We are delighted to present the key moments from the GLTN Country Learning Exchange and the Partners Meeting, two momentous events that took place from 1st to 4th May 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya. Organized by the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN), an alliance of more than 85 global land actors and stakeholders devoted to promoting secure land rights, these events successfully convened stakeholders from diverse geographical regions in the world to collectively influence the future trajectory of land governance.
The Country Learning Exchange, held on the 1st of May at Trademark Hotel, set the stage for fruitful discussions on the implementation of GLTN Phase 3 and the future of country work beyond 2023.
Representatives from eight countries, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Namibia, Nepal, Palestine, Philippines, Uganda, and Zambia, presented their experiences on implementing GLTN tools. The sessions provided an opportunity for participants to learn from one another, share successes, and reflect on lessons learned.
Throughout the exchange, common themes emerged. Community land registration was a prevalent topic, with countries adopting a bottom-up approach and integrating local methods into national registration systems. The importance of integrating land use and tenure for climate change mitigation was also emphasized. The discussions highlighted the significance of community involvement, particularly in mobilization, sensitization, and the inclusion of women and youth in land interventions.
The GLTN 9th Partners Meeting was held 2nd to 4th May 2023. Every two years, GLTN organizes a Partners’ Meeting to provide a forum for partners to meet, assess the network’s achievements, and address emerging land governance challenges while strategically planning for the coming two years. The main theme of the meeting was “Securing land tenure for all in a rapidly changing world.” The meeting brought together government officials, international organizations, civil society representatives and experts in the field of land governance. With participants traveling from far and wide, the event became a unique platform for knowledge-sharing, collaboration, and the pursuit of advancing land tenure security.
The meeting agenda was thoughtfully crafted to address key challenges and opportunities in land governance. Interactive sessions, presentations, and workshops explored themes such as land rights for marginalized communities, gender equality in land tenure, spatial planning, and technological advancements in land administration. Partners had the opportunity to showcase their innovative tools, approaches, and research findings that could drive improvements in land governance worldwide.
In addition, an insightful site visit to the Mabatini settlement located within the Mathare settlement was organized on the 3rd of May. This visit was part of the collaborative efforts between Pamoja Trust, a local organization dedicated to promoting access to land, shelter, and basic services for the Urban Poor and GLTN. The purpose of the field visit was to provide partners with an opportunity to engage directly with the Mabatini community and gain a deeper understanding of the project’s implementation dynamics. The project, titled “Promoting Improvement of Tenure Security in Select Urban Informal Settlements through the Pilot Registration of Community Land Rights,” targeted four informal settlements in Nairobi and Mombasa counties, with Mabatini being one of them.
During the visit, participants took a walk around the settlement to witness its dynamics firsthand. They also engaged in an information-sharing session with the Community Land Management Committee, where they delved into the land issues faced by the community, the progress made in their journey towards tenure regularization, and the challenges encountered during the pursuit of community land registration. The community’s use of the Social Tenure Domain Model (STDM) to capture socio-demographic and economic information of its members and develop a community land register was also showcased and discussed. The Mabatini site visit provided valuable insights into the real-life application of land governance initiatives and allowed partners to witness the impact of their collaborative efforts on the ground. It served as a reminder of the importance of community engagement, capacity building, and the use of innovative tools in achieving secure land rights and inclusive development.
The GLTN Country Learning Exchange, the Partners Meeting, and the site visit to Mabatini collectively represented a significant step forward in advancing land governance practices. The power of collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and on-the-ground engagement in driving positive change was well demonstrated. The experiences and lessons learned from these events will undoubtedly contribute to shaping the future of land governance efforts, both within the GLTN network and beyond.
As the meeting concluded on the 4th of May, participants left with a renewed sense of purpose and determination. The connections made, ideas shared, and commitments undertaken during the event would continue to shape land governance efforts worldwide. The GLTN 9th Partners Meeting not only emphasized the significance of collaboration and knowledge-sharing but also reaffirmed the collective dedication towards achieving secure land rights for all.