Burundi‘s history of political conflict over the last 50 years has revolved in large measure around issues of access to land for agriculture. 91% of the total land is classified as agricultural land and the majority of Burundi’s population (90%) lives in rural areas.

According to the Post-Transition Interim Constitution, every Burundian has the right to property, but more specific laws related to land do not support this constitutional right. In addition, while under the customary system land is held by individual heads of households, the 1986 Land Code requires that land held customarily needs to be registered in order to be officially recognized. The Land Code has been strongly criticized and its revision is still in process.

Land in Burundi represents one of the underlying reasons for conflicts, particularly when land is related to specific ethnic groups and to the displacement and return of people during the civil war. Other common causes of disputes are: competing claims of inheritance (including by orphans); expropriation of land; polygamous marriages; and fraudulent land transactions.

Source of the narrative

Disclaimer: The data displayed on the Land Portal is provided by third parties indicated as the data source or as the data provider. The Land Portal team is constantly working to ensure the highest possible standard of data quality and accuracy, yet the data is by its nature approximate and will contain some inaccuracies. The data may contain errors introduced by the data provider(s) and/or by the Land Portal team. In addition, this page allows you to compare data from different sources, but not all indicators are necessarily statistically comparable. The Land Portal Foundation (A) expressly disclaims the accuracy, adequacy, or completeness of any data and (B) shall not be liable for any errors, omissions or other defects in, delays or interruptions in such data, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. Neither the Land Portal Foundation nor any of its data providers will be liable for any damages relating to your use of the data provided herein.


Indicators Year Value Unit Dataset Source Remove

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Land Governance Assessment Framework (LGAF)

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    • Very Good Practice
    • Good Practice
    • Weak Practice
    • Very Weak Practice
    • Missing Value

    Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure

    Legend: National laws adoption of the VGGT principle
    • Fully adopt
    • Partially adopt
    • Not adopted
    • Missing Value

    Note: The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries, and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (The VGGTs) were endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security in 2012.

    The "VGGT indicators" dataset has been created by Nicholas K. Tagliarino, PhD Candidate at the University of Groningen, with support from Daniel Babare and Myat Noe (LLB Students, University of Groningen). The indicators assess national laws in 50 countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America against international standards on expropriation, compensation, and resettlement as established by Section 16 of the VGGTs.

    Each indicator relates to a principle established in section 16 of the VGGTs. Hold the mouse against the small "i" button above for a more detailed explanation of the indicator.

    Answering the questions posed by these indicators entails analyzing a broad range of national-level laws, including national constitutions, land acquisition acts, land acts, community land acts, agricultural land acts, land use regulations, and some court decisions.


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    Secretaría General Iberoamericana


    La Red de Coordinación de Políticas Agropecuarias


    Rift Valley Institute



    Displaying 1 - 6 of 497
    How to deal with people in post displacement - reintegration: the welcoming capacity approach cover image
    Reports & Research
    March 2014

    In conflict situations, peace settlements and cease-fire agreements may often, end violent conflicts, but do not prevent renewed violence or guarantee a permanent end to conflicts.5 According to the World Bank, chances that renewed conflicts will erupt are high and even higher when control over natural resources is at stake.6 In the past two decades alone, Africa has experienced violent conflicts with successive cease-fire agreements and peaceful settlements, which have often been followed by outbreaks of new conflicts.

    Journal Articles & Books
    July 2015

    In the framework of collaboration for country based case studies on land and natural resource tenure security in Eastern and Southern Africa by the University of Nairobi/ Centre for Urban Research and Innovation, a case study was conducted in Burundi. Data collection was based mainly on literature review of legal texts and all studies realized in the area of land tenure and natural resources in Burundi, and field visits. This paper presents only the synthesis of the information and data collected on land, water, mines and forests.

    Cover photo
    Journal Articles & Books
    July 2013

    Gaining access to private lands in war-torn societies is a problem that confronts many governments, including Burundi when implementing public projects. Government officials hastily acquired private lands while implementing projects which are not always for public interests. Using the case study approach, the study explored what happened when land was acquired to erect a new Presidential Palace at Gasenyi area.

    Journal Articles & Books
    December 2009

    The completion of this comprehensive harmonized soil information database will improve estimation of current and future land potential productivity, help identify land and water limitations, and enhance assessing risks of land degradation, particularly soil erosion. The HWSD contributes sound scientific knowledge for planning sustainable expansion of agricultural production and for guiding policies to address emerging land competition issues concerning food production, bio-energy demand and threats to biodiversity.

    Journal Articles & Books
    December 1999

    A medium-size report that describes the overall situation of data on fuelwood in Burundi. The report starts with a general introduction of the study and the country. It is followed by a section describing the forest area, its uses and the legislation surrounding it. The following part states the country's forest resources distinguishing natural from artificial forests. Some attention is given to non-wood forest products and sustainable forest ecosystems.