Thirty-five New Country Portfolios Feature Breadth of Land Governance Challenges | Land Portal

(02.12.2021) The Land Portal Foundation is pleased to announce the publication of thirty-five new country portfolios as part of the Country Insights Initiative, which seeks to expand knowledge about how countries govern their land, the challenges they face, and the innovative solutions they find to manage land tenure issues.

Each country portfolio features a detailed narrative written by Land Portal Foundation researchers and peer-reviewed by leading land experts around the world. Narratives delve into the history of land governance in the country, land laws and legislation, land tenure classifications, land investments and acquisitions, women’s land rights, urban tenure issues, community land rights, relationship with the Voluntary Guidelines on the Governance of Tenure (VGGT), and suggestions for further reading. Moreover, the narratives also include a timeline of major developments in land governance over the country’s history.

Portfolios provide access to key socioeconomic and land-related indicators, such as land area, the total population, percentage of women owning land, and perceived tenure security, among other indicators. Readers also get an overview of the latest news, blogs, publications, as well as organizations and development projects acting on land issues in that country. All portfolios are being translated into French, Spanish and Portuguese, and some will also be translated into Arabic. 

“By combining detailed narratives highlighting the history and current status of land governance  with relevant data and related news and information, we hope to contribute to positive change in addressing continuing challenges,” said Laura Meggiolaro, Land Portal Team Leader. “Our stakeholders have indicated that country portfolios are their number one destination on the Land Portal, and these new portfolios respond to this demand.”

Romy Sato, Coordinator of the Land Portal Foundation’s Network of Researchers, said “We have been working for more than a year on this initiative, and the role of peer-reviewers - our partners - has been fundamental. They enriched the profiles with their local experience and profound knowledge of the land institutions and stakeholders in the countries.”


Featured Country Portfolios



Since the early 1990’s Somalia has become synonymous with conflict where land rights, livelihoods and tenure security have been undermined by the sustained political economy of state collapse. Read more.



Burundi’s colonial and post-colonial history has been closely intertwined with neighboring Rwanda and has been deeply scarred by periods of social conflict and civil war, contributing to the outflow and influx of large numbers of refugees. Read more.


South Africa

In South Africa, the deeply entrenched legacies of spatial and economic inequality have proved to be exceptionally difficult to dislodge. Although land dispossession was a key element driving popular struggle, today most of the land in South Africa remains owned by white people. Read more.



Rooted in colonial plantation setups, land in the Philippines distribution continues to be highly unequal. Land reform began with the American occupation with the passage of the Tenancy Act of 1933, and subsequent government administrations have each enacted land reform programs. Read more.



With nearly 30% of the population below the poverty line in Pakistan, there are high levels of inequality over land ownership, reflecting a class and caste-based society. 64% of land is owned by 5% of landlords, and more than 50% of rural families are landless, a figure that is on the rise. Read more. 



With just over 3.2 million people in 2019, Mongolia is the least densely populated country in the world. Yet there are many environmental challenges relating to desertification, overgrazing of grasslands, and impacts from climate change. Read more.


New Country Portfolios

Afghanistan | Bangladesh | Bhutan | Botswana | Brunei | Burundi | Cambodia | Cameroon | China | Eswatini | Ethiopia | Ghana | Indonesia | Kenya | Lesotho | Liberia | Madagascar | Malawi | Malaysia | Mauritania | Mongolia | Namibia | Nicaragua | Nigeria | Pakistan | Papua New Guinea | Philippines | Sierra Leone | Singapore | Somalia | South Africa | Sri Lanka | Timor-Leste | Uzbekistan | Zimbabwe


This work has been financed with the support of the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and with the ongoing support of Germany's Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).



Country Insights is a Land Portal’s initiative with the aim of improving the understanding of the land governance situation in different countries as a means to support knowledge exchange, collaboration and informed practices and policies on land. It achieves that through the online publication of peer-reviewed country briefs along with selected datasets and the latest news, blogs, events and reports related to the country in focus - forming a country portfolio. This work is supported by a team of researchers which is expected to deliver more than 70 country portfolios by early 2022. /book/countries 



The Land Portal aims to help data and information providers to create, curate and disseminate land governance data and information to become part of a more inclusive, friendly and accessible information landscape. Our mission is to build an information ecosystem for land governance that enables and supports better informed decision and policy making at national and international levels.


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