Land expropriation – The hidden danger of climate change response in Mozambique | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
December 2022
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This paper sets out why land expropriation is a hidden danger of the response to climate change; a danger that is not adequately captured in legislation and that risks disproportionately affecting the poor. Measures to mitigate the risks and impacts of climate change are often dependent on states’ access to land. The legal mechanism through which states can obtain rights over land is expropriation, but a fair expropriation process depends on a number of structural conditions that are (partly or completely) lacking in many countries: effective recognition of people’s land rights; a legally detailed expropriation process and adequate administrative capacity to implement it; and respect for the rule of law and access to justice for the affected populations. Climate change exacerbates the problems that many states have with their expropriation processes: it brings new and more complex questions about the limits of expropriation; provokes more urgent expropriations; and disproportionately impacts the poorest people. Based on legal analysis and empirical research, this paper looks into the case of Mozambique in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai to show how issues related with expropriation are a hidden danger for many Mozambicans, but also for citizens of other countries in similar situations.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Bernardo Almeida a,

Carolien Jacobs b


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