Indigenous & Community Land Rights

Secure community land rights are an essential condition for Indigenous Peoples and local communities to enjoy human rights, socio-economic development, and cultural protection.

With secure land tenure, Indigenous Peoples and local communities can realize human rights, achieve economic growth, protect the environment, and maintain cultural integrity.

For centuries, Indigenous Peoples and local communities (IPLCs) have used, managed and depended on collectively-held land for food supplies, cultural and spiritual traditions, and other livelihood needs. Historically governed through customary tenure systems rooted in community norms and practices that often go back centuries, governments often consider such community land as vacant, idle, or state-owned property.  Statutory recognition and protection of indigenous and community land rights continues to be a major challenge [1].

The gap between formally recognized and customarily held and managed land is a significant source of underdevelopment, conflict, and environmental degradation [2]. Strong rights to land are vital for Indigenous Peoples and local communities. When community land rights are weak, such areas are vulnerable to land grabbing, expropriation without compensation, and encroachment by outsiders [3]. Without secure tenure rights [4], meaning rights that are enforceable and recognized by governments and others, communities face increased risk of poverty, poor health, and human rights abuse. Securing community tenure rights is not only crucial from a human rights and socio-economic development perspective, it is also necessary to mitigate climate change, foster sustainable development, and promote peacebuilding across the globe [5].

 

 

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

Indicators

Indicator
Dataset (source)
Unit Year Obs Missing Values (%) Min Max Remove

Mapping

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Ranking

    Media

    Latest News

    20 June 2017
    Kenya

    Many cash-strapped Maasai have become landless after subdividing and selling swathes of land to the south of Nairobi

    NAIROBI, June 20 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Kenya's opposition leader has raised tensions weeks ahead of elections by criticising the Maasai community's sale of ancestral land to other ethnic groups in an area hit by political violence in the 1990s, land rights experts said.

    Many cash-strapped Maasai have become landless after subdividing and selling swathes of land to the south of Kenya's capital, Nairobi, where they used to roam with their cattle.

    20 June 2017
    Asia

    The average annual rate of deforestation is nearly 600,000 acres, and deforestation rates in the forested areas re higher than that in non-forested areas, said Tin Tun, director of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation, at a workshop on knowledge-sharing among ethnic minority groups in programme to reduce emissions and deforestation in Asia. The workshop was held at the Horizon Lake View Hotel in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.

    20 June 2017
    Global

    LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Each week, at least four men and women vanish without trace or are found dead, cut down in a hail of gunfire.

    In Cambodia, a single mother is separated from her two children, arrested and locked up in prison.

    On the dry savannahs of Brazil's Mato Grosso do Sul, farmers shoot dead a 26-year-old indigenous man in broad daylight.

    In Bangladesh, a university professor receives death threats from an al Qaeda-inspired militant group.

    15 June 2017
    Asia

    Statement of the Network of Indigenous Peoples in Thailand (NIPT) at the 7th AWG-SF Conference held in Chiang Mai, Thailand

    ASEAN Working Group on Social Forestry (AWG-SF) Chairperson, distinguished delegates from the ASEAN Member States, distinguished guests, participants, CSOs and indigenous brothers and sisters, I bring greetings on behalf of indigenous representatives, forest dependent communities and civil society organizations (CSOs) from Thailand who were part of the 6th CSO Forum on Social Forestry in ASEAN (9-10 June 2017) held here in Chiang Mai.

    Latest Blogs

    Mali

    Farmers in Mali have gained critical new rights to their traditional land—and rural communities have gained much-needed economic stability—as a result of a historic new law.

    Peru

    Scientists present their findings on forest tenure and land use at a major conference in Peru

    Peru - Latin American countries have made progress in granting land rights to communities in recent years. Nevertheless, policies often fail to consider the diversity of those communities and the different ways they use their land.

    A paralegal speaks with community members in Mamusa community, Sierra Leone.
    Sierra Leone

    A small band of grassroots advocates has been helping communities in Sierra Leone secure better deals for their land, says Sonkita Conteh, from paralegal organisation Namati

    Photo CC Steve McCurry
    Ecuador
    China
    Myanmar

    I wouldn’t say Chinese investors are not trying to take social responsibility seriously, but they must understand that the meaning of responsible investment is much more than a few corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs.

    Latest Events

    4 October 2017 to 5 October 2017

    Location

    Vår Gård Saltsjöbaden , Stockholm
    Sweden
    Stockholm SE
    Global

     

    Join us for the 3rd international conference on community land and resource rights

    Walk for land rights, Chambal, India, 2009.
    4 October 2017 to 5 October 2017

    Location

    Saltsjöbaden
    Sweden
    SE
    Global

    Join us for the 3rd international conference on scaling-up global efforts to secure community land and resource rights.

    In 2013, leading Indigenous Peoples, community organizations, NGOs, governments, private companies, and investors met in Interlaken to devise strategies to scale up global efforts to secure community land and resource rights. Last September, we met in Bern to assess and establish a new baseline from which to measure global progress.

    10 July 2017 to 14 July 2017

    Location

    Utrecht
    Netherlands
    NL
    Global

    Welcome to IASC’s XVIth Biennial Conference in Utrecht in 2017! The ‘Institutions for Collective Action’ research team of Utrecht University as well as the researchers affiliated with Utrecht University’sStrategic Theme ‘Institutions for Open Societies’ are proud to jointly host the global XVI Biennial Conference, ‘Practicing the commons: Self-governance, cooperation, and institutional change’ of The International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC) in the historical city centre of Utrecht, 10-14 July 2017.

    Debates

    20 June 2017 to 4 July 2017
    Open
    Facilitators
    EverlyneNairesiae
    StaceyZammit
    Malcolm Childress
    Global

    From June 20th to July 4th, 2017, the Land Portal, in collaboration with GLTN/GLII, Land Alliance and LandAC, will co-facilitate a dialogue through which a variety of stakeholders will focus on discussions centered around measuring the perception of land tenure security in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  

    13 February 2017 to 27 February 2017
    Closed
    Facilitators
    Natalia Scurrah
    Terry Parnell
    n.sorensen
    Cambodia
    Laos
    Myanmar
    Thailand
    Vietnam

    From 13-27 February 2017, the Mekong Region Land Governance (MRLG) project and the Land Portal co-facilitated an online dialogue on the Recognition of Customary Tenure in the Mekong Region.

    28 November 2016 to 23 December 2016
    Closed
    Facilitators
    Bjoern.Hoops
    Nicholas Tagliarino
    Marcello Demaria
    Global

    Land tenure changes are on the rise throughout the world as a result of increased migration from rural to urban areas, expansion of infrastructure, commercial pressures on agricultural land, extractive activities, and climate change. Shifts in land tenure arrangements are proceeding through compulsory acquisitions (i.e. expropriations) and voluntary market transactions, such large-scale land leases and concessions.

    23 October 2016 to 25 November 2016
    Closed
    Facilitators
    Alejandro Diez
    gonzalocolque
    Sergio Coronado
    Juan Pablo Chumacero
    Latin America and the Caribbean
    South America
    Argentina
    Bolivia
    Brazil
    Chile
    Colombia
    Ecuador
    Guyana
    Paraguay
    Peru
    Suriname
    Venezuela

    Generally, most rural land in the world has been in the hands of local peasant communities and indigenous peoples under customary land tenure systems; historically although, land ownership in rural areas, and natural resources contained in it, have been a source of tension between different actors with different ways to understand and take ownership. In this conflict of interest, usually rural and indigenous communities with collective forms of property, have lost out.

    Partners

    Logo

    Maliasili Initiatives

    Maliasili
    Cover photo

    Parakuiyo Pastoralists Indigenous Community Development Organisation

    PAICODEO
    Logo

    Lawyers’ Environmental Action Team

    LEAT
    Logo

    Women Legal Aid Centre

    WLAC
    logo

    Tanzania Women Lawyers Association

    TAWLA
    Logo

    Legal and Human Rights Centre

    LHRC
    Logo

    Pastoralists Indigenous Non Governmental Organizations Forum

    PINGO's Forum
    Logo

    Ujamaa Community Resource Team

    UCRT

    Imazon

    Imazon

    Promotion of Indigenous and Nature Together

    POINT

    Derecho, Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (DAR)

    DAR

    Inclusive Development International

    IDI

    STAR Kampuchea

    SK

    Village Focus International

    VFI

    Tebtebba

    Vietnam Farmers Union

    VNFU

    Rwanda Legal Aid Forum

    LAF

    Rwanda Ministry of Local Government

    MINALOC

    Forest Trends

    Germanwatch e.V.

    Open Development Mekong

    ODM

    Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact

    AIPP

    Centre pour l'Environnement et le Développement Cameroun

    CED

    Participatory Development Training Centre

    PADETC

    Rural Research & Development Training Center

    RRDTC

    SawitWatch

    Uganda Rural Development & Training Program

    URDT

    GROOTS Kenya

    International Indigenous Women's Forum

    FIMI-IIWF

    Land Rights Research and Resources Institute

    HAKIARDHI

    LANDac

    Maasai Women Development Association

    MWEDO

    Mahatma Gandhi Seva Sharam

    Minority Voices

    Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources

    Jasil

    Jansatyagraha 2012

    International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA)

    International Land Coalition

    ILC

    Library

    Displaying 1 - 6 of 1174
    Peer-reviewed publication
    July 2017

    Community-managed reserves (CMRs) comprise the fastest-growing category of protected areas throughout the tropics. CMRs represent a compromise between advocates of nature conservation and advocates of human development. We ask whether CMRs succeed in achieving the goals of either. A fixed reserve area can produce only a finite resource supply, whereas human populations exploiting them tend to expand rapidly while adopting high-impact technologies to satisfy rising aspirations. Intentions behind the establishment of CMRs may be admirable, but represent an ideal rarely achieved.

    Understanding changing land access and use by the rural poor in Ghana cover image
    Journal Articles & Books
    May 2017

    In Ghana 70 per cent of the population are smallholder farmers who depend on the land for their basic needs. Growing competition for this resource is having significant impacts on rural livelihoods and governance as land changes hands. This study highlights the key drivers of pressure on rural land and their communities, such as population growth, urbanisation and acquisition of land by new actors, including government and business.

    Phillipines.jpg
    Reports & Research
    May 2017

    Source: Farmlandgrab

    Veuillez trouver ci-joint une nouvelle publication intitulée “Accaparement de terres et droits humains: Le rôle des acteurs européens à l’étranger.” Ce document contient plusieurs examples de cas d’Afrique. En plus, il contient des recommandations de mesures à prendre par l’Union européenes et ses Etats membres pour arrêter et prévenir l’accaparement des terres et promouvoir les droits humains.

    Innovative Approach to Land Conflict Transformation: Lessons learned from the HAGL/indigenous communities’ mediation process in Ratanakiri, Cambodia Cover image
    Training Resources & Tools
    May 2017

    In the Mekong region, conflicts between local communities and large scale land concessions are widespread. They are often difficult to solve. In Cambodia, an innovative approach to conflict resolution was tested in a case involving a private company, Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL), and several indigenous communities who lost some of their customary lands and forests when the company obtained a concession to grow rubber in the Province of Ratanakiri. The approach was developed by CSOs Equitable Cambodia (EC) and Inclusive Development International (IDI) with the support of QDF funding from MRLG.