Bangladesh has a predominantly agricultural economy and the establishment of an efficient land tenure system is crucial to face the challenges it faces to overcome challenges presented by food insecurity and climate change.

The National Land Use Policy of 2001 set out the guidelines for eliminating the high conversion rate of agricultural land to non-agricultural purposes, for the use of agro-ecological zones to determine maximum land-use efficiency and for improving the environmental sustainability of land-use practices. The ownership of land in Bangladesh is still regulated by the Transfer Property Act of 1882 and the Registration Act of 1908, which establish the procedures for titling and registration of land ownership and the procedures of updating land records.

However, tenure security and access to land remain inequitable, in particular in rural areas where 89% of landowners own less than 1 ha and 39% have less than 0.2 ha. In addition, despite the constitutional ban on the discrimination of property rights based on gender, women lack equal property rights and rarely hold title to land. The unequal distribution of land in Bangladesh is also exacerbated by the violence due to scarcity of land and by ‘land grabs’ of both rural and urban land by domestic actors. Additionally, the county’s geographical position in the floodplains of three major rivers creates an elevated level of vulnerability to floods and related problems, including expropration.


Source of the narrative

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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.


    Latest News

    14 June 2017

    "People have many reasons to come after me - because I talk about land grabbing, because I talk about the rights of indigenous people, of crimes against minorities"

    MUMBAI, June 14 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - In her long career defending the rights of women, indigenous people and ethnic minorities, Sultana Kamal has faced numerous threats and intimidation. But none over a statue.

    5 June 2017

    Forest dweller Utpal Nokrek, who is now at 32, has been restricted to a wheelchair for 13 years.

    It was 3 January 2004 when Utpal was shot during clashes between the forest dwellers and police over acquisition of thousands of acres of forest land by the government in the name of an eco-park at Tangail's Madhupur forest.

    "As the forest dwellers of Garo and Koch communities protested the eco-park project, rangers and police opened fire. I was shot during the clashes," Utpal said.

    6 March 2017

    Date: 5 Match 2017

    Source: Dhaka Tribune

    The proposed law has been jointly prepared by Manusher Jonno Foundation, Indigenous People Development Services (IPDS), Brotee, Gram Bikash Kendro, and Jatiya Adibashi Parishad.

    Indigenous leaders and NGOs have demanded that a draft law proposal protecting the rights of 38 plain land indigenous communities be placed in parliament in the current session.


    By: Nure Alam Durjoy

    Date: December 02, 2016

    Source: Dhaka Tribune

    Nineteen years after the peace agreement was signed, a clear roadmap for implementing the CHT Accord is still being discussed.

    Developing a clear roadmap for the land dispute resolution act was the biggest concern to emerge from a meeting held on Friday to mark the 19th anniversary of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Accord signing.



    Displaying 1 - 6 of 606
    Journal Articles & Books
    December 2014

    Dhaka city in Bangladesh has been passing through a hasty process of urbanization and population growth since the last few decades. Rapid growth of population, unplanned urbanization and industrialization in the periphery has generated pressure to the changes in land use pattern, which has also caused huge urban expansion. This expansion process is engulfing cultivated land, vegetation, wetlands and water bodies without considering their environmental impacts.

    Journal Articles & Books
    December 2007

    Site selection is a key factor in any aquaculture operation, because it affects both success and sustainability. It can, moreover, solve conflicts between different activities, making rational use of the land. This study was conducted to identify suitable sites for development of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) farming in Sitakunda Upazila (sub-district), Bangladesh, using GIS-based multi-criteria evaluation of water and soil quality, topography, infrastructure and socio-economic factors.

    Conference Papers & Reports
    December 2007

    Rice-prawn gher (RPG) farming system is an indigenous agricultural technology solely developed by farmers since mid 1980s. The present study aims to estimate the land productivity of modern varieties (MV) paddy production under RPG and (year-round modern varieties) YRMV paddy farming systems in the southwest Bangladesh. The RPG farming system has significant impacts on inputs used in MVboro paddy production. The findings of the study indicate that more chemical fertilizers were used in per ha MV boro paddy production under YRMV paddy farming in comparison with RPG farming.

    Journal Articles & Books
    December 2014

    Even though many forest villagers have been living on forest department land and serving the department in the northeastern hill forests region of Bangladesh since the early 1950s, their livelihood has not yet been fully explored. This paper examines the livelihoods of forest villagers (Khasia ethnic people) and their contribution to forest conservation, using data from the Sylhet forest division. The forest villagers are well-endowed with all the elements of a sustainable livelihoods framework, though human capital in terms of education is not satisfactory.

    Journal Articles & Books
    December 2013

    The Sundarbans Mangrove Forest (SMF) is the world's largest mangrove forest and it provides livelihoods to 3.5 million forest-dependent people in coastal Bangladesh. The first study aim was to analyse the efficacy of the state property regime in managing the forest through a close examination of the relationship between property rights and mangrove conservation practices. The second study aim was to explore forest-dependent communities' (FDCs) perceptions about their participation in management and conservation practices.

    Journal Articles & Books
    December 2012

    In Bangladesh, extensive common pool fisheries exist in the wet season on private lands in the floodplains. This study investigated the trend in year-round enclosure of these seasonal commons for private aquaculture and the impacts of this practice. The floodplain area enclosed for aquaculture was found to be growing at 30–100% a year. Enclosures are organised by individual landowners, informal groups or companies that lease in land. Aquaculture in enclosures produces more fish than capture fisheries, but input costs are high.