Loliondo communities, civil society organizations should focus on building sustainable connections and reaching a consensus between these groups and the government. This strategy could aid in the reduction of conflicts caused by inequalities in land ownership systems, while also promoting the integration of sustainable livelihood, biodiversity conservation, secure resource tenure, and responsible land use.
According to Milimo et al., 2011, the majority of studies find rather negative impacts from large-scale land acquisitions, such as the loss of access to land, increasing land scarcity, and adverse environmental effects. They further argue that collaborative and inclusive engagements with local communities could provide an important foundation for sustaining resilient community livelihood.
The collaborative and inclusive technique is a bottom-up buildup that allows local communities to share their indigenous expertise and have their opinions heard in customary systems and land governance structure reforms to capture tenure regimes for the local communities.
Discussions about equity and the correct valuation of communal land in the context of investments should also be prioritized. How frequently do governments and developers properly value communal land? Mechanisms for calculating land leases and community equity contributions to these investments should also be disclosed for local communities to benefit from the investment's return.
ILC Africa has been a core convener in supporting interaction and collaboration among local communities in its network through organizing regional initiatives and providing platforms for engagement with key donors and partners. Additionally, the coalition promotes knowledge sharing and learning among these local communities. The recent ILC Africa learning exchange and conference on customary tenure rights highlighted the significance of pastoralism and its contribution to conservation and restoration efforts, rangeland management, and its often-overlooked role in the climate agenda.
Pastoral communities practice various forms of pastoralism on 70% of total land in Kenya and 50% of total land in Tanzania, accounting for more than half of total land occupation in both countries. Furthermore, Africa is home to more than half of the world's pastoral population, with over 22 million Africans, out of Africa's 1.460 billion people, relying on some form of pastoral activity for a living. As a result, the value of pastoralism is undoubtedly enormous.
Pastoralists have an important role in ecosystem protection and should be involved in climate mitigation measures to share their knowledge and ideas. It is critical for governments and developers to work with pastoralists rather than make decisions on their behalf. What is discussed in the absence of pastoralists is not for pastoralists.