Brief - Community Land Rights in Post-2015

The transformative potential of the Post-2015 development agenda/SDGs will depend on the extent to which they are able to address the structural factors that entrench continued poverty, human rights violations, gender inequality, exclusion, conflict, food insecurity and environmental degradation, among other issues.

Secure and equitable rights to land and natural resources have been flagged by many organizations as fundamental to the post-2015 agenda1, and are reflected under several proposed goals in the OWG11 “zero draft.” These include proposed goals on ending poverty, achieving food security, attaining gender equality, conserving and sustainably using marine resources, and conserving terrestrial ecosystems.

A particular omission in the “zero draft” is the failure to recognize that governance of tenure frequently occurs at the community level and is often organised according to local systems of customary law. These community‑based and customary tenure systems should be strengthened rather than fragmented, for the 370 million Indigenous Peoples for whom international instruments recognize distinct rights2 as well as for millions of other local communities around the world. Moreover, our attention should focus on tenure security for multiple rights‑holders, including under communal tenure regimes, rather than simply on individual assets.