14 Sep 2007 11:48:49 GMTPossession of vast lands is a major representation of wealth in the Philippines - a privilege enjoyed largely by the ruling class since the colonial era. This ownership of huge tracts of land has resulted in numerous political, social, and economic inequalities. This edition of Development Research News addresses these disparities.
02 Jul 2007 11:29:07 GMTRising poverty in rural Uganda is linked to increasing landlessness, as the latter drives land degradation and reduces agricultural productivity. This paper examines the complex relationship between owning land and poverty. It identifies effective strategies and land policy guidance to address this concern.
19 Jun 2007 11:09:54 GMT
Secure access to resources is now recognised in human rights discourse as a universal condition of human well-being. This paper aims to contribute to the theoretical and empirical understanding of land tenure as a human rights issue, by analysing recent land tenure policy in South Africa. Specifically, the paper analyses the implementation of the Transformation of Certain Rural Areas Act (Trancraa) in Namaqualand, Northern Cape Province during 2001 and 2002.
Trancraa is the first comprehensive post-apartheid land tenure reform in state-claimed, communal lands. It provides for land tenure reform in state-claimed rural areas, formerly ‘coloured reserves’, by returning ownership rights to residents or local institutions through a consultative process. The paper documents the implementation of Trancra in two Rural Areas, Pella and Komaggas. Key findings include:
Based on this case study, the paper draws some general conclusions about land tenure as a human rights issue. These include:
07 Mar 2007 12:00:00 GMTGuinea, Mauritania, Mali, and Burkina Faso have all passed specific legislation in support of pastoralism. This paper reports that while some of these laws provide an improved framework for the management of rangelands and greater tenure security for pastoralists, they contain conceptual and practical problems which may ultimately further marginalise pastoral people.
Crucially, the new legislation seeks to manage access to resources through complicated procedures controlled by various levels of government. In doing so, pastoral communities are disempowered as they neither understanding nor have any control over these provisions. Livestock mobility could be reduced and the authors fear that elites could ultimately capture exclusive rights to water and land. The report recommends that these issues be urgently addressed.
In order for local communities to benefit from decentralisation, they must:
In turn, policymakers themselves need to better understand the Sahelian pastoralist environments, the role social and political networks play in the management of natural resources and the central place of pastoralism as a viable system and major contributor to national economies.
In summary, the paper concludes that pastoralists, through their associations, have to develop the necessary “leverage” to ensure that improved knowledge and understanding is actually used to improve policy and legislation in support of pastoralism as a livelihood system.
08 Feb 2007 12:00:00 GMTUsing data from Chimaliro and Liwonde forest reserves in Malawi, this paper investigates how forest dependence influences households' decision to participate in forest co-management programme. The key question of this paper is: What makes people participate in the forest comanagement (FCM) programme in Malawi? In particular, how does forest dependence (share of forest income) affect households’ participation decisions?
The authors find that where forests primarily have a gap filling or safety net role in Chimaliro, high forest dependency induces higher rates of participation. However, with more commercial forest uses and a more heterogeneous social context as in Liwonde, high forest dependency reduces the incentives for participation.
The findings point to the need to design parallel interventions alongside the forest co-management program in order to provide supplementary income sources to participants and increase the incentives for participation.
16 Nov 2006 12:00:00 GMTThe need for large-scale land redistribution in Southern Africa is undisputed. In order to redress centuries of dispossession, this highly complex process has the potential to encourage economic growth and poverty reduction. Based on a 2004 conference in Cape Town, this publication details the major themes in the de-racialisation of land ownership in South Africa.
The book covers the work of ten key voices on the issue of land reform both regionally and in South Africa. The first section of the book establishes a historical, theoretical and comparative context for the South African debate. In the second section, contributors present their perspectives on how the land question should be framed in South Africa, analyse existing land policy and its results, and propose alternatives and future directions for policy and practice.
This collection represents reflections on the land situation during a decade of democracy which, with the added benefit of hindsight, can can contribute to a more robust and focused policy debate.
08 Nov 2006 12:00:00 GMTSharp inequalities in the distribution of land remains a major cause of extreme poverty in many developing countries. Some instances are the result of ownership patterns inherited from colonial administrations, others are linked to the struggle for economic prosperity in the post-independence era.
Landlessness is therefore a significant problem for the rural poor. Most remedies that have been undertaken previously have not yielded positive results, as can be witnessed in Southern Africa today. This policy brief thus discusses how the land question can be addressed, through effective and equitable land reform policies.
The paper examines some state-led models of land reform in various contexts, from Korea, Cuba and Bolivia to the Philippines and Japan. Market-led models, which tend to dominate the land reform arena, are also assessed. Examples include Brazil, Colombia and South Africa. The authors argue that the historical record shows neither state-led nor market-led land reform models have been wholly successful in removing these inequities.
There is thus a need for an alternative model of land reform that could both satisfy legitimate and urgent demands for social justice and develop an agrarian system that is economically viable. The authors propose a "Distributive Alternative" containing four components:
22 Oct 2006 11:00:00 GMTLand tenure reform remains a key policy issue in Africa, given the large proportion of people relying on land and natural resources for their livelihoods. This paper addresses the exclusionary nature of many processes around land, which can lead to social divisions. The increasing vulnerability of a poor majority must be the central focus of land policies, and democratisation of decision-making around land rights should be integral to these policies.
The authors reveal that it is not enough to simply acknowledge the socially, politically and historically embedded character of land rights, or the unequal outcomes of contemporary forms of "enclosure". Specifically, they find that:
05 Oct 2006 11:00:00 GMTThis paper seeks to provide national and international policy-makers interested in the development of arid and semi-arid areas with background information and policy options, on whether and how to invest in mobility of pastoral systems in Africa.
It first describes the trends leading to declining mobility, followed by a description of the key underlying causes for these trends and their impacts on mobile pastoralists. It then provides the rationale for investments and concludes with policy options which policy-makers face when deciding on priorities to be allocated to overall pastoral development, and to specific actions within pastoral development.
Major policy options and their trade-offs fall under the following headings:
04 Oct 2006 11:00:00 GMTToday, many rural poor Filipinos are using state law to try to claim land rights. In spite of the availability of a much stronger set of legal resources than ever before, claiming legal land rights remains difficult. Some argue these difficulties are a reason to turn away from state-led land reform and toward a market-assisted land reform (MALR) model. However, this paper indicates that a closer look at actual dynamics around land reform in the Philippines suggests that political-legal problems associated with implementation of the 1988 agrarian reform law can be overcome under certain conditions.
The author argues that rural poor claimants must be able to access support for political-legal mobilisation, particularly “rights-advocacy organisation”, and they must adopt an integrated political-legal strategy. This will help push existing constitutional-juridical openings and institutional reforms in favour of land redistribution. An integrated political-legal strategy is one should be able to activate State agrarian reform law, building on independent State actors’ pro-reform initiatives, and resisting the evasive manoeuvres of anti-reform elites.
[adapted from author]
16 Aug 2006 11:00:00 GMTThis working paper focuses on the Movement of the Landless (MST) and the various legal strategies used to redefine property law in Brazil. Through a number of legal strategies MST has helped produce watershed high court rulings, contributed to the process of constitutionalising law, and made access to land more equitable in parts of Brazil by redefining property rights in practice.
The paper explores legal change triggered by the strategic action through what Bourdieu calls the juridical field (relating to the function and administration of the judicial system). The author argues that MST has been successful in pushing forward legal change through this field for two broad reasons:
The analysis finds that the MST’s sustained engagement with the juridical field has set a number of modalities of legal change in motion that redefined important legal terrain on property rights and civil disobedience. It also produced substantial social results. The movement’s ability to convert movement energy into juridical energy, and to mobilise across multiple fields, has played a central role in setting these modalities of legal change in motion.
The MST’s juridical mobilisation sheds light on some of the ways in which social movements can use the law to create countervailing possibilities to the particular “liberal” property regime that is being globalised from above. It has played a substantial role in altering a highly exclusionary legality by compelling public authorities to implement existing agrarian reform legislation and by helping to create and institutionalise novel interpretations of the social function of property.
01 Jun 2006 11:00:00 GMTThis paper reviews recent policy and practice to secure access to land for poor people. Emphasis is on Africa, Latin America and Asia, while reference also is made to Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States.
Despite the widely different observations from the various places, the paper identifies some general trends and challenges. These include:
The paper argues that addressing land access and tenure security for these groups is crucial for social justice, sustainable livelihoods, political stability and peaceful co-existence. Secure land rights are also important for promoting rural development as it helps create conditions that encourage local and foreign investments. These issues should therefore be at the forefront in policy dialogue, PRSPs, macroeconomic policy at national level, and in the MDGs at the global level.
While lessons can be shared between countries, the land reform agenda must be driven and owned by the individual country. Effective reform of land and property rights to support the livelihoods of the poor also requires sustained, long-term, commitment from governments and development agencies. Successful land reforms depend upon the exercise of strong political power allied to land reform movements, jointly prepared to challenge resistance by vested land interests. Capable and well-informed civil society organisations also play an important role in informing, and providing checks and balances on government decision-making and the development and implementation of land policy. Finally, a shortage of skilled personnel in government agencies, and lack of legal awareness amongst the general public combine to render land administration services largely inaccessible for ordinary people.
The paper outlines a number of tools needed for securing land rights for the poor and vulnerable. These include:
01 Jun 2006 11:00:00 GMTIn this note of food security and land tenure security in Lesotho, the authors present arguments in favour of the enactment and implementation of a legislation in Lesotho that will enhance land tenure security in the country. Some of the arguments include:
Tenure insecurity is not the primary constraint on the contribution that farming can make to food security in Lesotho, but:
Tenure insecurity is a primary constraint on the general economic growth in other, non-farm sectors on which food security in Lesotho increasingly depends:
The authors conclude that the enactment and implementation of this legislation will make an essential contribution to the nation’s food security.
11 May 2006 11:00:00 GMTThis compendium provides an improved understanding of the complex issues concerning gender and land. It draws on research commissioned by FAO. The authors argue that hunger and poverty are, in general, consequences of inadequate and restricted access to land and other resources, such as capital, inputs and technology; women are among those with less access to land, while accounting for a large share in small-scale food production.
Rights to land, especially women’s rights to land, are determined by a complex interaction between the institutions, and underlying power relations, of a society. The paper pinpoints what these are in general, with illustrations from case studies. Drawing on this background, the analysis demonstrates the various ways in which women are constrained in obtaining and enforcing their land rights. Finally, women’s land access experiences in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa and Central Asia are summarised to provide referents from which women’s development in the future can be considered.
The document considers various issues surrounding land and gender including:
19 Apr 2006 11:00:00 GMTThis document takes a historical view of the relations between individual and collective actors in local water management in the Mekong Delta in southern Vietnam. It identifies and analysis the genesis and operation of institutional arrangements, forms of organisation, rules, and standards and contracts regulating access to natural resources, in particular water and land, in a context of agrarian colonisation and progressive anchorage of the State.
Emphasis is placed among other things on conflicts, why they emerged or did not emerge, the players involved, regulation modalities, and the role of the authorities in arbitrating disputes. The analysis of these process is done through an exploration and understanding of farming logics, changes and innovations in agricultural activity systems, and the insertion of forms of agriculture in a network of social and economic ties with entrepreneurs providing agricultural services. Beyond this, this document situates these analyses in the larger framework of the evolution of Vietnamese agricultural policies and evaluates their real weight in the various national ruptures in the local political economy (colonisation, Vietnam war, south-Vietnamese regimes, unification) and the decisive stages of the national agricultural policy and land tenure reform.
The document is available for download from the GRET website in 3 separate parts.
30 Mar 2006 11:00:00 GMTThrough an analysis of the right to adequate food and the right to land, this civil society report, argued that achieving food sovereignty requires agrarian reform. The paper therefore calls for a new redistributive land reform that recognises indigenous territories and respects and balances the needs of diverse rural peoples.
Highlighting territory as a more inclusive and important concept than just land, the authors emphasise that redistributive land reform in the context of food sovereignty must be designed through processes in which local communities take leadership, and which address the needs and demands of diverse groups. The paper defines the policies required for agrarian reform and rural development to truly contribute to poverty reduction, environmental protection, and the enhancement of broad based economic growth, and also explains the fundamental pillars of food sovereignty.
Arguing for an original and genuine agrarian reform, backed by the right to adequate food and food sovereignty, the paper suggests that the following might be useful guidelines for achieving this:
28 Mar 2006 11:00:00 GMTThis collection of briefing papers summarises select papers presented at the workshop: "Land Rights for African Development: From Knowledge to Action" held in November 2005. The workshop addressed key land tenure issues in Africa that influence food security, environmental sustainability, agricultural intensification, conflict, peace building and broader rural development.Issues covered by the 12 briefing papers contained in this collection include: the prevalence and importance of customary tenurethe prevalence and importance of common property arrangementsconstraints to women’s access under both customary and statutory tenurethe need to secure common property and other forms of tenurethe importance of broad based participation to secure broad consensus among multiple actors in order to enhance the efficiency, equity and sustainability objectives of land tenure reforms.The briefing papers also reflect on the innovations necessary for securing tenure for the poor under a variety of settings. These innovations include:adjusting received law to customary norms and rules of land holding and access, as opposed to outright replacing customary tenurealtering lending rules by banks and financial institutions to promote land-related investments (even on land regulated by customary and/or religious law)de-emphasising the notion of ownership and refocusing on use rights in order to secure women’s rights and accessrestructuring conventional land administration systems to support group-based rights structuresencouraging decentralised land management systems that reflect local cultural norms and practicesin situations of multiple, overlapping resource use, strengthening processes of negotiation and conflict resolution as opposed to a generic concern with substantive rights in order to secure the access of permanent and transitory resource users.A ten-step procedure is also suggested (Alden Wily), which would enable communities to restore their group rights and practices to create and control their own tenure norms. These innovations, while desirable, are also risky: corruption, elite capture, exclusion of "non-members" and lack of capacities have been hurdles faced by communities.Agreed outcomes from the workshop include the following:land tenure in Africa is complex: the existence of customary, religious and statutory arrangements (i.e. legal pluralism) is a critical, defining feature of African land tenure. Land tenure reform must accommodate this complexity rather than replace itthe pit-falls of formalisation should be avoided, and in particular tenure codification should be delinked from collateralisation: cheaper ways of registering rights than the cadastre are neededin order to effectively address land tenure security, power issues at local and national levels must be addressed: there is a need for a multi-level, multiple actor approach. Land tenure reform is an urgent governance issue that can best be addressed by all development partners in collaborationon evaluation: the implementation and impacts of land tenure reforms should be evaluated at multiple governance levels in order to identify constraints, craft solutions, and to ensure that reforms are securing the rights and livelihoods of women, the poor and marginalised groupson innovation: new innovations are needed over and above tinkering with existing possibilities. For instance, the development of centres for legal advice and assistance for both rural and urban dwellers may enable the poor to claim their rights and even challenge abuses of power.[...]
10 Mar 2006 12:00:00 GMTIn Southern Africa, landlessness due to the asset alienation that occurred during colonial occupation has been acknowledged as one of several ultimate causes of chronic poverty. Land redistribution is often seen as a powerful tool in the fight against poverty in areas where a majority of people are rural-based and make a living mostly, if not entirely, off the land. This paper examines the nature and extent of land reform in Southern Africa, with a particular focus on its contribution to poverty reduction.
Clearly identifying the different types of land reform, the author examines the policy and practice in Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. The analysis leads to the following conclusions:
The author concludes that, although some people have clearly benefitted greatly from land reform policies, there is no clear link between these policies and poverty reduction.
27 Feb 2006 12:00:00 GMTThis report summarise the research findings of a project to examine the current processes of land rights registration in Ethiopia, Ghana, and Mozambique and assess their outcomes for poor and vulnerable groups. It examines the design and process of registration, the governance of those processes and the equity of the outcomes.
This research finds that land registration is not inherently anti-poor in its impacts and that the distributional consequences of land registration depend on the design of the process and on the institutions responsible for its management. Land registration systems, the authors argue, can be designed so as to address the risk of bias against poorer and marginalised groups. To protect and secure the land rights of these groups, attention should be paid to:
The study shows the need to avoid “one-size-fits-all” solutions and documents experience from a number of case studies from which the authors hope others will be able to learn.
This report forms part of a series of seven papers based on a research programme entitled “Securing Land Rights in Africa: Can land registration serve the poor?” led by IIED.
27 Feb 2006 12:00:00 GMTThis case study assesses the strengths and weaknesses of a simple, inexpensive, village-based land registration system put in place between 1996 and 1998 in Tigray, Ethiopia.
The authors found that the system worked well and fairly - in large part due to it’s simplicity and low cost. Success also depended, however, on effective local governments which were able to prevent inequities from unforeseen shortcomings. At the same time, those same shortcomings are analysed and also serve as lessons: that the choice of a land description technology has consequences in use; that title is a legal conclusion that must be constantly updated to be reliable; that registering all the land of a household together under the name of the household head may lead to unnecessary recording problems and inequities when transactions, such as divorce, occur; and that intersections between registration systems (e.g., urban/rural, individual/community, small-holder/investor, cultivated/forested) may create problems. The report concludes that:
Based on these findings certain continuity, and certain changes, are recommended.
This report forms part of a series of seven papers based on a research programme entitled “Securing Land Rights in Africa: Can land registration serve the poor?” led by IIED.
27 Feb 2006 12:00:00 GMTAssesses the process of rural land registration in Ghana and its outcomes for poor and marginalised groups.
In Ghana, deeds registration has been in place since colonial times, and enables right holders to record their land transactions. However, very little rural land has actually been affected by this registration process. The research shows a general lack of awareness of the registration process among the majority of cash and food crop farmers. High monetary and transaction costs and a long and cumbersome process also constrain use of deeds registration. As a result, while farmers in both Western and Eastern Regions increasingly make use of written documents to secure their transactions, very few bother to register those documents with the deeds registry.
On the other hand, deeds registration is commonly used by agribusiness, and by mining and timber companies acquiring interests in land. In other words, while the deeds registration system seems to cater for the needs of medium to large-scale enterprises, it does not respond to the needs of small holders. The ongoing land administration reform programme needs to address these issues in order to establish institutions and processes that secure the land rights of poorer and more vulnerable groups.
This report forms part of a series of seven papers based on a research programme entitled “Securing Land Rights in Africa: Can land registration serve the poor?” led by IIED.
27 Feb 2006 12:00:00 GMTAssesses the ongoing land registration process in the Amhara Region and its outcomes for women. The paper finds that while land policy and registration procedures aim to guarantee women’s access to land, practice on the ground suggests more needs to be done to support women’s rights in the implementation process.
Land registration, initiated in 2003, stipulates that both spouses should be named on the certificate. However, research findings in one-third of all kebeles in Amhara, found that only 39 per cent of the plots was registered under joint title, while 29 per cent was under female holding (including many female headed households), and 33 percent registered with men. Married women therefore continue to be denied joint titling. Most local land administration committees were only composed of men and local leaders and government officials had not promoted women’s participation. However, where women were part of committees, they were active in protecting women’s rights, particularly of women who were vulnerable and lacked family support or social networks.
27 Feb 2006 12:00:00 GMTAssesses the process of rural land registration in Mozambique and the outcomes for poor and marginalised groups. The research finds that community land registration, under the 1997 land law, can strengthen community rights to use and benefit from their land in relation to outsider interests in land. However, intra-community and intra-household land rights are not addressed, since it is only community land boundaries which are registered. The relatively centralised and complex registration procedures means that smallholder farmers are heavily dependent on NGOs to facilitate the process, which raises issues of continuity and sustainability. Individual registration of land is possible too, but is mainly taken up by private investors and companies. There are some serious shortcomings in this process: community consultations, required by law, are often inadequate and there is little supervision to ensure that compulsory land development plans produced by investors are implemented in practice. These issues will need to be tackled in order to for rural land registration be really pro-poor in practice.
27 Feb 2006 12:00:00 GMTAssesses the process of land registration in peri-urban areas of Mozambique and its outcomes for poor and marginalised groups. The research finds that there is little awareness of land registration processes on the part of low-income groups. The ‘individual’ registration process is slow and bureaucratic with high transaction costs and corrupt practices on the part of state institutions. Unlike the case of rural land, specific regulations governing the use of urban land are not yet in place. Some farmer associations have used community registration processes to secure their land rights but high levels of organisation and persistence are required to do so. Individual registration is beyond the means of low-income households and mainly serves high income, well connected groups and private companies. This situation is exacerbated by active informal land markets which are transforming peri-urban land use. There are real concerns that farmers, and low-income groups in general, may be losing access to land through registration processes which favour applicants who are well-connected and wealthy. Regulations governing urban land, the simplification and dissemination of registration procedures and improved governance are required for land registration to serve the majority.
25 Feb 2006 12:00:00 GMTWith land being the main source of income for many people in the developing world, security of access or ownership rights is imperative to the alleviation of rural povety. Past polices of land redistribution, prohibition of land renting and later legalisation of short-term contracts only, may have prevented or undermined tenancy markets in Ethiopia. This paper examines the allocative efficiency of the land rental market in Northern Ethiopia, and the extent to which adjustment in the tenancy market is constrained by transaction costs. Attention is also paid to the extent to which kinship ties may influence and transaction costs.
The main findings of this study include:
16 Feb 2006 12:00:00 GMTThis brief explores the reform of land tenure institutions which re-emerged in the 1990s, and asks if these reforms are any more gender sensitive than those of the past?
The paper highlights that a focus of the recent reforms has been on land titling, designed to promote security of tenure and stimulate land markets. The reforms have often been driven by domestic and external neoliberal coalitions, with funding from global and regional organisations which have argued that private property rights are essential for a dynamic agricultural sector. However, democratic transitions, though often fragile, have opened up new possibilities for agrarian reform, placing inequalities in land distribution back on national agendas. The involvement of social movements, including women’s movements, and their domestic and international allies has been the other hallmark of recent policy debates on land.
The research finds that the new generation of land tenure reforms is not necessarily more gender equitable than earlier efforts, even though women’s ability to gain independent access to land is increasingly on the statutes.
In particular, the findings show that:
[adapted from author]
10 Jan 2006 12:00:00 GMTPoverty and income inequality persist in South Africa despite efforts to eliminate them. Poverty is more pervasive in rural areas, particularly in the former homelands: the majority (65 percent) of the poor are found in rural areas and 78 percent of those likely to be chronically poor are also in rural areas. This paper investigates the role that smallholder agriculture plays in alleviating poverty and discusses how this role can be enhanced.
The paper begins by presenting some theoretical aspects of agriculture’s contribution to poverty alleviation drawing on literature on agricultural and rural development. Next, the role played by smallholder agriculture in improving livelihoods in South Africa is investigated. The author discusses government initiatives aimed at promoting smallholder agricultural development. These include land reform, agricultural credit, infrastructure and comprehensive farmer support services. Finally, the issue of what needs to be done to maximise agriculture’s contribution to poverty alleviation is addressed. Suggestions include:
The paper concludes that promoting smallholder agricultural growth can be an effective strategy to reduce rural poverty and income inequality. However, while agriculture plays a major role in poverty alleviation, the poverty problem in South Africa cannot be solved by promoting smallholder agricultural growth alone. More attention should also be given to the promotion of nonfarm activities. A strategy that pays attention to the strengthening of farm/nonfarm linkages is likely to yield better results in terms of employment and income generation.
04 Jan 2006 12:00:00 GMTSince the early 1990s, the dominant consensus in the debate on land rights reform in sub-Saharan Africa has been that external interventions to privatise land rights are usually inappropriate and likely to remain so. This article suggests that two elements in the debate - the scope for varying adjudication criteria, procedures and support systems in order to enhance equity, and the influence of a region's agro-ecological and socioeconomic characteristics on the impacts of tenure change – merit further attention.
Drawing on illustrative evidence from eastern Kenya, the article urges a shift towards a more pragmatic approach, sensitive to the diversity of both physical and socio-economic conditions within which tenure systems operate. The results suggest, among others, that in countries with a diversity of land-use systems and agronomic potential, uniform impacts from privatisation across regions are unlikely. As a result, whether and in what form privatisation is appropriate is likely to vary. National land policies should ideally contain sufficient flexibility to allow for variation in the form and timing of privatisation across regions. The examples of both unpredicted outcomes of privatisation and outcomes which have not been based on the assumed underlying causal relationships, each indicate a need for further region-specific research. [adapted from author]
09 Dec 2005 12:00:00 GMTLocal entrepreneurs drive development in deprived neighbourhoods. Small-scale actions – rather than abstract urban planning by officials – are most effective. Planners should start observing street life and begin to understand that everyday practice and local enterprises can, with a little outside help, be scaled up to improve poor urban people’s lives.
09 Dec 2005 12:00:00 GMTThe economy of post-apartheid South Africa continues to grow. Yet between 45 and 55 percent of the population remain in poverty. This inequality is most obvious in rural areas, where over 70 percent of poor people live. Policymakers are increasingly recognising the importance of rural land reform to poverty reduction.
08 Dec 2005 12:00:00 GMTEffective and well-designed land reform policies can provide sustained contributions to economic growth, reduced social unrest and poverty. This study analyses land reform policies in Angola and South Africa with a view to assess its impact on food security. Both countries have introduced extensive land reform policies following histories of colonialism, occupation and oppression which displaced many people.
The paper begins with a background of South Africa and Angola and discusses the governments’ land reform policies. In South Africa, land reform was a key promise made by the African National Congress (ANC) when it gained power in 1994. The main intention of this promise was to reimburse the victims of apartheid oppression. In the Republic of Angola the government’s land reform policies are part of its strategy to rebuild the agricultural sector following civil war. Following on from this analysis, the nature of the agricultural sector in the two countries is discussed in terms of working conditions, employment, wages etc. Finally, the author assesses the extent of progress that the countries have made in implementing their land reform policies, and discusses the implication of this on food security.
The author concludes that in South Africa, land reform has no focus on the enhancement of food security. As a result, agricultural production of beneficiaries is still not sufficient to raise them out of poverty. In Angola, conversely, the government’s principle objective has been to promote the agricultural sector and almost 4 million people have benefited from the provision of land to start agricultural activities.
27 Oct 2005 11:00:00 GMTThis paper documents a participatory approach for supporting black South Africans in developing knowledge and skills to use land, acquired under the land reform scheme, more effectively. This approach enables land reform groups to work jointly through a sequence of steps in order to develop and implement a land management plan.
The participatory planning method can be summarised into four main stages. First, the land reform group seeks to understand how the agricultural sector operates in its area, and identifies those agencies that provide technical and managerial support. Next, practical research is undertaken to provide information on the livelihoods of the group members, the various objectives of the group and the agricultural potential of the land. A committee develops a realistic management plan to pursue the objectives, taking account of the resource constraints. Finally, once the group as a whole has taken collective ownership of the plan, implementation starts, and the necessary technical and financial inputs must be secured. Finally, the outcomes of the plan will be monitored and evaluated against indicators generated and agreed by the group. The paper notes, however, that there is a lack of people with the required facilitation skills, which must be addressed.
Two key lessons learned from this experience are:
27 Oct 2005 11:00:00 GMTSince 1994, the South African government has embarked on an ambitious land reform programme to redistribute and return land to previously disenfranchised communities. However, many black people lack the knowledge, skills and experience needed to manage their land. Furthermore, this paper finds that the way in which the government is implementing its land reform programme is constraining many of its beneficiaries from making agriculture a more important part of their livelihoods.
The paper finds that there is a need for the government to invest more heavily in the "pre-designation" phase of the land reform process. Frequently many of the problems experienced by land reform groups in the "post-designation phase" can be traced to issues that were inadequately discussed before the land was transferred, and often the problems are more difficult to resolve after the pre-designation phase leading to inefficient resource use.
The paper provides a number of conclusions and recommendations regarding changes to the pre- and post- designation parts of the process. For the pre-designation phase, these include:
A successful post-designation phase requires:
[adapted from author]
26 Oct 2005 11:00:00 GMTThis study analyses the links between risk and the kinds of property rights that have evolved to provide the mobility needed to raise livestock where rainfall fluctuates, and it evaluates the impact of cooperation on resource management in these environments.
Three interesting conclusions emerge from the analyses with respect to economic vulnerability and natural resource management in these environments.
While it remains a challenge for policymakers to design and implement mechanisms to increase cooperative capacities, this research points to the scope for such action. [adapted from author]
05 Oct 2005 11:00:00 GMTThis paper argues that Ghanaian litigants in land disputes favour authoritative state legal-institutions over out-of-court settlements. Current policy debates on how to protect the land rights of the majority of customary land holders revolve around the respective merits of customary and non-state regulation (said to be accessible, flexible and socially embedded) versus state systems, which are said to offer more certainty, impartiality and nondiscriminatory codes and procedures. In Ghana, customary and state legal codes have been integrated for some time, and the state courts (which are frequently used as first instance adjudicators) apply customary rules.
Drawing on interviews and surveys conducted within three state courts the following themes are considered:
The author concludes that:
08 Sep 2005 11:00:00 GMTMost land-based livelihoods rely on having secure access to land, a precondition for sustainable agriculture, economic growth and poverty reduction. This working paper examines the state of knowledge with regard to aspects of land reform- redistributive reform, land tenure reform, and the issue of land markets. It also addresses issues that remain unknown in areas of land and social equity, land administration, and land tax.
Redistributive land reform aims to bring about an equitable distribution of land and the political power emanating from it. Past results have been less than impressive, and agrarian restructuring has been very slow.
Tenure reform, has been plagued by a failure to appreciate the complex and highly contested nature of land issues in post-colonial states. The paper notes that land policy reform is unlikely to have significant poverty reducing effects unless attention is paid to institutional capacity building.
Efficient transactions in land markets can encourage the transfer of land from less productive to more productive use, but excessive state regulation and bureaucracy are often the norm. Temporary transfers through land rental are an important redistribution mechanism. Rental markets- an important redistribution mechanism- have lower transaction costs and can help households deal with shocks or stresses without loss of productive assets.
What don’t we still know about land reform? The following pertinent questions remain:
10 Aug 2005 11:00:00 GMTThis report deals with the impact of violence against women in the Occupied Territories in the context of conflict, including violence committed by the Israeli state or its agents; the collapse of the rule of law within the Occupied Territories leading to a lack of implementation of existing laws; and the worsening effects of existing discrimination in both law and practice. This report highlights the gender related impact of violations committed by the Israeli forces in the context of conflict. It then looks at gender-based violence within the family and the impact of the militarization of the conflict by both sides on Palestinian women living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The report is part of the global Amnesty International campaign to Stop Violence Against Women. The campaign highlights the impact of gender-based and gender-related violence against women in conflict and in the family; and calls for states and communities to refrain from committing violence, prevent violence being committed by others and ensure that discrimination in law, custom and practice is ended. The report shows that the impact of the conflict on Palestinian women in the West Bank and Gaza Strip has lead to widespread violations of their rights – both civil and political such as the right to life, liberty and security of the person as well as economic, social and cultural rights- such as the right to health, housing and education. It highlights some of the main violations to which women have been subjected in the context of increased political violence, combined with existing and heightened pressures they face in a patriarchal society.
03 Aug 2005 11:00:00 GMTExamining the assumption that private property rights create incentives for the management of resources, this paper argues that private property rights and current wildlife conservation and management laws and policies in Kenya fail to provide the solution to wildlife biodiversity erosion. This is partly because of their preoccupation with a monolithic system of property ownership favouring the state and individuals and neglecting communities and/or groups.
The document includes sections on:
Findings from the paper include:
The document suggests that in order for sustainable wildlife management to succeed, perceived benefits have to outweigh the benefits of building up the area, using the area as pasture land or cultivating it. Some ways in which conservation imperatives can be harmonised with the aspirations of rural communtites is through the chanelling of benefits derived from wildlife to such communities.
14 Jun 2005 11:00:00 GMTThis paper presents an analysis of the actions and omissions of the Guatemala State in respect to its obligations under the human right to food, and also refers to several paradigmatic cases of violations of the right to food within the context of the indigenous population and land and labour conflicts. This situation shows that the State of Guatemala has not managed to comply with either the obligations described in the Peace Agreements (the Agreement relating to the rights of the indigenous peoples and the socioeconomic Agreement), or the obligations of the international law in force in Guatemala in matter of the International Covenant of Economic, Social, and Economic Rights.
The paper makes a number of recommendations the state and the international community to put an end to the conflicts in the country, which include to establish rural development and food ensuring policies, including an integral agrarian reform that incorporates the proposals of the indigenous rural sector, and fulfilling the fundamental rights of the rural indigenous woman, particularly with respect to productive resources, reproductive health and political decision processes.
09 Jun 2005 11:00:00 GMTLand degradation is a severe problem across sub-Saharan Africa, and Ethiopia is among the most affected countries. To stop further land degradation, the government of Ethiopia has initiated a number of projects including soil and water conservation works and the establishment of Area Enclosures (AEs) with the financial assistance of international donors, mainly the World Food Program (Betru, 2003). In spite of the impressive results of the ecological rehabilitation and improvements of productivity, many communities have had a bad experience with AEs in the past due to uncertainty and the lack of clarity of land tenure and public land use policy in the country. Due to these uncertainties, the communities did not have decision making power in the management and utilisation of the resources. In addition, they could not use grass and wood produced in the AEs. This study aims to develop guidelines to support the government in developing management plans with a clear land tenure and land use policy for the sustainable management of AEs. Field work was carried out in 4 Regional States: Tigray, Amhara, Oromya and Southern Nations and Nationalities and Peoples Region.
Detailed recommendations of the report cover a number of areas:
05 Jun 2005 11:00:00 GMTThis document investigates the concept of land reform in South Africa and argues that there is a need to redefine 'land reform' to take account of the realities of an urbanising, modernising, economy. It analyses recent political developments on land issues and sheds light on the current process of land reform as well as agro-climatic, economic, budgetary constraints that impinge on the process. The authors come up with a number of broad conclusions bringing together political and practical realities related to the process :
The study identifies three ‘priority areas’ for land reform:
The report calls for the formation of a high-level private sector task team to liaise with policy-makers, and help maximise the contribution of the private sector to land reform. [adapted from author]
01 Jun 2005 11:00:00 GMTIn this report, the COHRE Women and Housing Rights Programme (WHRP) documents the fact that under both statutory and customary law, the overwhelming majority of women in sub-Saharan Africa (regardless of their marital status) cannot own or inherit land, housing and other property in their own right. Instead, in respect of access to land and housing, women are made entirely dependant on their relationship to a male.The paper reviews the legislation and administrative policies in relation to land, housing and inheritance rights in ten sub-Saharan African countries: Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Botswana, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.This review includes national constitutions, administration of estates acts, marriage and marital property acts, inheritance and succession laws, and land laws and policies. Where applicable case law is also examined. As far as is possible, it also provides an overview of customary law and traditions related to inheritance. The study highlights realities of women’s experience of inheritance rights denial using personal testimony and information from secondary sources. Using international human rights as the standard of measurement, the reports examines the laws and situations within each country and makes specific recommendations to the various country governments.The paper concludes that issues of women’s inheritance extend far beyond the crucial challenge of establishing the necessary legal frameworks that would allow women to own and inherit property. For in almost all ten sub-Saharan countries examined, the fact that women generally cannot rent, lease, own or inherit land and housing is not just the result of gender-biased statutory law; it is also due to discriminatory customary laws and traditions, as well as social norms and attitudes.In all the cases addressed in this report, women’s lack of security in the housing sphere stems from entrenched systems of gender discrimination, whether these systems be legal or normative, or a combination thereof. These discriminatory customary laws, traditions and cultural norms only serve to intensify and make more widespread the housing and inheritance rights abuses that are currently being faced by many millions of women in the region.Key recommendations for addressing the issue of discrimination against women in the housing sphere are outlined in detail in the paper, falling broadly into two categories:administrative and legal reforms: States should design and revise laws to ensure that women are accorded full and equal rights to adequate housing, and to own land, housing and other property, by means including the upholding and protection of inheritance rights. States should also undertake administrative reforms and other necessary measures to give women the same rights as men to credit, capital and appropriate technologies, as well as access to markets and informationactive engagement for positive change: States s[...]
24 Apr 2005 11:00:00 GMTRecent food security crises in Africa have revived the debate on whether current land tenure systems constrain farmer innovation and investment in agriculture. Both direct and indirect linkages between land tenure and food security have been suggested. This study aims for a better understanding of these linkages. Specifically it aims:to improve the current understanding of the linkages between land tenure systems, food security and sustainable natural resource management in Africato assess the current land tenure policy reforms in selected African countriesto draw lessons based on best practices as well as failures of ongoing and past policiesto make policy recommendations to assist States in addressing issues of land reform implementation and hence improve their food security situation and the stewardship of natural resources.The paper suggests that land is central in promoting rural livelihoods in Africa. Access to land and security of tenure are the main means through which food security and sustainable development can be realised because the livelihoods of over 70% of the population in Africa are primarily linked to land and natural resources exploitation.The paper presents a number of models developed to explore the complex linkages between different types of tenure. The authors develop their view that with some local variation, the legacy of colonial land policies in Africa has led to existing forms of customary land tenure being either ignored, overridden or reformulated for the convenience of the colonising power. These then create new and artificial class and ethnic divisions amongst the indigenous populations. They conclude that it is the resultant dual, unequal and hierarchical system of land tenure that present land reform initiatives seek to redress. However those reforms that have been implemented have largely been inadequate and have been fraught with tensions between user groups and different land-uses.Other findings include: unequal land distribution is closely linked to poor utilisation of land which in turn is linked to food insecurity and conflicttenure insecurity arises from rapid socioeconomic change disrupting customary institutions and from excessive government interference in customary tenure systems. It is pervasive among women under all tenure systemsrapid population growth remains a key trigger of the chain of environmental problems and de-facto tenure changes, development of (illegal) land markets, increasing encroachment of agricultural activity into marginal areas and the high incidence of conflicts over land and other natural resourceswhere security of tenure is weak in general, livelihoods can be constrained. Thus tenure remains key for improving land management practicesrecent land tenure policy reforms that have been developed from more participatory processes, are more comprehensive in scope, and have generally affirmed more rights for individual citizens and [...]
21 Apr 2005 11:00:00 GMTThis summary document provides a synthesis of the key issues and discussion points emerging from a four week online conference on the subject of land tenure in drylands.
The broad areas of discussion were as follows:
The e-conference was organised by FRAME, ILC, UNDP and CAPRI in April 2005. The online conference further developed themes which emerged from an event in Nairobi earlier in the year which addressed the same issue.
17 Apr 2005 11:00:00 GMTAfter four decades of agricultural-led development strategies in the postindependent Malawi, economic growth has been erratic and a large proportion of the population live below the poverty line and studies suggests that the poverty situation has worsened. Agricultural policies favoured large-scale (estate) production at the expense of smallholder farmers who account for more than 80 percent of households. Smallholder farmers face several constraints including landlessness and small land holdings and declining agricultural productivity.This study argues that past agricultural strategies have been less successful because they ignored the land question among smallholder farmers. Access to land via agricultural production is one of the important factors that can translate growth to poverty reduction. For agricultural based strategies to be pro-poor in Malawi, land redistribution or resettlement programme for the landless or near landless should be central and a pre-condition for the effectiveness of pro-poor growth strategies in agriculture. The econometric results of the study show that access to land reduces the probability of being poor; prevents the poor from falling into poverty; and helps the non-poor to remain non-poor. Since customary land is not marketable, the link between access to land and poverty is via the growth in agricultural production. Pro-poor growth strategies in agriculture are likely to be ineffective in reducing poverty unless land reform is taken as a basic precondition of other pro-poor agricultural strategies in the Malawian PRSP. Opportunities for land reforms, particularly those that can increase access to land for the landless or near landless, do exist with the resulting poor performance of estate agriculture. The problem of ethnicity in estate ownership is less relevant in Malawi, and some estates have been abandoned and other estate owners are offering their estates for sale. In addition, there is high willingness among smallholder farmers to participate in a community based rural land development programme. However, government has been slow in taking advantage of these opportunities due to resource constraints, the donor dependence of the land reform programme and the low priority accorded to land reform in the poverty reduction strategies. When funds do become available to implement a land redistribution programme it will be important to ensure that the process of beneficiary selection is clear and transparent, embracing the active participation of communities and that the programme need to place the whole rural development context into perspective both in the resettlement and emigration areas. Ensuring that land redistribution is accompanied by complementary policies (such as promotion of land use, extension services, easing the credit and capital constraints and basic infrastructure that is conducive to agr[...]
23 Mar 2005 12:00:00 GMTThe analysis of land investment and tenure security usually assumes land scarcity. However, some developing countries have communities with land abundance. This article therefore examines the effects of land abundance for investment and tenure security. The author finds that in contrast to the literature, area farmed is a determinant of investment and tenure security. However, no link exists between investment and tenure security. These findings have strong implications for rural development policy in land abundant communities.
These findings have potentially serious implications for the design of rural development policies in land abundant tropical agriculture. Rather than the modification of formal land rights regimes, agricultural development may benefit from:
Most importantly, the authro states, available land could be more effectively used with less uncertainty, more asset endowments and less social discrimination (especially against women). Under such a scenario, and in strong contrast to findings from land scarce areas, the area farmed and hence farm output could rise significantly without resorting to intensive production techniques.
04 Mar 2005 12:00:00 GMTIndonesia’s forests have been disappearing rapidly since the 1980s: 1.8 million hectares per year are estimated to have been deforested between 1985 and 1997. Consequently, there is a possibility that in some areas, the forests will cease to function as a viable resource base in the near future.
This paper examines the role of economic incentives in causing deforestation, focussing on policies that distort prices and create the conditions for unsustainable harvesting. It reviews theoretical approaches to the economics of resource use and analyses the ways in which Indonesian government policy affected the incentives of the various stakeholders.
It argues that:
Considering directions for future research, the paper argues that, given the many unresolved land conflicts between local communities and government/private interests, research on the interaction between market-based and common property rights or community-based property rights regimes would be of particular importance.
The paper concludes by recommending that:
28 Feb 2005 12:00:00 GMTThe Indian state of West-Bengal saw two major turnarounds in its rural sector in the eighties. The growth rate of rice production jumped from 1.8 per cent during 1960-80 to 4.7 per cent during 1977-94, and rural poverty fell from 73 to 31 per cent between 1973 and 1999, greatly surpassing achievements of other Indian states.
This coincided with the 1977 election of a coalition of left-wing parties, led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPM, which held uninterrupted power for the following 26 years. The CPM instituted a series of major rural reforms guaranteeing heritable rights to sharecropping tenants; ensured better distribution of products between tenants and owners; and confiscated surplus landholdings from big land owners and distributed part of this to poor farmers. This was followed in 1985 by decentralisation of village power structures through a three-tier system known as panchayati raj.
This paper attempts to identify which factors were behind West Bengal’s rural success, using cross-section time-series pooled regressions on district-level data.
Its results suggest that:
The paper concludes that the success of the West Bengal model depended on a number of historical and political factors specific to the state. However, it argues that at least some parts could usefully be emulated elsewhere, especially strengthening of the grass roots decision making process.
18 Feb 2005 12:00:00 GMTThis book, prepared by the Philippine Environmental Governance Project, serves as a reference guide for field personnel in guiding communities, investors, local government units, private persons and other organisations desiring to apply for tenure instruments on forest lands.
The book covers all existing tenure and allocation agreements for the management and use of forest resources in forest lands. Agreements generally refer to long-term tenure instruments in forest lands with right of occupation. This material also features information on permits and licenses, which are generally short-term instruments where the holder is given the privilege to conduct developmental activities within the forest lands but without right of occupation. Each agreement and instrument is briefly described.and sample specimens of the various permits and instruments are provided so that the reader would know what they look like.
The authors hope to elevate the level of transparency in the system of allocating tenure and access rights to upland resources in the Philippines by facilitating access to this information, especially by the local stakeholders including local governments.
Chapters of the book include:
[adapted from author]
10 Feb 2005 12:00:00 GMTZimbabwe’s fast-track land reform has had a bad press. Reports of violence and intimidation have obscured the reality that formal procedures used to settle black farmers in model villages bear a striking resemblance to earlier colonial procedures. Whilst colonial myths about African farmers as subsistence oriented and inefficient live on, evidence from south-eastern Zimbabwe suggests that the reforms have benefited some poor black farmers