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Recap: Carbon Rights Learning Course 2023

Starting in early 2023, Namati and Grassroots Justice Network members found themselves responding to carbon projects within the communities where they work. Building on our deep experience supporting grassroots land and environmental justice, Namati and our partners moved quickly to better understand the sector. We created a learning course for advocates supporting communities to respond to carbon projects on their land.


This was a big learning exchange – 18 organizations from 11 countries!

The questions we sought to answer were:

The learning course was a strong success!

A total of 44 individuals joined the course representing 18 organizations from 11 countries. This cohort co-created 7 months of curriculum to explore how to best support communities to understand and respond to carbon projects; influence the rules that govern them; and negotiate a fair deal. The course began with four 2-hour virtual sessions followed by a 1-week in person convening in Yogyakarta, Indonesia in 3 languages!

What we learned

In addition to absorbing a new technical field, we have learned a lot about the role of legal empowerment:



Reflections from our country teams


“Kenya and Zimbabwe have carbon laws that don’t adequately address transparency; free, prior, and informed consent; tenure security; or the participation of indigenous land owners in decision-making. In Sierra Leone we have yet to create legislation. This gives us an opportunity to avoid these types of mistakes that end up disadvantaging communities and indigenous people.” – Tommy Abdulai, Sierra Leone


Where carbon is stored on community land, it’s important that it be treated as a community resource, not a national resource…It was empowering to see the formidable power of unity from local women in Jamboran District facing circumstances stronger than themselves. It is not easy to silence women standing up against environmental destruction.” Ruth Okara, Kenya


“We had the opportunity to travel to a nearby community which has been battling with a mining company. This company has been exploring marble stones for last two decades, and they had sought to access a significant chunk of the community’s land; however, the community pushed back and explored alternative initiatives like local tourism, and economic activities such as local coffee shops like the photo below… I found this particularly interesting and true representation of communities’ ability to push back on investment models that destroy the environment.” – David Arach, Kenya


How you can get involved

April 5, 2024 | Rebecca Iwerks