Land rights and climate-induced displacement: the case of Mozambique
Among countries that are prone to natural disasters, many are developing countries. In many of these countries, natural disasters have become more frequent and more vehement in recent decades due to climate change. In March 2019, cyclone Idai hit central Mozambique with unprecedented strength, affecting the lives of 1.8 million people and displacing thousands. Events such as this easily lead to land-related conflict, both in the areas directly affected by the storm, and in the locations where displaced victims seek shelter, or where they are temporary or permanently resettled. The questions this raises will become ever more pertinent in light of ongoing climate change: How do people address land-related problems caused by environmental displacement, once the emergency aid organizations have left? What role do state institutions and legislation play in addressing these problems, and can their performance be improved? How do they deal with customary systems? And can a legal framework embrace a human rights-based approach to environmental displacement? This roundtable discussion, funded by the Knowledge Management Fund, focuses on the effects of environmental displacement on land rights and conflict, and the role of the legal framework in addressing these land-related problems. We will refer to the aftermath of cyclone Idai in Mozambique as a case study.
The meeting will kick-off with short introductions by experts in the field of land rights and climate change. They will each introduce their own views on how best to address pressing issues in the future. After this, an interactive group discussion will follow to gather the point of view of the larger audience. The meeting intends to bring together people from different disciplines, who are working in different sectors and to promote dialogue between humanitarians, land right specialists, academics and government officials, local and international NGO workers.