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.

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.

Indicators

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Dataset (source)
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    Media

    Latest News

    26 April 2017

     

    Rodrigo Tot is a 60-year-old farmer and an indigenous land rights activist from Guatemala. He represents an isolated, small Q’eqchi farming and fishing community of about 270 members in the long-running fight to secure legal ownership over their communal lands.

    Tot and his community stood up to the government and nickel miners expanding into their land in Agua Caliente.

    And now he's won one of the world's most prestigious activism awards, the Goldman Environmental Prize.

    20 April 2017

     

    There was a “worrying lack of transparency” around the Federal Government’s funding model for programs targeting Indigenous Australia, aid agency Oxfam said in a report released this month.

    Oxfam Australia said under the Indigenous Advancement Strategy, the Federal Government was increasingly looking to mainstream services and programs to meet Indigenous Australians’ needs.

    It said the move was at the expense of Indigenous-specific organisations.

    Among its key findings, Oxfam said:

    21 April 2017

     

    ASOLOKOBAL, Indonesia — Laurensius Lani’s footsteps can be heard at dawn alongside the traditional honay thatched-roof houses of the Baliem Valley, here in the archipelago country’s eastermost Papua province.

    Latest Blogs

    Traditionally, small ‘Pygmy’ communities moved frequently through forest territories, gathering a vast range of forest products, collecting and exchanging goods with neighboring settled societies. © Selcen Kucukustel/Atlas

    By  Lewis Evans, Survival International

    For Earth Day (April 22), Survival International reveals some of the amazing ways in which tribal peoples are the best conservationists and guardians of the natural world:

    1. The Baka “Pygmies” have over 15 words for elephant

    The Baka people know so much about elephants, they have different words for them according to their sex, age and even temperament.

     

    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.

    Latest Events

    Walk for land rights, Chambal, India, 2009.
    2 October 2017 to 6 October 2017

    Location

    Stockholm
    Sweden
    SE

    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.

    10 July 2017 to 14 July 2017

    Location

    Utrecht
    Netherlands
    NL

    Welcome to IASC’s XVIth Biennial Conference in Utrecht in 2017! The ‘Institutions for Collective Action’ research team of Utrecht University as well as the researchers affiliated with Utrecht University’sStrategic Theme ‘Institutions for Open Societies’ are proud to jointly host the global XVI Biennial Conference, ‘Practicing the commons: Self-governance, cooperation, and institutional change’ of The International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC) in the historical city centre of Utrecht, 10-14 July 2017.

    22 June 2017 to 29 June 2017

    Location

    Kampala
    Uganda
    UG

     

    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.

    9 May 2017 to 12 May 2017

    Location

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

    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.

    Debates

    Closed
    13 February 2017 to 27 February 2017
    Facilitators
    Natalia Scurrah
    Terry Parnell
    n.sorensen

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

    Closed
    28 November 2016 to 23 December 2016
    Facilitators
    Bjoern.Hoops
    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.

    Closed
    23 October 2016 to 25 November 2016
    Facilitators
    Alejandro Diez
    gonzalocolque
    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.

    Partners

    Library

    Displaying 1 - 6 of 747
    Ghanaian cocoa farmer establishing specially-approved farm boundary pillars under the guidance of a Landmapp field agent (the pillar will be mounted with cement after mapping). Courtesy: Landmapp (www.landmapp.net)
    Reports & Research
    April 2017

    The Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG), with support from the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), performed the Ghana Land Tenure Baseline Survey, the first of its kind survey of tenure rights among cocoa farmers in Ghana. CRIG surveyed almost 1,800 cocoa farmers operating 3,900 cocoa plots regarding various land tenure issues within customary sharecropping arrangements and on owner-managed land. This report describes the findings from the Survey.

    Reports & Research
    April 2017

    This dialogue provided a way for the land community to collaboratively explore challenges and opportunities related to the recognition of indigenous, ethnic minority and customary tenure rights in the Mekong region in order to:

    Reports & Research
    April 2017

    Increased private sector investment in tropical agriculture has created both hopes and fears for rural livelihoods in low- and middle-income countries. One of the major challenges is in empowering rural people to make informed choices, exercise their rights and have their voices heard when dealing with the government or the private sector.

    Journal Articles & Books
    March 2017

    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.

    Manuals & Guidelines
    March 2017

    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

    Cover page
    Conference Papers & Reports
    March 2017

    Land is one of the terrains of struggle for most rural women in Africa because of its importance in sustaining rural livelihoods, and social-cultural and geopolitical factors that hinder women from enjoying land rights. Even when there are progressive land laws, as it is for Tanzania, women have not really enjoyed their rights. However, this has not stopped women to keep fighting for their land rights.  They have sought their own approaches by leveraging opportunities within traditional, religious, and formal systems standing for their rights.