LandNet is a network of at least 40 Civil Society Organizations that advocate for pro-poor and equitable land and natural resources policies, legislation and decision making processes that enhance livelihoods and sustainable utilization of natural resources.
LandNet started as an unregistered pressure group in 1999 to share concerns on government’s non-inclusive and non-participatory approach to the development and implementation of environment and Natural Resources Management policies and legislation and more especially matters relating to land. Since 1999, LandNet operated as the “Civil Society Taskforce on Land and Natural Resources Policy Reform” but got registered under the Trustees Incorporation Act as “LandNet” on 3rd July 2008.
LandNet has a seven member board of trustees as follows: Civil Society Agriculture Network (CISANET), Malawi Economic Justice Network (MEJN), Center for Environmental Policy and Advocacy (CEPA), Farmers Forum For Trade and Social Justice, a Traditional Authority (Chief) and the Ex- National Coordinator of LandNet, all chaired by Environment and Land Management Consultants Principal Consultant – Mr. Steven Nanthanbwe, and has, at one time, worked as an advisor to SADC on land and environmental management matters.
Since registration, LandNet had never been independent until April 2012. The secretariat has always been hosted by other member NGOs. The first host was the Coordination Union for the Rehabilitation of the Environment (CURE), later Wildlife Society of Malawi (WESM). The registered office relocated from WESM to Ebber House at Limbe Catholic Cathedral under the support of Oxfam. Unfortunately, after one year of support, land ceased to be a priority area for Oxfam GB resulting into discontinuation of financial support. With this development, the young secretariat became resource strained, failed to raise funds and the office was about to close when the “Center for Environmental Policy and Advocacy” – CEPA offered to host the secretariat while WESM, CURE and the Training Support for Partners (TSP) continued to fundraise. All these host organizations were in Blantyre City. It however later became strategic to transfer the secretariat to Lilongwe where government headquarters is. Since TSP’s office is in Lilongwe, they offered to host it after CEPA.
With administrative support of the Alliance for a Green Revolution for Africa (AGRA) and later the return of Oxfam support, LandNet was wined to operate an independent Secretariat in April 2012 in which status it is till now.