As more than 1,000 global leaders in land rights gather in Washington, D.C., next week for the annual World Bank Land and Poverty conference, there will, no doubt, be much discussion focused on gathering data to measure global progress toward documenting and strengthening land rights for all women and men.
A stakeholder is anyone or any institution who has interests in, or is affected by, an issue or activity or transaction, and therefore has a natural right to participate in decisions relating to it.
There may be more than one stakeholder, or stakeholder group, claiming an interest in the land use on a particular area of land.
As examples, a farmer is a stakeholder in relation to the distribution or management of irrigation water from a common source, or as regards decisions on grazing rights on communal land. The term can also be applied to groups, as when several groups have an interest in, or are affected by, the exploitation of the water from a reservoir or products extracted from a forest. Stakeholders include those individuals or groups, such as women or indigenous communities, who have genuine and legitimate claims on use, but whose opinion may not be valued in current negotiations for cultural or religious reasons. Groups resident outside the area, such as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and research institutions, can also be stakeholders. Also the government of a country may have ministries with the position of stakeholders. The concept can be extended to include unborn generations who have a future interest in the resource.