Natural resources are absolutely essential for human life. All over the world, human wealth and the development of countries is based on the use and consumption of different resources like water, land or raw materials.

Natural Resource Governance

Ideally, natural resources not only contribute to wealth and develop the economy on local and national level, but also reduce poverty and bring stability to countries. Yet, for a sustainable use of natural resources, the protection and preservation of the environment is of eminent importance.

Therefore, FAKT is engaged in the broad field of Natural Resources and is offering a wide variety of services in the following areas:

Extractive Industries

Due to the population growth, emerging economies and technological innovation, the global demand for minerals and fossil fuels (oil, gas and coal) is rapidly increasing. The extraction of natural resources has grown quickly in many developing countries. Particularly for those nations, this abundance of minerals and energy resources might provide a crucial contribution towards poverty reduction.

However, most of the resource-rich countries in Africa, Asia or Latin America are still among the poorest in the world. The revenues from the oil, gas and mining sector only benefit a minority. Apart from that, the extraction of natural resources is frequently linked to severe human rights abuses, violent conflicts and ecological disasters. Consequently, the activities of mining and oil companies often deeply affect life and livelihood of communities.

FAKT offers services to empower civil society stakeholders (NGOs, grassroots organisations, media, employers, trade unions) and communities facing negative impacts of resource extraction. It is our goal to support the establishment of conditions that promote human rights, improve transparency and contribute to poverty reduction at the local and national level.

We provide consultancy services and training in the following areas:

  • Advocacy and campaigning
  • Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and community relations
  • Participation in decision making processes
  • Multi-stakeholder processes
  • Grievance mechanisms
  • Transparency and accountability initiatives
  • Participatory mapping

Furthermore, FAKT also provides consultancy services in the artisanal and small-scale mining sector (ASM). We can offer baseline studies, evaluations, information and awareness raising campaigns.

Access to Land

Securing the access to land is critical for millions of poor small-scale farmers and their families. The use of agricultural land often is the only source of income and livelihood for most small-scale farmers and their families. Nevertheless, about 1.75 billion people in rural areas live from subsistence agriculture without having access to officially recognized land registration systems. Especially already poor and marginalized indigenous smallholder farmers must therefore be strengthened in their rights and their capacity to act, for a needs-based and sustainable use of land and resources. For women and women-led households the situation is often worse as in many contexts they cannot legally own land.

Security of land rights is central to preserving livelihoods, maintaining social stability, and increasing incentives for investment and for sustainable, productive land use. If access to land and other resources like water or grazing land for livestock is not ensured, this can then lead to major intra-community conflicts, contribute to food insecurity and promote the overexploitation of resources. To address sustainable land management, cross-sectoral and participatory land use planning and allocation must be promoted, in particular for women and marginalized population groups. Pastoralists also need secure access to land for their livestock and their role for maintaining healthy ecosystems needs to be better recognised. Sustainable land management needs to work with and increase agrobiodiversity, thus also contributing to an increased resilience to climate change and climate-related disasters.

In this area of work, FAKT services include:

  • Support to (digital) learning and exchange among organisations working for access to land
  • Development of (digital) monitoring systems
  • Community mapping to document access to land and for data collection
  • Studies and publications

Community Mapping

Maps serve as an instrument for orientation and communication, and show the actual state of spatial objects and processes. Often traditional or official maps just present a one-dimensional perspective, and exclude social circumstances or contradicting developments of the society.

Community mapping, however, is based on the principle that local groups or communities use their regional knowledge (about villages, cities, forested areas, land, natural reserve) to give cartographically an account of the social and ecological issues from their respective point of view. The particular experiences and know-how allow collecting and checking of  information and visualizing it in maps. Throughout this process, the community is able to describe an image of their way of living, their socioeconomic and ecological situation, and to illustrate possible disparities within the region. Therefore, community mapping can serve as s a method to document problem areas and provide a basis for subsequent public discussions.

Especially in the developing and least developed countries, community mapping is an important instrument to draw people´s attention towards grievances, to foster dialogue and to protect the rights of communities. The visualization of information and activities matters mostly in societies with a low literacy rate. It allows communities and marginalized groups, often excluded from decision making, to raise claims, call for human rights and emphasize social and ecological problems.

Our concern is to build up local competences and to enable target groups to implement the process of community mapping in an independent and efficient manner. Therefore, we cooperate with experts from the global South, partner organizations and universities.

In this context FAKT offers the following measures:

  • Trainings for NGOs and communities in community mapping
  • Consultancy during the implementation process
  • Documentation of results and creation of maps
  • Conduction of studies and evaluations
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