Yemen is the poorest country in the Middle East, with 80% of its poor in rural areas. In spite of limited cultivable land, nearly two-thirds of Yemenis derive their livelihood from agriculture. An increasing proportion of land has been converted from food production to the growing of qat, and small farmers’ land holdings are getting smaller while the largest and wealthiest landowners’ holdings are increasing. Sixty-two percent of farms cover less than 2 hectares. In spite of a major role in agricultural production, women rarely have ownership rights to land and commonly relinquish inherited land rights to male family members.

Land disputes are relatively common in Yemen because there is no system for authenticating land deeds and land documents, either formal or customary, and no national cadastre. However, both urban and rural landowners have a reasonable degree of tenure security with rights enforceable under either civil law or customary and Islamic law, respectively. Access to water, which is tied to land rights, is a common cause of land disputes, particularly in areas of water scarcity. Land scarcity is resulting in appropriation and sale of communal land, in some cases by sheikhs in violation of their fiduciary responsibility. Yemen faces a crisis in terms of water supply and water quality, with one of the lowest per capita water availability rates in the world (only 150 cubic meters per year) and pervasive groundwater contamination. This situation has made waterborne diseases the major cause of the high infant mortality rate of 53 per thousand. Ninety percent of water withdrawal is for agriculture. Surface and groundwater resources are communal property, which has led to less than optimal use of this very scarce resource.

Forests constitute only 1% of Yemen’s total land area. However, forests are a critical resource, providing 70% of the country’s energy needs and over half the fodder for livestock. In spite of forests’ economic significance, Yemen does not have a national forest policy or legislation governing forest land. The ownership status of most forest land in Yemen is ambiguous and disputes are frequent.

One of the major current sources of Yemen’s national income, oil, is projected to become exhausted by 2012. Accordingly, Yemen can no longer rely on oil revenues and must instead continue to focus its development strategy on sustainable and productive use of its natural and human resource base.

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.


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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.



    Displaying 1 - 6 of 128
    Policy Papers & Briefs
    December 2016

    عكف منظمة الأغذية والزراعة، منذ انضمام اليمن إليها في عام 1990، على تقديم المساعدات في مجالات تعزيز التنمية المستدامة لقطاع الأغذية والزراعة في الدولة، بما في ذلك إدارة الموارد الطبيعية واستخدامها بالشكل الأمثل. ومع تصاعد الصراع منذ مارس/آذار 2014، قامت المنظمة بالاستجابة للأزمة الإنسانية التي امتد أثرها لأكثر من 14.1 مليون شخص يعانون من انعدام الأمن الغذائي. ويتم تقديم المساعدات الطارئة في المجالات الزراعية وسبل المعيشة لحماية المجتمعات المستضعفة وتعزيز قدراتها.

    Policy Papers & Briefs
    December 2016

    Since the Kingdom of Bahrain joined the Organization in 1971, FAO has provided technical support to enhance the food and nutrition security and strengthen the country’s management and conservation of natural resources. Cooperation has included support to the fisheries, livestock and crop production subsectors as well as assistance in the area of food safety; and food and nutrition security

    Journal Articles & Books
    December 2016

    This document provides a clear and comprehensive account for the application of marine spatial planning (MSP) within the Regional Commission for Fisheries (RECOFI) region. It builds on regional technical workshops, held under the auspices of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), aimed principally at improving the prospects for fisheries and aquaculture in the Near East. Marine spatial planning provides a step-by-step process that allows for the cooperative integration of the major marine uses and users within a defined marine area.