Access to Land & Tenure Security

Land tenure is the relationship, whether legally or customarily defined, among people, as individuals or groups, with respect to land. (For convenience, "land" is used here to include other natural resources such as water and trees.) Land tenure is an institution, i.e., rules invented by societies to regulate behaviour. Rules of tenure define how property rights to land are to be allocated within societies. They define how access is granted to rights to use, control, and transfer land, as well as associated responsibilities and restraints. In simple terms, land tenure systems determine who can use what resources for how long, and under what conditions.

Land tenure is an important part of social, political and economic structures. It is multi-dimensional, bringing into play social, technical, economic, institutional, legal and political aspects that are often ignored but must be taken into account. Land tenure relationships may be well-defined and enforceable in a formal court of law or through customary structures in a community. Alternatively, they may be relatively poorly defined with ambiguities open to exploitation.

Source: GLTN


14 November 2016 to 18 November 2016


Tiquipaya, Department of Cochabamba

The III Continental Summit of Indigenous Communication of Abya Yala will be officially presented at this year’s session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. The event will take place on Wednesday, May 18th from 6:15 to 7:30 PM at the CR7 room in the United Nations building in New York, in an event organized by a delegation from Bolivia, as well as by delegates from other member countries of the International Commission of the Summit.

Reports & Research
March 2016


Journal Articles & Books
December 2014

Foreign investment in agriculture and extractive industries is increasing pressures on land and natural resources. This handbook is about how to use law to make foreign investment work for sustainable development. It aims to provide a rigorous yet accessible analysis of the law regulating foreign investment in low and middle-income countries – what this law is, how it works, and how to use it most effectively.

Journal Articles & Books
January 2012

Once the Guidelines on Tenure Governance are approved, CSOs must energically monitor States' actions to
respect, protect and fulfill tenure rights, through strong, independent, participatory and transparent monitoring
mechanisms, which ensure that the principles established in the Guidelines on Tenure Governance are being
effectively taken into consideration.
Adoption and implementation of the Guidelines on Tenure Governance can be enriched by the lessons learned

Journal Articles & Books
January 2012

Due to the unquestionable importance and urgency in addressing the problem ofequitable and fair access to
land and other natural resources, an International policy framework is badly needed is required. In this sense,
Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of
National Food Security (onwards refered as the Guidelines on Tenure Governance) are under preparation since
2005 through the development of a universally applicable framework which can assist States in constructing

Policy Papers & Briefs
October 2013

This paper sets out how one crop – sugar – has been driving large- scale land acquisitions and land conflicts at the expense of small-scale food producers and their families. At least 4m hectares of land have been acquired for sugar production in 100 large-scale land deals since 2000, although given the lack of transparency around such deals, the area is likely to be much greater. In some cases, these acquisitions have been linked to human rights violations, loss of livelihoods, and hunger for small-scale food producers and their families.

Reports & Research
January 2009

This publication, from the Global Land Tool Network, presents the grassroots mechanism it plans to promote for the effective inclusion of local community groups (grassroots). The involvement of the grassroots is crucial at all stages of land-related processes. However, many pro-poor land policies are developed and implemented with weak grassroots participation, leading to project failure or outcomes that do not assist women or people living in poverty.

Reports & Research
January 2015

The Feasibility Study is designed to provide a business case with respect to the feasibility of data collection for global land indicators. It gives a concrete analysis of the possibility of having land indicators in the post-2015 framework that are relevant, disaggregated by gender and include outcome indicators going beyond the legal framework. This report demonstrates that it is feasible to collect the data required using available methodologies and data sources, and that countries are able to produce these data regularly and at a reasonable cost.

Reports & Research
January 2015

The following recommendations are made in this report:
1. The continuum of land rights is a metaphor, not a theory. A metaphor can be applied in a number of theoretical contexts, whereas a theory has an ideological perspective.