The International Development Law Organization (IDLO) and the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) assessed the legal frameworks for major resource sectors in Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique to analyze whether and to what extent they enable sustainable investments. Relevant international standards suggest that sustainable investments integrate socioeconomic and environmental concerns, bound together by the rule of law. This calls for landscapes governance, which considers all stakeholders, interests and competing resource uses, under which the traditional model of investment decisions based solely on economic goals is broadened considerably to place communities and environmental concerns at the very heart of the process.
These countries’ national development plans and their crosscutting laws on land and the environment incorporate principles of sustainable development. Their sector-specific laws governing forestry, agriculture, mining and energy reflect these principles to varying degrees. Relying significantly on these sectors, these countries have witnessed consistent GDP growth in recent years. Despite their resource wealth and increased investments, poverty and resource degradation persist. Rural populations remain disproportionately affected, with limited access to basic services and increased vulnerability to the impacts of deforestation and climate change.
Here we outline key insights on four common issues identified by the legal assessments that can hinder or enable sustainable landuse investments. These consist of investment incentives, security of customary land tenure, enforcement of socioeconomic and environmental safeguards, and public awareness and participation. These issues also present rule of law opportunities to support landscapes
governance aimed at empowering communities, alleviating poverty and contributing to sustainable development.
Authors and Publishers
The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) is a non-profit, scientific facility that conducts research on the most pressing challenges of forest and landscapes management around the world. With our global, multidisciplinary approach, we aim to improve human well-being, protect the environment, and increase equity. To do so, we help policymakers, practitioners and communities make decisions based on solid science about how they use and manage their forests and landscapes.