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Consortium Launches Study to Help Revise Land Law

Consortium Launches Study to Help Revise Land Law

A consortium made up of five civil society organizations – the Observatório do Meio Rural (OMR), Centro Terra Viva (CTV), Justiça Ambiental (JA), União Nacional de Camponeses (UNAC) and Alternativa – last week launched a study called “Guidelines for an inclusive and sustainable political-legal framework on land: redistributive, pro-poor and transformative policies”.

The study aims to provide input to legislators for the proposed elaboration and revision of the Land Law, as well as increasing the degree of effectiveness of its implementation within the scope of guaranteeing and sustaining the administration of the sector in Mozambique.

UNAC representative Isidro Macarringue listed the constraints and challenges in land management in Mozambique enumerated by the study. In addition to the constraints, Macarringue spoke of proposals for guidelines towards an inclusive and sustainable land policy capable of guaranteeing secure land tenure.

The representative of the Observatório do Meio Rural (OMR), Natacha Bruna, highlighted the constraints that the land sector faces, including those that derive from deviation or non-application of the law, gaps or ambiguities in the calculation of fair compensation rates and the lack of supervision of compliance with the plan for the exploitation of natural resources.

“There is a tendency to favour the interests of investors to the detriment of local interests. There is also a lot of imbalance in the distribution of benefits that these land-based projects imply and this will be a big problem in the current model of rural development,” Bruna said.

Bruna described a range of problems in the land sector which have led to the expropriation of rights and forced displacement of populations, adding that any solution involves the implementation of policies approved in 1995 and the introduction of laws adjusted to the land sector in Mozambique.

After presenting the study, the consortium of five civil society organizations was asked if the solution to the problems that the land sector is currently facing involved revising the legislation due to the fact that the Mozambican state does not currently comply with the law, but the speakers confined themselves to addressing the solutions proposed by the study.

“The study proposes that community consultations are binding and proposes a household sample to assess whether in fact the total number of people consulted is representative in the community,” the speaker highlighted, going on to mention the need to create mechanisms to be carried out within the scope of the social preparation of the communities to be consulted, especially in the aspect referring to the time that precedes the course of a public consultation.

As for non-compliance with land legislation, the study claims that it is necessary to create an autonomous institution to supervise the National Land Directorate, since this entity not only issues authorization documents for the occupation of plots and simultaneously monitors compliance, giving ample scope for constant violations of legislation and civil rights.

In turn, the representative of the Commission for the Review of the National Land Policy praised the study and recognized that it is of great relevance in that it will contribute to a sustainable and inclusive land law.

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The study was launched to help solve gaps identified in the legislation in the context of the review of the political-legal land framework being conducted by the National Land Policy Review Commission (CRPNT).



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