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


Manuals & Guidelines
September 2017

There are 85 irrigation schemes in Niger that cover around 16,000 ha and are cultivated by 40,000 farmers. The informal status of these irrigation schemes, and their occupants, has created problems due to population growth and the increasing scarcity of natural resources. Holders of traditional land rights have challenged government decisions concerning land attributions and property rights within the schemes, and have occasionally prevented construction from proceeding.

slum dweller india land rights
14 September 2017

BHUBANESWAR: Four bills including the much-awaited Odisha Land Rights to Slum Dwellers Bill, 2017 were passed in the Assembly on Wednesday.Introducing the Odisha Land Rights to Slum Dwellers Bill, 2017 in the Assembly, Housing and Urban Development Minister Niranjan Pujari said it is a historical decision of the State Government to provide land and housing units to the urban poor living in different slums. The Bill will provide land to slum dwellers residing in Municipalities and Notified Area Councils (NACs) of the State.

Reports & Research
October 2009
South Africa

The Women’s Land Rights in Southern Africa Project (WOLAR) is aimed at enhancing women’s access to, ownership of, control over land and other productive resources and services in order to meet their basic livelihood needs and become more economically independent and secure.

Reports & Research
April 2004
South Africa

A common misconception in relation to common property situations is that the choice of the legal form will determine whether communal property institutions function well or not. The reality is that whether good, fair management and land administration takes place or not is often largely determined by issues like the following, which can undermine effective governance and land administration irrespective of which legal entity is used:
• Do the majority of residents understand and agree with how land administration processes work?

Conference Papers & Reports
October 2001
South Africa

This paper argues that the focus in the community based natural resource management (CBNRM) literature on the devolution and decentralisation of state authority and responsibility over natural resources to communities does not pay sufficient attention to the role of the state in creating and maintaining a coherent institutional environment.

Conference Papers & Reports
August 2017


This report was prepared by Centre for Land Governance, NRMC, the Secretariat of India Land & Development Conference 2017. This report provides an overview of the proceedings of India Land & Development Conference, organized at India International Centre, New Delhi, India on April 5-6th 2017.

This report consists sharing of experiences, knowledge and practices over eight thematic sessions, two panel discussions and a special session.

Eight Sessions in the Conference are as follows:

Reports & Research
December 2004
South Africa

This paper is concerned primarily with the functions of land administration. Its
purpose is to describe the current land administration practices as understood by
traditional structures with a view to unpacking some of the components of the existing
African tenure arrangements in KwaZulu-Natal. This, it is hoped, will help to create a
base to understand how communal land systems operate, regardless of which structure
governs them, in order to support practices that secure tenure effectively.

Conference Papers & Reports
November 2001
South Africa

The paper asserts that in order to be effective it is important to work with and from existing tenure systems and to build upon them, rather than expect that they can be “demolished and replaced by efficient new systems”.  Experience both here and elsewhere in Africa also tells us that attempts to change tenure tend to result in a “defaulting” back to what is known, often with increased confusion and conflict over procedures and adjudication authorities.