New Blog about Community Land Protection and the SDGs

Hi! I wrote a blog that may be of interest. You can find it here. A short overview is below; the blog itself is much more interesting than the summary!



By Rachael Knight, Senior Advisor, Community Land Protection, Namati

Taken together, the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals are a beautiful, ambitious vision for the world we aim to create for future generations. Their drafting and adoption are the result of astonishing cooperation by experts and government representatives the world over. Yet, while national- and global-level work is necessary, I argue in this blog that communities may be viewed as key drivers of the SDGs’ fulfillment. Namati’s work supporting communities to protect and document their lands and natural resources is driven by each community’s articulated future vision. As communities work towards the achievement of their visions – and, in the process, improve land governance, conserve their natural resources, protect women’s rights, and prosper through strengthened local livelihoods – they are supporting the achievement of the SDGs, at the most local level.


Hi @rachaelknight! Great to see you posting here in #land and also really great to see you are contributing to the landportal blog. Your article is really interesting and I enjoyed reading it, and thinking back on my own experience in Kenya last fall at our learning exchange on community land protection. It was such a privilege to be part of it and I’ll never forget it.

I was especially struck by this part:

In preparation for writing this blog, I read the SDG’s from start to finish. What I was struck by was how closely the SDGs resembled every community’s desired future. The SDGs are an astoundingly beautiful document; global aspirations for a future world we want to create, paired with clear plans and indicators to guide us in getting there. And they are just like local communities’ visions, from places as different from one another as Nepal, Kenya, Myanmar, and Sierra Leone.

It’s the old think globally, act locally adage, but so true!

I’d like to hear reactions from my fellow @exchange_2016kenya learning exchange participants and any members who are working to implement a community land protection program. What are your thoughts on the sustainable development goals and how they relate to your efforts?


@rachaelknight - Thank you for sharing and congratulations, it’s a great read!

While reading your blog, two key themes rose to the top for me:

  1. The truly cross-cutting nature of access to justice and the SDGs, and SDG 16 in particular, with clear cross-over to achieving other goals and targets. As you noted,

"Comprehensive community land protection efforts that emphasize good governance, gender equity, conflict resolution and community empowerment have the potential to foster profound changes that go far beyond documentation of land claims.”

So true.

  1. The importance of elevating citizen and community voices and experiences towards implementing the #sdgs. I was inspired by this quote from your blog:

"Rather than viewing communities as passive recipients of SDG-related improvements, communities must be seen as and empowered to be key drivers of the desired changes, and their dreams and future visions – the same vision as that set out in the SDGs – taken seriously, championed, and supported.”

Again, so true. Given some of the tremendous progress that’s being made by these key drivers, I’m curious to hear from this community and the #advocacy group around this issue of elevating voices and progress at the local level.

  • Are there other examples of SDG alignment and implementation happening in your context?
  • What are some of the ways that we can amplify community and citizen-led efforts to drive local progress on the SDGs?

And lastly, in case of interest, there is a lot of exciting work being done on SDG implementation at the sub-national level, in cities as well.