Dr. Carolien Jacobs & Bernardo Almeida, Land and climate change: Rights and environmental displacement in Mozambique, Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Society, Leiden, The Netherlands, 2020
Using the aftermath of Cyclone Idai in Mozambique as a case study, this socio-legal research report aims to provide a better understanding of how the dynamics of environmental displacement impact land rights and conflict, and the role of international and national legal frameworks in addressing land-related problems caused by this displacement.
Mozambique is a country prone to natural disasters such as floods and cyclones – risks which are increasing with climate change. Resettlement is the major solution undertaken by the government to reduce the number of people living in high-risk areas. But how does resettlement take place? Are people satisfied with their new places of living? Are they compensated for their loss of property and livelihoods? And what about the people who were already using the land allocated for resettlement?
This report, based on both a desk study and empirical research in Mozambique, discusses these questions and shows the realities on the ground. The authors argue that:
- Gaps in legal protection frameworks should be addressed, especially in relation to expropriation processes;
- People’s longer-term needs in displacement should be addressed to ensure that resettlement is a durable solution;
- Collaboration between humanitarian and development actors, as well as considerable resources, are required to address these needs; and
- Close attention should be paid to relations between old and new settlers at resettlement sites to avoid tensions.
Dr. Carolien Jacobs, an LDRN member, is Assistant Professor at the Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Society at Leiden Law School, an LDRN partner institution. Bernardo Almeida is a PhD candidate at the Van Vollenhoven Institute.
The report is available on the Leiden University website.