Issue Briefs

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Climate Change, Property Rights, & Resource Governance

The Second Working Group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2007) and other scientific bodies present the case that climate change profoundly shapes ecological, social, and economic interactions. As the specter of global climate change unfolds, existing struggles will deepen over use, control, and management of land and other natural resources. In unpredictable…Read More

Fact Sheet: Land Tenure and Food Security

There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that securing land and resource rights for men and women has a positive impact on food security and broader development outcomes, such as household investment, agricultural productivity, women’s empowerment, nutrition, and more robust rental markets for farmland. The existing literature highlighting the positive impact of strengthened land…Read More

Fact Sheet: Land Tenure and Women’s Empowerment

Land is the most critical economic resource for the vast majority of the rural poor who depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. In particular, women’s land rights are fundamental to rural development outcomes, as women’s ownership and control over land can affect what households produce and how the proceeds from agricultural production are allocated within…Read More

Land and Conflict

INTRODUCTION: LAND AND CONFLICT Land so pervasively underpins human activity that it usually plays some role during war and civil violence. Land-related issues figure into many violent disputes around the world. Ongoing communal violence in Nigeria and Sudan is tied to competition over scarce fertile land and poor resource governance. Disputes over access to land…Read More

Land and Resource Tenure and Social Impacts

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Land and natural resources are central to the livelihoods and cultures of local communities and indigenous peoples around the world, and secure rights to them provide a foundation for poverty reduction, increased food security, gender equality, cultural survival and environmental sustainability. However, especially under the conditions of widespread tenure insecurity that exist in…Read More

Land Tenure and Climate-Smart Agriculture

BACKGROUND Projections based on population growth and food consumption patterns indicate that by 2050 agricultural production will need to increase by at least 60–70 percent to meet demand (FAO, 2013; World Bank, 2013). In sub-Saharan Africa, where growth in agricultural productivity has been slow, meeting these production goals is even more daunting given that an…Read More

Land Tenure and Disasters

BACKGROUND Disaster-induced displacement is on the rise. The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (Yonetani 2013; see Figure 1) estimates that in 2012 alone, 32.4 million people were displaced as a direct result of natural disasters or because they faced an acute threat of being affected by a natural disaster. These figures do not include populations affected…Read More

Land Tenure and Energy Infrastructure

This brief outlines how energy infrastructure can be sustainably and responsibly facilitated by giving necessary attention to land tenure and property rights. It focuses on how to address land tenure and governance issues in connection with such projects to reduce risks, avoid potential harm, and provide benefits to local communities. The first section lays out the opportunities that energy infrastructure development can provide for economic growth and the risks that such development poses to those with legitimate land rights. The second section provides a short introduction to land tenure concepts, describes the most common ways that governments or private parties acquire land for energy infrastructure projects, and also discusses why secure tenure is important for all affected stakeholders. The third section focuses on the extent to which projects utilizing specific energy sources require land and the potential impact on local landholders and users. In the fourth section, the brief delves into the impacts of power projects on specific land tenure issues and vulnerable land users, and it sets forth some suggested best practices. The fifth section reviews risks and provides a summary of recommendations to reduce these risks.

Land Tenure and Food Security

Creating an environment conducive to agricultural growth and food security hinges upon prioritization of securing land and property rights of smallholders, investors, and other resource users (USAID 2013a; USAID 2013b; United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization [FAO] et al. 2010). Today, a large proportion of the poor lack adequate and secure access to land and natural resources; global trends suggest that without adequate measures to respond to the growing demand for these assets, tenure insecurity is likely to become worse.

Land Tenure and Property Rights in Afghanistan

SUMMARY Local disputes in Afghanistan are related in part to conflicting claims over land and resource rights, including disputes related to resettlement of Internally Displaced Peoples (IDPs) and refugees, conflict over control of pasture and water, and participation in the opium economy. The sale or lease of state-held land by the government subject to counter…Read More