[LELC 2019] Land and environmental justice case study + skills sessions (Day 3)

@MGL @alisajimenez @vesnashapkoski @caitlinlambert @katynamati @marwanfrieh @Bhavna @Ferjep @Lizzatemem

"They is all of us": Legal empowerment in land and environmental justice

Today we heard about communities opposing corporations, traditional authorities and governments in India, Kenya and Sierra Leone whose so-called development vandalised their homes and destroyed their health. People were already angry, legal empowerment just gave them a language and a weapon to use against these hostile and sleeping authorities.

Struggles for land and environmental justice were explored not as liberal impositions from rich celebrities with nothing better to do, but as the legitimate concerns of local communities, and reflective of a deep grassroots democracy.

That’s the potential. Provided the work is led by the community, propelled by paralegals, and buttressed by lawyers. Not led by lawyers and buttressed by the community!

Here we leave some amazing graphic notes by @poltenko

"When you do not act dialogically and impose your decisions, you do not empower, you manipulate": Popular education

Popular education starts with the participants themselves, expressing their problems and finding and pursuing a solution based on what they believe to be in their own best interests.

It’s simple: Shut up and listen.

Monitoring and evaluation

M&E is not supposed to be fancy or difficult. It is supposed to be simple and useful.

Think SPICED - Subjective, participatory, interpreted and communicable, cross-checked, empowering, diverse and disaggregated.


Resources are limited and we need to think creatively about how we use money and how we make money.

The idea of relying on donor funding can become oppressive.

And raising funding from communities has radical potential. You become accountable to your community, not to donors. And people have a greater stake in the project, which becomes part of the community and not an outsider service.

Work plans

Finally, we split into groups and workshopped our work plans for the course. Many people changed their problem statements or the articulation of their problems…

… But then again, this is legal empowerment, not law. So our plans are made and changed and adapted not in conference halls, but on the ground running.

See you tomorrow!


Such an inspiring presentation today from @vivekmaru ,a truly refreshing and innovative skills gaining with @mburnett and great feedback from our groups on the working plans we are developing. Keep up with that spirit guys :clap::clap::clap:


Thank you all for making the day a success. this captures the coldest day’s work.