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Customary water rights and contemporary water legislation: mapping out the interface









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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Customary law: Customary norms and practices to strengthen the sustainable use of wildlife resources in Binga District by Tonga communities 2023
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    In Zimbabwe, the Sustainable Wildlife Management (SWM) Programme pilot site is referred to as “Mucheni Community Conservancy” in Binga District, Matabeleland North Province. It is an area of communal land covering three wards under the formal authority of the Binga Rural District Council (RDC). One of the hoped-for outcomes of the SWM Programme is to ensure that policies and regulations enable the sustainable use of species that are resilient to hunting and fishing, and to ensure the conservation of protected and threatened species. To this end, the Programme identified gaps and opportunities for the sustainable use of wildlife through the analysis of statutory and customary laws. The focus of this document is to report on customary norms and practices in relation to land use and planning, hunting and fishing activities in Binga District. Gaps and contradictions between customary and statutory systems are highlighted, along with opportunities and challenges related to the formal recognition of customary rules. Information was obtained from secondary sources including a review of the existing literature as well as semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders in the area which included local leaders (chiefs and headmen) and community representative groups (men, women, youth), government officials (Forestry Commission, Parks and wildlife management authority, Environment management agency, veterinary officers, etc.), Rural district council officials, local NGOs and local politicians. Interviews were useful in validating information collected from secondary sources including colonial archives. The SWM Programme is an initiative of the Organisation of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS). It is implemented through a partnership involving the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), International Cooperation Center for Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD), International Center for Forestry Research (CIFOR) and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).
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    The Interface between Customary and Statutory Water Rights - A Statutory Perspective 2005
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    This paper will contribute to mapping out the area of interface of customary water rights and statutory water rights. Based on original surveys and analyses of water legislation and customary water rights and practices in Canada (Nowlan 2004), Ghana (Sarpong 2004), Guyana (Janki 2004), and Nigeria (Kuruk 2004), as well as a brief analysis of the contemporary legislation of Argentina, Indonesia, and Namibia, this paper will (a) review the extent to which customary water-related practices and righ ts have been accounted for in water legislation, (b) analyze the approaches to reconciling such rights with the rights created by statute and administered by government, and (c) based on the analysis, flag emerging issues as well as sketch an agenda for future action.
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    Article
    The making of resource frontier spaces in the Congo Basin and Southeast Asia: A critical analysis of narratives, actors and drivers in the scientific literature
    XV World Forestry Congress, 2-6 May 2022
    2022
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    Forest frontiers are rapidly changing to production of commodity agriculture throughout the tropics, with far-reaching transformations in landscapes and livelihoods. Diverse land uses in frontiers – often mixed swidden cultivation systems and forest mosaics under forms of customary tenure –generate multiple ecosystem services, support local societies, and are being lost with increasingly high costs. Many of the dynamics that drive frontier commoditization are well-rehearsed. Policies to deregulate markets, privatize land tenure, improve connectivity and open borders to trade have stimulated resource exploitation. The accompanying territorial interventions such as new enclosures, property regimes and claims are purposefully employed to create space and labor, and have radically reconfigured the relationships of millions of people to land and rule. Within these politico-economic landscapes, local people navigate and execute agency to pursue their own development aspirations. Narratives of what is an opportunity for whom, who should benefit from these spaces, and what is a problem in need for a solution have shaped these policies and practices over time. They are also employed to legitimize development choices in frontiers. Science plays a critical role in these processes, by putting forward (and discarding) particular knowledge and understandings, contributing to problematisations and suggesting new solutions. In this paper, we ask how science has portrayed forest frontiers in the Congo Basin and Southeast Asia over time. Specifically, we analyse the storylines put forward in the scientific literature and how these have contributed to the creation of spaces for resource frontiers of the colonial and post-colonial state. Which actors have what roles in the frontiers, and how are processes of territorialization justified or challenged? This analysis allows for a deeper understanding of how commodification of frontiers came about, and what role science plays within. Keywords: Forest frontiers, narratives, territorialization, Congo Basin, Southeast Asia ID: 3488085

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