Community Land Initiative: Inaugural Call for Participants (2017-18)


This opportunity is for ILC Members only. Participation will be funded and organisations will be funded to support two to three communities to actively protect community land. At the end, participants will receive a certificate.

Demand for recognition and protection of indigenous and community land rights is at an all-time high. Around the world, ILC members are mobilizing to help communities claim and defend their customary land rights. To build on and advance these efforts, the International Land Coalition (ILC), with Namati and the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) are thrilled to launch the Community Land Protection Learning Initiative and invite applications from ILC members to become part of the first group of peer-learners.


The Initiative’s goals are to:

  • Equip ILC members with the practical skills to support communities to document and protect their indigenous and customary lands while strengthening local land governance, natural resource management, and the land rights of women and marginalized groups;
  • Increase the number of organisations working to assist communities to proactively protect their lands and resources, especially in the face of increasing commercial pressure on land; and
  • Build a community of practice to facilitate learning between community land rights advocates.

Over the course of a year (2017-18), participants will work together to learn how to support communities to:

  • Create and adopt strong by-laws that ensure democratic governance; diverse, downwardly accountable leadership; and improved stewardship of lands and resources;
  • Establish strong protections for the land rights of women and other marginalized groups;
  • Harmonize the boundaries of their lands with their neighbors, then map, zone and document their lands as owned or used by the community as a whole;
  • Formally register their land claims, if possible within their nation’s legal framework;
  • Create a vision for their community’s future prosperity, establish systems for deciding whether (or not) to share community land with potential investors, and learn how to negotiate fair, beneficial contracts that promote community interests and economic development.

The Initiative will fund each participating organisation to support two to three communities to actively protect community land. The communities will be better equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary for equitable, empowered engagement with private sector actors – to scrutinize contracts, negotiate partnerships or hold investors  to account.

The Community Land Initiative  will include:

  1. Pre-workshop engagement, during which time the co-conveners will speak individually with each participating organization. Participants will also be asked to actively prepare for the workshop.
  2. One week-long workshop in January 2018.  Each participating organisation will send two representatives to the workshop, at which participants will: 1) share community land protection strategies; 2) create a community land protection pilot project, to be implemented over the course of the Initiative;   3) develop a learning plan to build skills for community land protection program management and facilitation within their organisations; and 4) plan for effective monitoring and evaluation of the impacts of their community land protection efforts.
  3. Applied learning through implementation of community land protection projects in 2-3 communities.
  4. Monthly online workshops that explore the challenges and opportunities of every aspect of the community land protection process; allowing participants to innovate solutions on difficulties faced and share lessons learned.
  5. Participation in an online discussion platform to foster co-learning among participants (format and requirements to be agreed upon by participants). “Teaching it forward”: upon completion of the year-long program, participants will train at least two other ILC members in their region on community land protection strategies.

The Community Land Initiative is part of the commitment of ILC and its members to the Global Call to Action to secure all Indigenous and community land rights everywhere. The Global Call to Action aims to engage and mobilize communities, organizations, governments, and individuals worldwide to double the global area of land legally recognized as owned or controlled by Indigenous Peoples and local communities by 2020.

Submit your application to by 1 October.