The International Development Law Organization (IDLO) and the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) assessed the legal frameworks for major natural resource sectors in Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique to analyze whether, and to what extent they enable sustainable investments.
National development plans in each country, and their crosscutting laws on land and the environment incorporate principles of sustainable development. However, sector-specific laws governing forestry, agriculture, mining and energy reflect these principles to varying degrees. Relying significantly on natural resources, these countries have witnessed consistent GDP growth in recent years. Despite their resource wealth and increased investments, poverty and resource degradation persist. Rural populations remain disproportionately affected, with limited access to basic services and increased vulnerability to the impacts of deforestation and climate change.
This Synthesis report outlines four key insights on issues identified by the legal assessments that can either hinder or enable sustainable land use investments. These consist of:
Reframing investment incentives and focusing on smallholder interests;
Protecting customary land rights and ensuring consultation and consent:
Establishing clear and effective regulations, strengthening enforcement capacity and supporting decentralization and
Raising awareness, guaranteeing participation and promoting freedom of information.
The report demonstrates that landscapes governance embodying the rule of law and adherence to social and environmental safeguards can create enabling conditions for sustainable investments. Equity, responsive legal and policy reforms, improved enforcement capacity, strengthened participatory mechanisms and other rule of law considerations are critical to planning and managing investments so that they contribute to sustainable development.