Land Displacement, Involuntary Resettlement and Compensation Practice in the Mining Sector: A Comparative Analysis of Legal and Policy Frameworks in Southern Africa

Rachel Etter-Phoya, Yiwonda Banda

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Abstract

The mining sector has become a focal point for the Malawian government, cited in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy II 2012-2016 as a priority sector, accompanied by growth in contributions to GDP over the last decade. Harnessing the country’s resources can spur on national socio-economic development if economic activity, environmental integrity, social concerns and effective governance systems are properly integrated. If these pillars of sustainable development are excluded countries may be bound by the so-called ‘resource curse’, which describes the situation of countries rich in non-renewable resources that are not able to use these resources to drive equitable socioeconomic development, while countries with fewer resources tend to have higher economic growth. Balancing competing interests in the extractives industries, the principles of sustainable development and the welfare of affected local communities is a challenge for governments and stakeholders. Each year mining-induced displacement affects one million people worldwide; the process of displacement and resettlement is often marred by weak and mismanaged legal and institutional frameworks. This has led to many evidenced cases of social, environmental and economic injustice that in some examples have received international attention and have resulted in high profile public litigation actions. This comparative legal and policy analysis of mining-related displacement, resettlement and compensation in Malawi, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia and South Africa shows that the governance framework does not always safeguard the rights of citizens or promote sustainable development. This analysis found that there were significant gaps in the Malawian governance framework, particularly in the areas of land acquisition, tenure, compensation, public participation, benefit sharing and dispute resolution. This paper was prepared by the authors for Imani Development for the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace, Malawi.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMalawi
PublisherCatholic Commission for Justice and Peace
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014

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