Since 1966, after independence, Botswana has become a relatively stable and prosperous country where the population has access to clean water, education and health care. 58% of the population lives in urban areas, while the rest lives in rural areas characterized by a low level of production and income (97% of all poor live in rural areas) due to the harsh climatic conditions, limited arable land and fragile ecosystems.

The State Land Act of 1966 provides the management of state land by the central government and local councils, and allocates urban land to individuals and entities. The Tribal Act of 1966 vests tribal land in the citizens of Botswana and grants administrative power over the land of the 12 district Land Boards. The Land Boards can allocate land, cancel customary rights and rezone agricultural land for commercial, residential and industrial uses. It also introduced certificates that provide evidence grating rights and allows for common-law lease applications for the use of land, which are used to obtain mortgages. The Land Boards, according to the Tribal Grazing Lands Policy of 1975, also have the authority to grant private individuals and entities exclusive leasehold rights to tracts of formerly unfenced, communal land, regardless of tribal affiliation.

Customary law in Botswana provides tribe members with a right of avail, which is the right to be allocated residential, arable, and grazing land based on tribal membership. Tribal members receive land at no cost and have continuing rights to the land so long as they use it in accordance with the purpose of the allocation. However, the customary and formal land rights systems do not prevent land disputes over access to land, grazing land, and forests are increasing in frequency.

Source of the narrative

Disclaimer: The data displayed on the Land Portal is provided by third parties 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.


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Land Governance Assessment Framework (LGAF)

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    • Very Good Practice
    • Good Practice
    • Weak Practice
    • Very Weak Practice
    • Missing Value

    Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure

    Legend: National laws adoption of the VGGT principle
    • Fully adopt
    • Partially adopt
    • Not adopted
    • Missing Value

    Note: The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries, and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (The VGGTs) were endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security in 2012.

    The "VGGT indicators" dataset has been created by Nicholas K. Tagliarino, PhD Candidate at the University of Groningen, with support from Daniel Babare and Myat Noe (LLB Students, University of Groningen). The indicators assess national laws in 50 countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America against international standards on expropriation, compensation, and resettlement as established by Section 16 of the VGGTs.

    Each indicator relates to a principle established in section 16 of the VGGTs. Hold the mouse against the small "i" button above for a more detailed explanation of the indicator.

    Answering the questions posed by these indicators entails analyzing a broad range of national-level laws, including national constitutions, land acquisition acts, land acts, community land acts, agricultural land acts, land use regulations, and some court decisions.



    Displaying 1 - 6 of 503
    Journal Articles & Books
    December 2016

    Dual‐scale analyses assessing farm‐scale patterns of ecological change and landscape‐scale patterns of change in vegetation cover and animal distribution are presented from ecological transect studies away from waterpoints, regional remotely sensed analysis of vegetation cover and animal numbers across the southern Kalahari, Botswana. Bush encroachment is prevalent in semi‐arid sites where Acacia mellifera Benth. is widespread in communal areas and private ranches, showing that land tenure changes over the last 40 years have not avoided rangeland degradation.

    Reports & Research
    December 2016

    Migration between rural locations is prevalent in many developing countries and has been found to improve economic well-being in sub-Saharan Africa. This paper explores the pathways through which intra-rural migration affects well-being in rural Tanzania. Specifically, we investigate whether such migration enables migrants to access more land, higher quality land, or greater off-farm income generating opportunities that may, in turn, translate into improved well-being.