governance

Date of publication
January 2013
Geographical focus


This article reviews recent research on contemporary transformations of global land governance. It shows how changes in global governance have facilitated and responded to radical revalorizations of land, together driving the intensified competition and struggles over land observed in many other contributions to this special issue. The rules in place to govern land use are shifting from ‘territorial’ toward ‘flow-centered’ arrangements, the latter referring to governance that targets particular flows of resources or goods, such as certification of agricultural or wood products. The intensifying competition over land coupled with shifts toward flow-centered governance has generated land uses involving new forms of social exclusion, inequity and ecological simplification.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Highlights

•Global governance refers to rules at all levels having transnational repercussions.
•Changes in global governance have facilitated and responded to land revalorizations.
•Land governance is shifting from territorial toward flow-centered forms.
•The shift is generating new ecological simplifications and social injustices.
•Future land governance needs to combine flow-centered and territorial forms at multiple levels.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Download the article here.

Date of publication
January 2013
Geographical focus

WASHINGTON, July 22, 2013—Africa is home to nearly half of the world’s usable uncultivated land, some 202 million hectares that can be brought under the plow. Yet it has the highest poverty rate in the world. The continent’s poor development record suggests it has not leveraged its abundant agricultural land and natural resources to generate shared and sustained growth.

Scaling-Up Progress

A new World Bank report “Securing Africa’s Land for Shared Prosperity,” released on July 22, argues that poor land governance – the manner in which land rights are defined and administered – may be the root of the problem. The report offers a series of 10 steps for improving land governance that can help to revolutionize agricultural production and end poverty in Africa. With political will from African Governments and support from development partners, the plan to improve land governance in Africa in a decade could cost as little as US$4.5 billion.

“Despite abundant land and mineral wealth, Africa remains poor,” says Makhtar Diop, World Bank Vice President for Africa. “Improving land governance is vital for achieving rapid economic growth and translating it into significantly less poverty and more opportunity for Africans, including women who make up 70 percent of Africa’s farmers yet are locked out of land ownership due to customary laws. The status quo is unacceptable and must change so that all Africans can benefit from their land.”

The report lays out land reform pilots in Malawi, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda and other countries and shows how many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have recognized customary land rights and gender equality, the two key issues that provide a basis for sound land administration.

Ten Steps for Scaling-Up

The 10 steps are based partly on lessons learned from agricultural land reform movements in Brazil and China and land rights reforms in slums in Argentina and Indonesia. The steps are tailored to reflect experiences with land reform pilot projects underway in African countries.

The steps include:
•Securing tenure rights for community lands and individual plots.
•Increasing efficiency and transparency in land administration services by empowering local communities and traditional authorities.
•Developing capacity in land administration by encouraging policy reforms and providing training.

“Improving the performance and productivity of Africa’s agricultural sector is vital for broad-based growth, more jobs, investment, and substantially less poverty,” says Jamal Saghir, World Bank Director for Sustainable Development in Africa. “Land governance is a proven pathway to achieving transformational change and impact that will help secure Africa’s future for the benefit of all its families.”

Challenges and Opportunities

Over the last decade, pan-African organizations and African countries have made strides in establishing land policy initiatives and piloting innovative approaches to improve land governance.

Despite the determination and effort of leaders to improve land governance, serious challenges must be addressed. Land grabs by investors have already claimed millions of hectares, in some cases pushing established communities off the land.

Yet, the report argues, now is a good time for governments to begin scaling up land reform. Surging commodity prices and strong foreign direct investment; established regional and global initiatives for land reform; and new laws to reform land rights and provide gender equity have set the stage for large-scale land rights progress.

Many countries are taking advantage of new technologies such as satellites that have the potential to reduce the cost of land administration, the report notes. At least 26 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are replacing their geodetic infrastructure with low-cost global positioning systems for conducting uniform, cost-effective surveys. And at least 15 countries in the region have ongoing initiatives to computerize their land registries, key for improving efficiency and reducing costs and corruption.

“Land governance issues are at the front and center of meeting Africa’s development challenge,” says Frank Byamugisha, author of the report and Lead Land Specialist in the World Bank’s Africa Region. “As global interest in Africa’s land surges, the report’s findings provide a useful, policy-oriented roadmap for securing Africa’s land for shared prosperity.”

Working Together

The report highlights Malawi’s redistributive land reform program as a good model on which other countries can build to address landownership inequality and landlessness. In 2004, with support from the World Bank, the government of Malawi instituted a decentralized, voluntary and community-based land reform pilot project that distributed land owned by large corporate estates to groups of poor farmers. The program, modeled on Brazil’s market-based approach to land reform, provided the groups land rights and funds to buy the supplies needed to diversify their farming and increase production.

Today, over 15,000 rural Malawian households own land as part of a community and each family’s income has increased by 40 percent. Food security has also improved for these families and for those living in the surrounding communities.

To help eliminate poverty, the World Bank recommends increasing land access and tenure for the poor and vulnerable by redistributing rural land, providing ownership rights for squatters on urban public land, removing restrictions on rental land and promoting gender equity by documenting the land rights of women.

 

Download the full report here.

Geographical focus

The overarching goal of this study was to understand the bottlenecks and the incentives present in forest management in the Kyrgyz Republic. The study focused on the legal, policy, social, institutional, and governance constraints that prevent rural communities living within and around forest lands from increasing the benefits they derive from the use of forest resources, while preserving fragile forest ecosystems. It includes a review of formal institutions and the policy and legislation underpinning forest management, as well as the de facto governance and use arrangements of communities in and near forested areas.

Date of publication
January 2005
Geographical focus

The document provides a comprehensive study on past and current land management, including an overview of legislation on pasture access and management, and pratical examples of pasture management in practice.

Date of publication
January 2012
Geographical focus

Significant progress has been made over the past decade or so in the development of policy and legislation that support the recognition of customary rights to land, with important legal rulings in Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique, South Sudan, and South Africa. At the same time, the strengthening of communities’ traditional rights to use resources has progressed through community forest reserves and community conservation areas. However, many commons remain highly vulnerable, with land being removed by governments for national parks and large tracts appropriated for commercial agricultural investment on a regular basis. In particular this is true of the rangelands, where external interest in land for agriculture, and in its resources for other commercial ventures such as tourism, has grown. Even the most progressive policies and legislation still fail to provide adequate protection to many rangeland users and, most commonly, to the poorest and least powerful. At the same time, customary institutions that would have provided adequate protection in the past have been weakened due to both internal and external influences. This is the situation faced by many members of the International Land Coalition (ILC) working with rural communities who are highly vulnerable to land and resource appropriation and loss. In an attempt to address this, in October 2010 ILC brought a group of its members together in Addis Ababa to develop a learning initiative that will explore this topic through 2011–2012.1 The aim of this initiative is to identify ways in which the security of customary land users over their common property resources (including land) can be strengthened. In particular, it will focus on multi-use landscapes or territories such as rangelands, where the vulnerability of land and resource users is particularly high. As a first step in the development of the learning initiative, this scoping paper explores past and present experiences of land and resource tenure in rangelands (predominantly in Africa, where the bulk of the rangelands are located). It discusses the limitations of many of the tools and systems used to date, and identifies alternatives that have potential for providing greater security of tenure to rangeland users in the future. The further exploration of these alternatives will be the task of those taking part in the learning initiative over the next year. This document is a Working Document, and feedback, input and suggestions are welcomed by the author.

Date of publication
January 2011
Geographical focus

In Laikipia the key dynamics centre on absentee land, much of this being land that was divvied out to Kikuyu by Kenyatta after independence. Much of this land (particularly north of the 600mm rainfall band) is not viable for cultivation. However, it was used by the Kikuyu title-holders as collateral to acquire loans with the Agricultural Development Corporation and others. Maasai, Samburu and Pokot herders have been grazing this land since the 1970s. Now, former commercial ranch managers are setting up as brokers and are identifying the title holders of the absentee lands to convince them to consolidate their holdings and sell, as there is a new rush for land by foreign diplomats, aid workers, and even some Zimbabwean white farmers. The buyers of these consolidated plots are now fencing, which has created tensions understandably with the Maasai and other herders who have been using this land for a generation.

Date of publication
January 2009
Geographical focus

 In Kenya, the pastoral Maasai’s districts have been the vanguard in rangeland tenure transitions and experimentation as pastoralists’ territory gave way to communal group ranches and to individual land holdings under diverse land-use activities. The tenure transformations have been accompanied by institutional and socio-economic changes that have had bearings on local communities’ capacities for collective action, pastoral livelihoods, and environmental sustainability. While studies of the tenure transitions have focused more on the effects of sub-division and privatization, less consideration has been given to resilient, functional, communal resource institutions in the region. This paper considers the case of Olkiramatian group ranch, which has appropriated the “modern” group ranch framework as an institutional base for the local collective management of communal resources and socio-economic organization. While the framework provides the organizational structure for local resource institutions, shared local knowledge and social values, common interests, and customary relations provide the cement that makes them functional.  Moreover, the rare combination of an extreme arid ecology, perennial rivers, potential for tourism-conservation, and long standing interaction between pastoralism and cultivation, inherently creates opportunities for economic diversification and need for institutionalized resource management. Recent pressure for land individuation, on the other hand, presents opportunity for greater tenure security but threatens the communal collective whole.

Date of publication
January 2011
Geographical focus

IUCN’s work in Garba Tula (GT) through this project has now been underway for almost two years, and to date a number of activities have been implemented in the area. This has included: sensitization and awareness raising of local community members; providing support to help strengthen the operations of the Resource Advocacy Programme (RAP – a local NGO working in the Garba Tula area); and supporting work carried out by RAP members to document traditional institutions and strategies for governing natural resources in the Garba Tula area. The results of the assessment presented in this document build on this previous work in the area, and aim to establish baseline information on existing natural resource governance arrangements in Garba Tula, and to identify how these governance mechanisms can best be improved. This work is intended to contribute to the ultimate aim of the overall project that focuses on improving the sustainable use and conservation of natural resources, and strengthening the resilience of livelihoods that directly depend on natural resources.

Date of publication
January 2006
Geographical focus

In order to address this problem and to guide its policy advocacy work, the ERETO project commissioned a study to review existing and planned policies and laws that currently touch upon pastoralism and analyse how they actually impact, or are likely to impact, on pastoral and agro-pastoral livelihoods.  The policies and laws reviewed include those dealing with overall national development, those specific for the livestock sector, those dealing with access to pastoral resources, those dealing with conservation of wildlife and other natural resources, and those dealing with decentralisation and local governance.

Date of publication
January 2011
Geographical focus

The report considers the causes, processes and impacts of rangeland fragmentation on pastoralists in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. Causes and processes include privatisation of resources, commercial investment, invasion of land by non-native plants, commercialisation including growth in individual enclosures, and conservation/National Parks. The impacts include increasing wealth divides and a growing inability to overcome and vulnerability to drought.  Full report can be downloaded from: http://www.disasterriskreduction.net/east-central-africa/library/detail/...

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - governance