This video from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) profiles a project relating to secure access to land and resource rights in Mozambique. The 19 minute film is narrated mostly in Portuguese with English subtitles.
The documentary focuses on efforts to empower members of rural communities to better understand and exercise their property rights, and promote more gender equitable land and resource governance systems. The project has provided legal training on land matters to over 400 paralegals, who play an important role in informing community members – especially women and other vulnerable populations – about their legal rights and assisting in conflict resolution. According to the project’s Chief Technical Advisor, Marianna Bicchieri, FAO’s project “seeks to promote legal education at a community level so that women can exercise and ensure their rights to land and natural resources, especially in the context of the AIDS pandemic.”
Mozambique is a mostly rural country; many residents are either unaware of their land rights or lack the means to assert those rights effectively. While formal law permits women to independently register land and jointly own marital assets, the reality is that few women have assets in their names. Women who lack secure property rights and who depend primarily on relationships with men for access to land and other natural resources are extremely vulnerable.
In addition to FAO, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is also working to establish more efficient and secure access to land and resources in Mozambique. MCC’s Land Tenure Services Project seeks to improve the country’s land policy framework, build institutional capacity in land-related services, and improve access to land by increasing education and awareness of land rights.
Mozambique also announced a cooperation framework to support the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in September 2012. The New Alliance is “a commitment by G8 members, African countries, and private sector partners to achieve sustained and inclusive agricultural growth to lift 50 million people out of poverty over the next 10 years.”
Click here for more information from USAID on Mozambique.