Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty, Washington DC, March 23-27 2015

May 2015
Chris Tanner (Mokoro Newsletter 71)

Short summary of an event with over 1000 participants and nearly 550 papers. Presented a paper with former FAO colleagues in Mozambique on community level legal empowerment programme to encourage local people to more effectively defend their rights under the progressive 1997 Land Law. One of four papers on legal empowerment which presented clear endorsement of the rights-based and legal empowerment methodology now being used in many parts of the world to arm citizens with the basic knowledge and legal support to engage far more proactively with governments and private sector interests who want to use their land. Clear from the conference agenda that while many countries have new laws that recognise local rights, deeply rooted power relations allow these laws to be over-ridden. Left feeling convinced that the technical side of the land fraternity has little real idea of realities on the ground. Has a link to the conference papers.