Indigenous & Community Land Rights

Secure community land rights are an essential condition for Indigenous Peoples and local communities to enjoy human rights, socio-economic development, and cultural protection.

With secure land tenure, Indigenous Peoples and local communities can realize human rights, achieve economic growth, protect the environment, and maintain cultural integrity

For centuries, Indigenous Peoples and local communities (IPLCs) have used, managed and depended on collectively-held land for food supplies, cultural and spiritual traditions, and other livelihood needs. Historically governed through customary tenure systems rooted in community norms and practices that often go back centuries, governments often consider such community land as vacant, idle, or state-owned property.  Statutory recognition and protection of indigenous and community land rights continues to be a major challenge [1].

The gap between formally recognized and customarily held and managed land is a significant source of underdevelopment, conflict, and environmental degradation [2]. Strong rights to land are vital for Indigenous Peoples and local communities. When community land rights are weak, such areas are vulnerable to land grabbing, expropriation without compensation, and encroachment by outsiders [3]. Without secure tenure rights [4], meaning rights that are enforceable and recognized by governments and others, communities face increased risk of poverty, poor health, and human rights abuse. Securing community tenure rights is not only crucial from a human rights and socio-economic development perspective, it is also necessary to mitigate climate change, foster sustainable development, and promote peacebuilding across the globe [5].



Disclaimer: The data displayed on the Land Portal is provided by third parts 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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    Latest News

    Seeking research and data consultant for TI's Africa Land and Corruption Programme

    Tuesday, March 21, 2017

    Application Closing Date - 02 Apr 2017
    Job Start Date - April 2017 to July 2017
    Duration - 3 months
    Location - Remote

    Transparency International (TI) is the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption. Through more than 100 chapters worldwide and an international secretariat in Berlin, Germany, TI raises awareness of the damaging effects of corruption and works with partners in government, business and civil society to develop and implement effective measures to tackle it.

    Amazon’s indigenous call for open dialogue with extractive industry leaders

    Monday, March 20, 2017


    Indigenous rights leaders from a Catholic Church network traveled to Washington, D.C., to highlight human rights violations against people in the Amazon and to call for prior consultation with extractive industries pursing projects on their lands.

    Pan-Amazonian Church Network Vice President Pedro Barreto Jimeno told Humanosphere that Friday’s hearing was the first time Amazonian people were the primary focus of a human rights hearing at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington, D.C.

    Latest Blogs

    Tenure reform: Lessons from the Global South


    A Q&A with researcher Anne Larson on the changing conditions of rights and resources in discussion at the World Bank Land and Poverty Conference


    Over the past two decades, a global trend has seen increasing recognition of the rights of communities and local governments to manage their own resources, particularly in developing countries. An ongoing study by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) has followed this process across Asia, Africa and Latin America, finding key lessons for successful tenure reform.

    Ten Signs of an Impending Global Land Rights Revolution

    By Chris Jochnick, President and CEO of Landesa

    The development community has experienced various “revolutions” over the years – from microfinance to women’s rights, from the green revolution to sustainable development.  Each of these awakenings has improved our understanding of the challenges we face; each has transformed the development landscape, mostly for the better.

    Women’s Groups Are Turning To Timby

    Since 2013, groups have been using TIMBY to document issues such as land tenure, environmental conservation and corruption. We are excited that TIMBY is helping elevate the voices of communities in decision-making about their land; it’s a first step in creating equitable land rights discussions both locally and globally. But we’ve noticed that TIMBY isn’t always being used in an equal and fair way with respect to gender: the reporters in early TIMBY projects were almost all men.

    Latest Events

    Walk for land rights, Chambal, India, 2009.

    3rd International Conference on Scaling-up Global Efforts to Secure Community Land and Resource Rights

    2 October 2017 to 6 October 2017



    Join us for the 3rd international conference on scaling-up global efforts to secure community land and resource rights.

    In 2013, leading Indigenous Peoples, community organizations, NGOs, governments, private companies, and investors met in Interlaken to devise strategies to scale up global efforts to secure community land and resource rights. Last September, we met in Bern to assess and establish a new baseline from which to measure global progress.

    The 11th International Conference on Community-Based Adaptation (CBA11)

    22 June 2017 to 29 June 2017




    The 11th International Conference on Community-Based Adaptation to Climate Change (CBA11) will focus on harnessing natural resources and ecosystems for adaptation.

    The 11th International Conference on Community-Based Adaptation (CBA11) to climate change will take place in Kampala, Uganda from 22-29 June 2017.

    II Simpósio de Ciência do Solo: Interfaces, desafios e Inovações

    9 May 2017 to 12 May 2017


    Universidade Federal de Lavras
    Av. Doutor Sylvio Menicucci, 1001 - Kennedy, Lavras - MG,
    37200-000 Brasil Minas Gerais

    O ano de 2015 foi considerado pela ONU como Ano Internacional dos Solos. Por este nobre motivo e pelo aprimoramento do conhecimento das necessidades de nossos solos, alunos de graduação, pós-graduação e professores do Departamento de Ciência do Solo (DCS) da Universidade Federal de Lavras iniciaram e se prontificaram para a organização do “I Simpósio de Ciência do Solo: Funcionalidades e uso responsável dos recursos do solo” nesta universidade, que se realizou entre os dias 30 de novembro a 4 de dezembro de 2015.


    Recognition of Customary Tenure in the Mekong Region: a Dialogue

    13 February 2017 to 27 February 2017
    Natalia Scurrah
    Terry Parnell

    From 13-27 February 2017, the Mekong Region Land Governance (MRLG) project and the Land Portal will co-facilitate an online dialogue on the Recognition of Customary Tenure in the Mekong Region.



    Debate on land valuation and fair compensation

    28 November 2016 to 23 December 2016
    Nicholas Tagliarino
    Marcello Demaria

    Land tenure changes are on the rise throughout the world as a result of increased migration from rural to urban areas, expansion of infrastructure, commercial pressures on agricultural land, extractive activities, and climate change. Shifts in land tenure arrangements are proceeding through compulsory acquisitions (i.e. expropriations) and voluntary market transactions, such large-scale land leases and concessions.


    Collective property in South America, challenges and prospects

    23 October 2016 to 25 November 2016
    Alejandro Diez
    Sergio Coronado
    Juan Pablo Chumacero

    Generally, most rural land in the world has been in the hands of local peasant communities and indigenous peoples under customary land tenure systems; historically although, land ownership in rural areas, and natural resources contained in it, have been a source of tension between different actors with different ways to understand and take ownership. In this conflict of interest, usually rural and indigenous communities with collective forms of property, have lost out.




    Método de análise econômico-ecológica de agroecossistemas

    Este documento apresenta um método de análise econômico-ecológica
    de agroecossistemas. O desenvolvimento do método se fundou
    na necessidade de dar visibilidade a relações econômicas, ecológicas
    e políticas que singularizam os modos de produção e de vida da agricultura
    familiar, povos e comunidades tradicionais e que têm sido
    historicamente ocultadas ou descaracterizadas pela teoria econômica
    convencional. As contundentes evidências empíricas do fracasso dos

    Resource information

    March 2017

    Olhares Agroecológicos: Análise econômico-ecológica de agroecossistemas em sete territórios brasileiros

    A ideia de produzir este livro teve origem em um esforço compartilhado por organizações e redes vinculadas à Articulação Nacional de Agroecologia (ANA) de sistematizar evidências dos benefícios do enfoque agroecológico na gestão técnico-econômica da agricultura familiar, aqui apreendida em suas variadas formas de organização produtiva e expressão identitária.

    Resource information

    March 2017

    Biomas brasileiros e a teia da vida

    Conscientes do colapso civilizacional com que nos defrontamos como espécie humana e inspirados pela Campanha da Fraternidade deste ano, cujo tema é Fraternidade: Biomas Brasileiros e Defesa da Vida e que tem como lema Cultivar e Guardar a Criação (Gn 2,15), a edição de número 500 da revista IHU On-Line debate o tema que também é assunto central do ciclo de conferências promovido pelo Instituto Humanitas Unisinos – IHU a partir do dia 15 de março até o final do mês de junho deste ano.

    Resource information

    March 2017

    Unidades de Conservação mais desmatadas da Amazônia legal (2012-2015)

    As Unidades de Conservação cobrem 22% da Amazônia Legal e são uma estratégia eficaz para conservar animais, plantas e serviços ambientais, conter o desmatamento e manter o equilíbrio climático do Planeta. Contudo, as taxas de desmatamento em UCs vêm aumentando – em 2015 já superava a de 2012 em 79% –, assim como sua participação no desmatamento total da Amazônia, que passou de 6% em 2008 para 12% em 2015.

    Resource information

    March 2017

    Agricultura Familiar Brasileira: Desafios e Perspectivas de Futuro

    A Agricultura Brasileira se destaca entre as maiores do mundo e representa uma fonte de alimentos e de matéria prima para muitos países. Nela estão presentes diversos modos de fazer Agricultura, entre os quais a produção Agrícola Familiar, encontrada em extensas e importantes regiões do país. A agricultura familiar no Brasil é crescentemente uma forma social de produção reconhecida pela sociedade brasileira, por suas contribuições materiais e imateriais.

    Resource information

    March 2017

    2016 DFID Land Portfolio Overview

    The Portfolio Overview provides a global overview of DFID's programmes working on land issues and highlights lessons and trends emerging from major land programmes over recent years.

    This year's Portfolio Overview also provides an in-depth review of DFID’s land programmes and interventions in Nigeria and highlights opportunities for existing and new programmes to tackle land issues in their pursuit of inclusive economic growth.

    Resource information

    February 2017