Explore land rights and governance issues using the filters below, and browse our collection of 60+ country portfolios developed in collaboration with local partners from around the world.
In Paraguay, land is still a factor that determines the living conditions of a majority of the population. Current land tenure is characterized by a huge concentration of land being put in the hands of a small group of landowners. This unequal distribution of land is the result of a long and contentious history that has caused the dispossession and uprooting of thousands of men and women in the countryside. Meanwhile, others have managed to remain in their communities through enormous sacrifice and willpower.
Peru shares the main land-related problems of several South American countries: the existence of very large landholdings (latifundios), on the one hand, and small landholdings (minifundios), on the other, in historical processes marked by the interests of actors such as landowners, agro-industrialists, peasants, and indigenous communities. However, unlike some neighboring countries, the dynamics of these elements are different due to a series of particular agricultural policies and their respective results, which have placed Peru as one of the main producers and exporters of agricultural crops in the region.
The Philippines consists of 7,107 islands covering 300,000 square kilometers (30 million hectares), including 298,170 square kilometers of land and 1,830 square kilometers of water. Land distribution is highly skewed, and much of the land is moderately or severely eroded.
Rwanda is a small country and landlocked. It covers an area of 26,338 km². In Rwanda, land is an important issue due to two different characteristics: first is that Rwanda is one of the most densely populated countries in the world (416 people per km2 – (NISR, 2012). Being an agricultural country, where over 85% of its working class citizens depend on agriculture, adds more pressure on land as the sole economic capital to the rural peasants.
After achieving independence in 1960, Senegal experienced several years of economic growth, mostly based on agricultural resources and increases in productivity. Senegal has a population of about 12 million people; 58% of the population is rural, but the majority of people living in rural areas are poor. Although 60% of the population works in the agricultural sector, agriculture accounts for only 15% of the total GDP of the country.
Land is an essential source of livelihood for a majority of Sierra Leoneans. Most of Sierra Leone’s population lives in rural areas and it’s GDP is largely based on agriculture. The three main livelihood activities surveyed in the 2015 population and housing census are crop farming, animal husbandry and fishery, which depend largely on access to and ownership of land. Smallholders mostly cultivate rice, cassava, cocoa, coffee, cashew, groundnut, palm oil, vegetables and other fruit trees.
Despite the achievement of Constitutional democracy in 1994, 'the land question' is at the heart of South Africa's struggles to overcome the cumulative legacies of nearly 350 years of white minority rule. The emotive quality of land policies evokes painful legacies fuelled by disappointments with the official land reform programme ushered in by the new Constitution of 1996. There is broad agreement that land reform programmes have not fulfilled their aims to significantly redistribute land and productive agrarian capacity, strengthen land tenure for the majority, and settle the restitution claims of victims of land dispossession.
Since its independence from Sudan in 2011, the new state of South Sudan is experiencing political and economic instability. The country is made up of 10 states with a population of roughly 10 million people, while 3 million people migrated to neighboring countries. The economy of the country is largely based on oil exports that account for 71% of the total GDP. Three-quarters of the population relies on farming and pastoralism.
Several conflicts in Sudan have prevented its development and caused massive population displacement. One third of Sudan is classified as desert, 60% of its total population is rural and 31% of its GDP derives from agriculture. Agricultural land continues to represent an important resource, especially since the independence of South Sudan, where the majority of oil reserves are found
Tajikistan is a mountainous country whose population largely derives its livelihood from livestock and small agricultural farms. Tajikistan strongly depends on water for the irrigation of land, with approximately 70% of all farmland under irrigation. 74% of the population is rural, while 18% of the total GDP comes from agriculture.
Land has played a critical role in Tanzania’s development. Current land tenure frameworks, issues and conflicts in the country have historical roots dating back to the pre-colonial period. The periods of German and British rule were also formative in establishing current land sector rules and challenges, as has been the post-independence period. During the pre-colonial period, all land was owned communally and all members of the community had equal access. When the Tanganyika was under German Colonial rule (1891-1919), there were three types of land tenure: freehold titles created out of conveyance, leasehold granted by the emperor and customary tenure for natives. When the British took over (1919-1961), they recognized existing German laws and put in place new land laws such as the Land Ordinance of 1923. After independence, freehold titles were converted into government leases and later rights of occupancy.
The most prosperous country in the Mekong region, Thailand also has the longest-standing land policy and practices, including an uninterrupted tradition of private land ownership.