When Government circulated a land amendment bill in the 2006 June sitting of Parliament, LandNet held consultations with its stakeholders and managed to convince Government to withdraw the circulated Bill and replace it with a totally new pro-poor land Bill that takes into account issues raised by the grassroots.
LandNet was, thereafter, appointed a member of a “Special Law Commission on the Review of Land-related Laws”. The main task of the commission was to translate the findings and recommendations of the National Land Policy and any further submissions received into a “New Land Law”. This gave opportunity to LandNet to influence the incorporation of grassroots input into the new land law. Such input is included and acknowledged in the Law Commission Report No.15 – “Report of the Law Commission on the Review of the Land Related Laws” dated 9th April, 2010.
The National Land Policy 2002, which is to date not supported by a relevant legal framework, advances the spirit of the UN FAO Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests (VGGT) in respect to recognizing, protecting and respecting customary land rights. Therefore, with funding from Oxfam in 2012 to date, under a project titled “Enhancing Civil Society Voice on the Land Policy Reform Process in Malawi”, LandNet enhanced advocacy for the review of the land laws. The advocacy together with the work of the Special Law Commission culminated in the repeal of at least four Acts and the publication of eleven land related Bills presented to and approved by parliament in the June 2013 sitting. However, presidential assent was not granted due to some divergent Civil Society views. LandNet has since then taken an active role to consolidate the divergent Civil Society views and has, in September 2014, submitted to the government a unified voice of the civil society. LandNet’s advocacy included several awareness workshops with select Parliamentary Committees, especially Parliamentary Committee on Land, Agriculture and natural Resources, the Legal Affairs Committee and the Women’s lobby.
LandNet has been active in several interventions, dialogues and debates and in making submissions to processes coordinated by ILC. For example, LandNet Malawi made submissions, through ILC, towards the development of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests (VGGT).
As an ILC member, LandNet takes an active role to follow-up Malawi’s adoption of ILC’s Tirana Declaration of May 2011 which urges States to take advantage of the historic opportunity of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests and pursue people-centered land governance. LandNet also seeks to popularize and influence the domestication of the “Africa Land Policy Framework and Guidelines (ALPFG)” approved and adopted by the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government in July 2009 which act as a basis for commitment by African member states to the formulation and operationalisation of sound land policies as a basis for sustainable human development that includes assuring and alleviating poverty and protecting natural resources from degradation and pollution.
Apart from promoting the World Bank’s principles for responsible agricultural investment, LandNet actively promotes the implementation of the April 25th, 2013 Antigua (Guatemala) Declaration made by ILC Assembly of Members, which seeks to promote secure and equitable access to and control over land for women and men who live in poverty.
LandNet is also playing an active role in Oxfam’s “Right to Food Initiative” (RFI), the domestication of SADC Protocols on mining especially from the perspective of land expropriation and compensation, Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Impacts Management.