Global warming is one of the greatest challenges humanity has ever faced. The reduction of the emission of greenhouse gas by cutting back consumption, particularly in high-income countries, and the transition from fossil fuels as energy sources to renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power are essential to the survival of billions of people. However, this requires the cooperation of billions of businesses and people who, for example, drive cars that run on petrol or heat their buildings with gas or oil.
Land tenure—the formal and informal relationship individuals and groups form with land—effectively determines who uses what land under which conditions. Tenure security is important to promote rural resilience and climate change adaptation, build endowments of assets, and provide adequate housing. But land tenure security is not static.
By Allan Cain, Development Workshop Angola
* This article was originally published as part of the online discussion on customary law in Southern Africa
This session was inspired by the Idai and Kenneth cyclones that hit Mozambique in 2019, as well as military instability in the north of the country, resulting in massive displacements. In this session, presenters discussed the consequences of and prospects for resettlement legislation and procedures in Mozambique in light of increased climate change vulnerability, focusing on impacts on livelihoods and relations with host communities.
This roundtable session considered how the ‘practice’ of crisis signals an abrupt temporal ‘rupture’ and how this makes it possible to obscure underlying structures of power, particularly in the context of the relation between land and climate. In particular, it focused asked participants to focus on two questions: 1) within your research, how do you see the politics of crisis framing at work and 2) How might a frame of crisis contribute to reinforcing uneven /exploitative relations.
A really important report from the International Land Coalition and Oxfam is just out called ‘Uneven Ground: Land Inequality at the Heart of Unequal Societies’, along with 17 supporting papers. Through new analysis it shows that land inequality is even larger than previously thought, and that this has dramatic effects on poor people’s livelihoods, particularly those of women and young people.
The debate about compensation of former white farmers in Zimbabwe continues to rage. The compensation agreement signed in July agreed a total amount of US$3.5 billion to pay for ‘improvements’ to the land that was expropriated. After 20 years of discussion, this was a major step forward. However, there seem to be multiple positions on the agreement and little consensus, along with much misunderstanding. However, some things are happening, and a joint resource mobilisation committee has been established with technical support from the World Bank and others.
The data revolution – characterised by the transition to big data, open data and new digital data infrastructures  – is projected to make an astonishing 44 billion terabytes of digital data and information available by the end of 2020 . Despite this plethora of information now available to us, about 1 billion people in 140 countries still feel insecure about their land and property rights .
Leon Verstappen, who is a professor of private law at the University of Groningen and deputy judge at the Court of appeals in The Hague, has stepped down as Chair of the Land Portal Board, a position he has held since the establishment of the Land Portal Foundation in 2014. Leon recounts his engagement with the Land Portal since its inception as a project over more than a decade and its evolution up to the present day.
The fallout from COVID-19 has triggered narratives about profound changes to economic ordering. A closer look provides a more complex picture, particularly for countries in the global South.
As the world begins to reckon with the scale of COVID-19’s economic impacts, there is a growing sense that the pandemic will reconfigure the role of state and market for years to come.
The Parliament of South Africa has agreed to amend the Constitution of the country in order to make it explicit that it is possible to expropriate land without paying compensation in order to further land reforms. The supporters of this move - the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) – argue that this is necessary to speed up land reforms in order to overcome the continuing extreme and still largely racially defined inequalities in land ownership.