Documents in Other Languages
The Continuing Need for Land Reform: making the case for civil society
FAO Land Tenure Series
3. Country Studies
The FAO Land Tenure Series provides a forum for thinking and knowledge of a wide-range of subjects and themes. The series is the result of collaboration between FAO and some of the world's leading people and institutions working in the fields of land tenure and land reform.
This two-volume edition has been produced by the Centre of Latin American Studies at the University of Cambridge in the UK and represents the beginning of what we are sure will become a long and rich relationship with the Land Tenure Service at FAO. Dr. Richard Trenchard was the Principal Research Officer for this activity.
The focus of this concept paper is Latin America. It provides a comprehensive review of the main arguments underpinning the renewed call for land reform throughout the region. It outlines some of the main challenges modern land reform practitioners and makes an emphatic call for increased stakeholder involvement in the process, highlighting the emergence of the Negotiated Land Reform (NLR) model.
We are certain that this addition to the FAO Land Tenure Series will provide a valuable resource for policy-makers and other stakeholders involved in land reform throughout Latin American and an important reference for practitioners and students of land reform elsewhere.
Land reform is back on the policy-making agenda throughout Latin America. The repeated failures of earlier land reform programmes to reach objectives and goals has been supplanted by a renewed interest in the potential of redistributive initiatives to reduce rural poverty, enhance rural livelihoods and strengthen food security.
New land reform advocates are speaking a radically different language to their predecessors. This paper unwraps the new land models of land reform that are emerging throughout the region, explains their genesis, and assesses their potential in terms of poverty alleviation. Four specific national cases provide a further insight into the history and present state of land reform throughout the region.
The paper does not attempt to conceal its optimism. Land reform is essential for Latin America. The inequitable distribution of land and other vital productive resources has proved an enduring feature of the region's rural landscape and remains an entrenched obstacle to poverty alleviation. The region's rural poor and the agricultural systems they support will not be able to progress unless this fundamental constraint to social and economic development is removed.
The paper is driven by an extensive review of the academic and applied policy-making literature on land reform in Latin America and elsewhere. The literature review is contained in a second volume in this series. Furthermore, the arguments and reviews are based on extensive consultation with Officers at FAO, DfID, the World Bank and the IADB and communication with Officers at other international organisations and institutions including IFAD, GTZ, the Popular Coalition to Eradicate Hunger and Poverty and IFAP.
In the final instance however, this paper would not have been possible without the support, guidance and insight of Officers in both the Land Regularisation Task Force (LRTF) and the Land Tenure Service (SDAA) in the Rural Development Division at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Their professionalism, dedication and technical expertise is ample testament to the vital work of FAO and other international organisations engaged in the struggle against hunger and poverty throughout the world