Issue #: 
April 12, 2010

This issue includes:





This issue of The Drum Beat features a selection of projects and resources on land ownership and land access rights, gender issues regarding access to land and land ownership, the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in land use, and participatory information access and decisionmaking in natural resource management (NRM). 



Please send additional project, evaluation, strategic thinking, and materials information on land use from a communication for development perspective at any time. Contact Deborah Heimann at








1. Land Rights Advocacy Among the Ogiek People - Kenya

The Ogiek people of Kenya were excluded in 1933 from the 42 tribal groups given settlement rights by the colonial government. Their cultural survival - linked to their land rights - has been the focus of Ogiek self-help organisations set up to increase communication and cooperation between clans and to advocate for their land rights. The advocacy efforts include a website that includes the Ogiek's history and details of their struggle for territorial recognition, as well as news updates and organisational links, as well as a participatory mapping of their ancestral territories - a process designed to retain elements of knowledge of the elders not previously recorded.

Contact: Thari Kulissa



2. Rights-Based Approaches: Exploring Issues and Opportunities for Conservation

by Jessica Campese, ed., Terry Sunderland, ed., Thomas Greiber, ed., and Gonzalo Oviedo, ed.

This 2009 document examines the links between the realisation of human rights and the conservation of natural resources and biodiversity. From the Foreword: "[E]xperience has demonstrated that exclusionary approaches to conservation can undermine ...[economic, social and cultural rights, such as the rights to health, an adequate standard of living, freedom from hunger and cultural freedom] of affected communities... and can undermine conservation objectives." This document presents rights-based approaches (RBAs) to conservation as positive ways forward, while examining the range of new challenges and questions raised. Questions include how to define RBAs in practical terms and how to determine what they mean for conservation policy and implementation. 



3. People's Law: Ideas for Resource Rights Campaigners

by Kyeretwie Opoku and Elijah Yaw Danso

This tool, created in 2005 and based on experience in the forestry sector in Ghana, aims to empower people to challenge the assumption that legal change is beyond their means. It describes ways in which natural resource campaigners can better understand and use the legal system to build confidence in their cause. The tool supports resource rights campaigners working in community mobilisation to better manage media and legal strategies. It explores ways of using communication to empower campaigners and contains guides on how to integrate legal strategies into resource rights campaigns without giving away control of the process to legal professionals whom campaigners employ. 








4. Global Center for Women's Land Rights - Global

On the International Day for Rural Women (October 15) 2009, the Rural Development Institute (RDI) launched an initiative designed to reduce hunger and poverty by securing land rights for women. The Global Center for Women's Land Rights will serve as a resource for research, create partnerships for collaborative action, and advocate for policies and laws that provide secure land rights for women and girls. Through such pursuits, the centre will create a community of practice through which policymakers, scholars, philanthropists, and multilateral institutions will share ideas, interventions, and strategies for improving women's access and rights to land. RDI's mission is to highlight the relationship between women's land rights and rural poverty - catalysing the global community to join efforts in helping meet the Millennium Development Goals to end poverty and hunger and to empower women.

Contact: Radha Friedman OR



5. Issues and Challenges of Climate Change for Women Farmers in the Caribbean: The Potential of ICTs

This 2009 paper discusses research results of a study on Caribbean women farmers' access to quality information for livelihood security in the face of a changing climate. The need for information, as stated here, is fundamental to food security and can be made possible through information and communication technology (ICT). This includes the following principles: localised information; data collection, record keeping, and transparency; and networking, cooperation, and advocacy among small farmers. The paper discusses women's farm information networks in the Caribbean and data gathered on communication, including frequency of use of cell, satellite, and land line phones; computer without and with internet; video, film, and DVD; TV or radio; e-conferences; and blog/social networking. 



6. Reclaiming Rights and Resources: Women, Poverty, and Environment

by Shalini Gidoomal

This 2007 report, published by CARE, presents 7 case studies from across Africa that focus on three types of threatened environmental resources: land, forests, and water. In each case, women share their stories of how the loss or degradation of such critical resources has adversely affected their lives and what they are doing to address these problems. In the foreword, Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai argues that women's livelihoods are directly linked to the state of the environment, and that when rural environments become unsustainable, it is women whose lives are most disrupted. She also argues that educating those who work most closely with the land - especially women - will greatly benefit the environment.







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7. Knowledge and Cultural Transmission in Kenyan Participatory Mapping [Video]

by Nigel Crawhall

This 2009 film interview of Dr. Nigel Crawhall, Director of Secretariat at the Indigenous Peoples of Africa Co-ordinating Committee (IPACC), is his explanation of the intergenerational ecological knowledge transmission in participatory 3-dimensional modelling (P3DM). Crawhall's observations on intergenerational interaction are based on a geo-referenced model that the Ogiek community of Nessuit, Kenya built of their mountain forest landscape in 2006. The purpose of the model was to record traditional territory and land use patterns, as well as memory and history from a land use and environmental perspective. Elders populated the model with their memories dating back to 1925 and reconstructed the landscape as it was at that time.



8. Community-Based Conservation: Is It More Effective, Efficient, and Sustainable? Summary of Scientific Evidence Relating to Community-based Conservation

by Michael A. Rechlin, Daniel Taylor, Jim Lichatowich, Parakh Hoon, Beberly de León, and Jesse Taylor

Through a global literature review and an analysis of 4 case studies, this March 2008 report offers an analysis of current thinking and trends in community-based conservation. The traditional conservation approach is to establish a protected area and then relocate local people outside the park boundaries. The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation commissioned Future Generations to conduct a global review on the scientific evidence relating to an alternative response (community-based conservation), which seeks to protect larger areas of land by encouraging local stewardship and integrating social and environmental priorities. This approach centres around involving local people in: conserving biodiversity, managing natural resources, meeting social needs (e.g., maintaining local culture, increasing opportunities for income generation, and improving health and well-being), lowering management costs, and sustaining outcomes over time.



9. Routes to Resilience: Chapter Three - Case Studies

This 2008 report presents community-based NRM that springs from community demand and its possibilities for nurturing enterprises that both generate income and improve the state of local ecosystems. The cases detail the governance conditions, principal actors, and enabling conditions that allowed these successes to go forward, as well as the challenges they have faced and must continue to deal with in order to sustain their success. The cases are chosen to demonstrate that enterprises founded on a basis of good environmental governance can not only improve the livelihoods of the rural economically poor but increase their resilience to continuing challenges.







Please visit our new web space focused on fragile contexts and state building, where land use issues are amongst the challenges often faced. Click here.








10. The View from Above

by Pierre Sibiry Traoré

This February 2010 article discusses how very high resolution imagery (VHRI) made by sensors on satellites gives West African farmers data on soil fertility and land size. The Seeing is Believing project (SIBWA) began to make this imagery available to farmers in 6 communities - three in Mali, and one each in Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Niger - in June of 2009. Scientists at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) use computer software to enhance the satellite image, add extra layers of information, and analyse the data that would be useful to the farmers, for example, estimates of variations of soil fertility, land size, and field shape. This team can then send data out to the field through the SIBWA partners for verification and finally build a database of information that they can use to develop an accurate map of each farm.



11. Sustainable Bufferzone Management - Nicaragua

This ICT-based project was carried out in 2006 in an effort to support sustainable agriculture and the forestry production system by reaching out to farmers in rural Nicaragua. The initiative drew largely on the use of technology to protect the Indio-Maíz tropical rainforest reserve and its biodiversity by raising awareness and stimulating action through participatory media activities involving peasant farmers. A number of ICT tools - from modern satellite technology and Geographical Information System (GIS) to simple radio broadcasts - have been used in a number of strategic areas including titling and territorial rectification, improved municipal administration and services, provision of needed social infrastructure, support to production and marketing, and support to community organisations and community development.

Contact: Zayda Calero



12. Aboriginal Mapping Network (AMN)

Established in 1998 as a joint initiative of the Gitxsan and Ahousaht First Nations and Ecotrust Canada, AMN maintains an international web resource for practitioners of traditional knowledge mapping around the world. The AMN has a mandate to support aboriginal and indigenous peoples facing issues such as land claims, treaty negotiations, and resource development, with tools available on the website, such as Use and Occupancy Map Surveys, land referral assessment and response, Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping, and other information systems.



13. Participatory GIS

This 2005 issue of ICT Update focuses on the use of participatory geographic information systems (Participatory GIS or PGIS) in agriculture and natural resource management. The issue includes PGIS project overviews from India, Kenya, Namibia, Senegal, and Tanzania, as well as a series of links, relevant documents, and lessons learned in working with PGIS. These PGIS efforts are an attempt to harness local knowledge with the help of modern spatial (or geographic) information technologies and systems, and to integrate that knowledge in the broader planning process. 



 See also: 








14. The Key Steps in Establishing Participatory Forest Management: A Field Manual to Guide Practitioners in Ethiopia

This 2007 manual describes the key elements of Participatory Forest Management (PFM). The methods to promote the wide involvement of all sectors of the community were developed and adapted for the Ethiopian context during a 10-year period of learning. The manual can be used as a training manual and field guide and is intended for both community forest managers and forestry professionals.



15. A Communication Approach on the Ukrainian Forest

by Lars Tallert and Petter Bolme

This 2005 study analyses the communications aspects of Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)-financed Urban Forest Strategic Management Plan (UFSMP) project in the Ukrainian forest sector prior to a possible subsequent phase of the project and proposes communication measures for the next phase. The study uses an analysis tool called the "Arena Approach" and develops a paradigm, the "land owning perspective", through which to move forward with recommendations on next steps. The research used the "Arena Approach" of visualising the players in various arenas and the relationships among those "playing" in each arena, to analyse communication problems and suggest possible reforms for the next phase of the project.



16. People, Land, and Water: Participatory Development Communication for Natural Resource Management

by Guy Bessette, ed.

This 2006 book from the International Development Research Center (IDRC) presents conceptual and methodological issues related to the support of participation amongst stakeholders in a variety of NRM initiatives. "In natural resource management research, best practice implies the participation of community members, research or development teams, and other stakeholders to jointly identify research, development parameters, and contribute to decision-making. Ideally, the research or development process itself generates a situation of empowerment in which participants transform their vision and become able to take effective action. Used increasingly widely in resource management, this process is known as participatory development communication (PDC)... "







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This issue of The Drum Beat was written by Julie Levy.





The Editor of The Drum Beat is Kier Olsen DeVries. Please send material for The Drum Beat to The CI's Editorial Director - Deborah Heimann


The Drum Beat seeks to cover the full range of communication for development activities. Inclusion of an item does not imply endorsement or support by The Partners.


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