How do we make land-based agricultural investments more inclusive, particularly regarding land rights? This was the focus of the agenda as LEGEND held the 6th UK Land Policy Forum on July 11 2018, with lively discussions from all involved – including government, DFIs, academics and land-related CSOs.
After years of efforts, land rights are finally getting global attention. With several land-related indicators included in the Sustainable Development Goals, the land sector now has the unique opportunity to create an unprecedented momentum around land tenure issues and bring it to a higher level on the development agenda. Our goal is, of course, to contribute to the success of the SDGs, but also to be part of sustainable development in its real and practical sense!
The artisanal mining sector in West and Central Africa is a rapidly expanding economic force employing millions of young people, often those who are the most vulnerable. Numerous ancillary informal economies are associated with the export of what are commonly known as “conflict minerals” such as diamonds, gold and coltan. Women grow crops and process food for the labor force of young men digging deep into the ground to pull out the ore and precious metals and stones.
Tajikistan is on the cusp of achieving its vision of a fully-functional market that allows land-use rights to be bought and sold. The transition from a post-Soviet system of regulation and control to market-based principles represents the culmination of over a decade of donor-supported commitment and effort to unlock significant economic growth potential in Tajikistan and support the country’s transition away from donor assistance.
As part of the Feed the Future initiative, USAID is helping the Government of Tanzania to improve communities’ understanding of land rights, support village land use planning, and clarify, document and certify property rights.
Many of today’s increasingly complex development challenges, from rapid urban expansion to climate change, disaster resilience, and social inclusion, are intimately tied to land and the way it is used. Addressing these challenges while also ensuring individuals and communities are able to make full use of their land depends on consistent, reliable, and accessible identification of land rights.
Over the last 10 years, a clear consensus has emerged: investments in land should be done responsibly. However, understanding tenure-related risk in the context of land-based agricultural investments in emerging markets can be complex.
For individual women and men within communities, these complexities can have severe and negative effects on their land and livelihoods. This is especially true for more vulnerable members of the community: widowed or divorced women, youth, and ethnic minorities.
I have been working on issues of land rights for more than 31 years in more than 22 countries, but no country has captured my attention, focus and heart more than India.
Those of you who have visited Dubai in recent years may relate to what I am going to say: Dubai is in the middle of the desert, and its land, not that long ago, was really worth nothing. Now it is one of the most vibrant international cities in the world. All this happened in a relatively short time span.
A civil society perspective on engaging with the private sector
Towards SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals
The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) (link is external) spoke with Michael Jarvis, Executive Director of the Transparency and Accountability Initiative (TAI), about OpenLandContracts.org, how the landscape regarding contract transparency has changed in recent years, and what these changes mean for stakeholders seeking to improve governance and accountability in the context of natural resource investments.
By Frank Pichel, Interim CEO & Chief Programs Officer, Cadasta Foundation
Across the continent, insecure rights to land are robbing millions of financial stability and long-term prosperity. While new technology is giving people the tools to define what’s theirs, governments must recognize that certainty of ownership is a prerequisite of sustainable development.