Global Initiatives

Strengthening access to land in the face of growing tenure insecurity

Recent global trends are prompting a massive increase in global commercial interest in land and natural resources. In the context of liberalised trade and property laws in many countries this is creating unprecedented pressures on land resources and placing new tensions on land tenure systems. ILC strengthens collaboration between its members in gathering information, stimulating research and deepening understanding of the impact of such trends on land access.

Promoting gender equity in control over land

Women’s role in agriculture has broadened and deepened in recent decades, yet their access to land is often limited by unfavourable laws and norms. A sample of Latin American countries showed that only 11-27% of landowners are women; in Uganda , only 5% of land is held by women through very fragile tenure rights. ILC links research and action on women’s access to land and encourages members to mainstream women’s access to land into regional activities.

Monitoring and reporting equitable access to land

Many ILC members monitor and evaluate the implementation of land-related laws, policies and programmes and their impact. The LRI supports and builds on these efforts for greater collaboration between civil society, international organisations and governments to improve the monitoring of land rights and evaluation of land policy.

Secure rights for users of commonly-held resources

Between one and two billion people live on the world’s commons and are considered tenants of the state; 5 billion hectares are under common-property regimes, over one third of the world’s total land area. Resource users on the commons are often made vulnerable by inappropriate policies and laws governing resource tenure. ILC members and partners work together to document successful approaches to achieving tenure security for commonly-held resources, and advocate for their recognition.

Territorial rights for indigenous peoples and pastoralists

An estimated 350 million indigenous peoples represent approximately 5% of the global population and 15% of the world’s poor. These are the most vulnerable users of common property, often socially, economically and politically marginalised. Today’s challenge is to retain secure access to individually and collectively-held resources. Increasing land insecurity in the face of competition from more powerful outsiders is often singled out by indigenous people’s organisations as the greatest threat to their future.

ILC supports innovative efforts by these organisations to secure land rights, and aims to reduce land-based conflict between indigenous peoples and landless farmers. It also supports advocacy by indigenous peoples for land rights in global fora.

Working together to build a pro-poor land agenda

The challenge of establishing land policies that provide a framework for equitable access to land require a multi-stakeholder effort which must include landless and poor land users. ILC creates ‘LAND Partnerships’ in key countries to support bottom-up pro-poor land policy formulation and implementation. LAND partnerships are currently being implemented in 11 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.