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Resources on land rights

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Land Rights and the Rush for Land - Findings of the Global Commercial Pressures on Land Research Project
Date of publication: January 2012
Description/subject: "This report, authored by leading land experts, is the culmination of a three-year research project that brought together forty members and partners of ILC to examine the characteristics, drivers and impacts and trends of rapidly increasing commercial pressures on land. The report strongly urges models of investment that do not involve large-scale land acquisitions, but rather work together with local land users, respecting their land rights and the ability of small-scale farmers themselves to play a key role in investing to meet the food and resource demands of the future. The conclusions of the report are based on case studies that provide indicative evidence of local and national realities, and on the ongoing global monitoring of large-scale land deals for which data are subject to a continuous process of verification. But while research and monitoring will continue, this report draws some conclusions and policy implications from the evidence we have already
Author/creator: Ward Anseeuw, Liz Alden Wily, Lorenzo Cotula, and Michael Taylor
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Land Coalition
Format/size: pdf (1.9MB)
Date of entry/update: 28 February 2012


Title: Land Grabbing
Date of publication: 2012
Description/subject: "What rural dwellers in the Global South experience as land grabbing, tends to be seen in the Global North as ‘agricultural investment’. The World Bank has been at the forefront of a drive to legitimate these investments, convening to win support for a code of conduct based on Responsible Agricultural Investment (RAI) principles. Many key civil society groups reject the proposal for a code of conduct, objecting to the top-down process by which it was formulated and arguing that it was more likely to legitimate than prevent land grabbing. Instead, these groups stood behind the FAO’s Voluntary Guidelines for Responsible Land Investment, which had been under development since the International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development in 2009 and had proved a much more inclusive process..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Transnational Institute
Format/size: html, pdf
Date of entry/update: 05 May 2012


Title: International Conference on Global Land Grabbing (6-8 April 2011)
Date of publication: 08 April 2011
Description/subject: Organised by the Land Deals Politics Initiative (LDPI) in collaboration with the Journal of Peasant Studies and hosted by the Future Agricultures Consortium at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex...Rich site with full texts of more than 170 papers and presentations from the Conference
Language: English
Source/publisher: Future Agricultures Consortium (FAC)
Format/size: html, pdf
Date of entry/update: 27 February 2012


Title: "Journal of Peasant Studies"
Description/subject: Abstracts accessible. Full texts by (expensive) subscription. Some texts free..."The Journal of Peasant Studies is one of the leading journals in the field of rural development. It was founded on the initiative of Terence J. Byres and its first editors were Byres, Charles Curwen and Teodor Shanin. It provokes and promotes critical thinking about social structures, institutions, actors and processes of change in and in relation to the rural world. It encourages inquiry into how agrarian power relations between classes and other social groups are created, understood, contested and transformed. The Journal pays special attention to questions of ‘agency' of marginalized groups in agrarian societies, particularly their autonomy and capacity to interpret – and change – their conditions..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Journal of Peasant Studies"
Format/size: html, pdf
Date of entry/update: 27 February 2012


Title: Asian NGO Coalition for agrarian reform and rural development
Description/subject: Welcome to ANGOC's Knowledge Portal! This is a simple, searchable, and easy-to-use online library of articles, discussion papers, and publications produced by ANGOC and its partners. Here you will find an array of resources on: access to land and agrarian reform; sustainable agriculture and natural resources management; participatory governance; food security; tools; and sustainable development.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asian NGO Coalition for agrarian reform and rural development (ANGOC)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 25 October 2013


Title: Commercial Pressures on Land
Description/subject: - Informing evidence based debate on large scale land-based investments and their alternatives.....About the portal: "The International Land Coalition is an alliance of civil society and intergovernmental organisations working together to promote secure and equitable access to, and control over, land and natural resources for women and men as a key strategy to overcome poverty and food insecurity. The way that rights to land and natural resources are allocated and managed plays a central role in enabling or hindering economic development, food security, social justice and environmental sustainability. Many rural areas of the world are crying out for investment, but how this investment arrives, who decides, who wins and who loses, are matters of critical importance. Increasing commercial pressures on land are provoking fundamental and far-reaching changes in the relationships between people and land. The competition for land and natural resources has always been an uneven competition with the poorest losing most. But this competition is no longer simply due to increasing population, a shrinking resource base due to degradation, or the speculative efforts of local elites. Land is becoming a globalised commodity; local producers competing for the same resource with large international companies that produce food, fuel and fibre, sequester carbon, sell large ‘unspoilt’ landscapes to tourists, extract minerals, or seek to realise short and medium term gains for investor capital. This portal has been set up by members and partners of the International Land Coalition, including Oxfam Novib, RECONCILE, IFPRI, Agter, CDE, CIRAD, Action Aid, IALTA, and GRET. The portal collects, systematises and makes available information on commercial pressures on land, large-scale land acquisitions and their alternatives. It is meant to fuel awareness and evidence-based debate on this phenomenon, and promote the ability of all stakeholders to identify and promote informed and equitable solutions."
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Land Coalition
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 28 February 2012


Title: Displacement Solutions
Description/subject: NGO working on housing, land and property rights (HLP) http://mebel-it.com.ua/shkafyi/dlya-odezhdyi http://getenergy.ru/?page_id=10
Language: English
Source/publisher: Displacement Solutions
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 August 2009


Title: Farmlandgrab.org
Description/subject: This website contains mainly news reports about the global rush to buy up or lease farmlands abroad as a strategy to secure basic food supplies or simply for profit. Its purpose is to serve as a resource for those monitoring or researching the issue, particularly social activists, non-government organisations and journalists. The site, known as farmlandgrab.org, is updated daily, with all posts entered according to their original publication date. If you want to track updates in real time, please subscribe to the RSS feed. If you prefer a weekly email, with the titles of all materials posted in the last week, subscribe to the email service. This site was originally set up by GRAIN as a collection of online materials used in the research behind "Seized: The 2008 land grab for food and financial security, a report we issued in October 2008". GRAIN is small international non-profit organisation that works to support small farmers and social movements in their struggles for food sovereignty. We see the current land grab trend as a serious threat to local communities, for reasons outlined in our initial report. farmlandgrab.org is an open project. Although currently maintained by GRAIN, anyone can join in posting materials or developing the site further. Please feel free to upload your own contributions. (Only the lightest editorial oversight will apply. Postings considered off-topic or other are available here.) Or use the ‘comments’ box under any post to speak up. Just be aware that this site is strictly educational and non-commercial. And if you would like to get more directly involved, please send an email to info@farmlandgrab.org. If you find this website useful, please consider helping us cover the costs of the work that goes into it. You can do this by going to GRAIN's website and making a donation, no matter how small. We really appreciate the support, and are glad if people who get something out of it can also help participate in what it takes to produce and improve outputs like farmlandgrab.org. If you would like to help out, please click here. Thanks in advance!
Language: English
Source/publisher: Farmlandgrab.org
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 14 October 2012


Title: Future Agricultures
Description/subject: A site with a large number of links to resources, including the papers of the 2011 International Conference on Global Land Grabbing..."FAC has been exploring what needs to be done to get different forms of agriculture – food/cash crops, livestock/pastoralism, smallholdings/contract farming/large holdings – moving on a track of increasing productivity and competitiveness. Through a series of debates, dialogues and conferences – at local, national and global levels – the Consortium has been asking in particular: what are the challenges for institutional design and wider policy processes, from local to global arenas?..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Future Agricultures Consortium
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 27 February 2012


Title: GRAIN
Description/subject: "GRAIN is a small international non-profit organisation that works to support small farmers and social movements in their struggles for community-controlled and biodiversity-based food systems"
Language: English
Source/publisher: GRAIN
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 14 October 2012


Title: International Land Coalition
Description/subject: Our Mission: A global alliance of civil society and intergovernmental organisations working together to promote secure and equitable access to and control over land for poor women and men through advocacy, dialogue, knowledge sharing and capacity building... Our Vision: Secure and equitable access to and control over land reduces poverty and contributes to identity, dignity and inclusion.
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Land Coalition
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 14 June 2012


Title: Landesa
Description/subject: "Landesa works to secure land rights for the world’s poorest people—the 3.4 billion chiefly rural people who live on less than two dollars a day. Landesa partners with developing country governments to design and implement laws, policies, and programs concerning land that provide opportunity, further sustainable economic growth, and promote social justice..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Landesa
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 14 June 2012


Title: Rights and Resources Initiative
Description/subject: A global coalition of 14 Partners and over 120 international, regional and community organizations advancing forest tenure, policy, and market reforms..... Core Beliefs: "Based on our experience, we find that empowerment of rural people and asset-based development are part of a process that is dependent on a set of enabling conditions, including security of tenure to access and use natural resources. As a coalition of diverse and varied organizations, RRI is guided by a set of core beliefs... Rights of Poor Communities Must Be Recognized and Strengthened: We believe it is possible to achieve the seemingly irreconcilable goals of alleviating poverty, conserving forests and encouraging sustained economic growth in forested regions. However, for this to happen, the rights of poor communities to forests and trees, as well as their rights to participate fully in markets and the political processes that regulate forest use, must be recognized and strengthened. ... Progress Requires Supporting and Responding to Local Communities: We believe that progress requires supporting, and responding to, local community organizations and their efforts to advance their own well-being... Now is the Time to Act: We believe that the next few decades are particularly critical. They represent an historic moment where there can be either dramatic gains, or losses, in the lives and well-being of the forest poor, as well as in the conservation and restoration of the world’s threatened forests... Progress Requires Engagement and Constructive Participation by All: It is clear that progress on the necessary tenure and policy reforms requires constructive participation by communities, governments and the private sector, as well as new research and analysis of policy options and new mechanisms to share learning between communities, governments and the private sector... Reforming Forest Tenure and Governance Requires a Focused and Sustained Global Effort: We believe that reforming forest tenure and governance to the scale necessary to achieve either the Millennium Development Goals, or the broader goals of improved well-being, forest conservation and sustained-forest-based economic growth will require a new, clearly focused and sustained global effort by the global development community."
Language: English (French and spanish also available)
Source/publisher: Rights and Resources Initiative
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 22 August 2012


Title: Search results for "World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty 2013"
Description/subject: About 4,220,000 results
Language: English
Source/publisher: Google.com
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 13 May 2013


Individual Documents

Title: Keeping Land Local - Reclaiming Governance from the Market
Date of publication: October 2014
Description/subject: This report covers much of SE Asia, with specific references to Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Myanmar....."...In Myanmar, the ceasefire negotiations and move toward democracy have opened the door to a virtual gold rush for foreign investors, posing new threats to the country’s rural populations in the guise of economic development. On March 30, 2012, the Parliament approved the Farmland Law and Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Lands Management Law, which are designed to encourage large-scale agricultural investment and retain the government’s power to revoke the use rights of local communities to farmlands and confiscate lands.3 The laws fail to recognize the tenure rights of farmers and local customary laws governing land. Particularly disadvantaged are ethnic nationalities that practice swidden or shifting cultivation and complex systems of land use and management. Most local communities do not have legal registration papers to prove land ownership, and forced evictions of local populations for foreign investment, as well as arrests of those who resist these incursions, are on the rise..."
Author/creator: Shalmali Guttal, Mary Ann Manahan, Clarissa Militante, Megan Morrissey
Language: English
Source/publisher: Focus on the Global South, Land Research Action Network
Format/size: pdf (2.9MB-reduced version; 7.3MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://focusweb.org/sites/www.focusweb.org/files/LandStrugglesIII_HIRES.pdf
Date of entry/update: 04 November 2014


Title: World Bank Group: Access to Land is Critical for the Poor
Date of publication: 08 April 2013
Description/subject: WASHINGTON, April 8, 2013 – As the Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty convened this week in Washington, DC, The World Bank Group issued the following statement: "By 2050, the world will have two billion more people to feed. To do that, global agricultural production will need to increase by 70 percent. That calls for substantial new investment in agriculture-- in smallholders and large farms—from both the public and private sectors. But investment alone will not be enough. High and volatile food and fuel prices and the effects of climate change and scarce resources make the challenge even more daunting. Unless crop yields can be raised, many people will remain hungry, under-nourished, and unable to seize opportunities to improve their lives. Usable land is in short supply, and there are too many instances of speculators and unscrupulous investors exploiting smallholder farmers, herders, and others who lack the power to stand up for their rights. This is particularly true in countries with weak land governance systems. “The World Bank Group shares these concerns about the risks associated with large-scale land acquisitions,” said World Bank Group President Dr. Jim Yong Kim. “Securing access to land is critical for millions of poor people. Modern, efficient, and transparent policies on land rights are vital to reducing poverty and promoting growth, agriculture production, better nutrition, and sustainable development..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: World Bank Group
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 13 May 2013


Title: 2012 Global Hunger Index
Date of publication: November 2012
Description/subject: The Challenge of hunger: ensuring sustainable food security under land, water and energy stresses..."World hunger, according to the 2012 Global Hunger Index (GHI), has declined somewhat since 1990 but remains “serious.” The global average masks dramatic differences among regions and countries. Regionally, the highest GHI scores are in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. South Asia reduced its GHI score significantly between 1990 and 1996—mainly by reducing the share of underweight children—but could not maintain this rapid progress. Though Sub-Saharan Africa made less progress than South Asia in the 1990s, it has caught up since the turn of the millennium, with its 2012 GHI score falling below that of South Asia. From the 1990 GHI to the 2012 GHI, 15 countries reduced their scores by 50 percent or more. In terms of absolute progress, between the 1990 GHI and the 2012 GHI, Angola, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Malawi, Nicaragua, Niger, and Vietnam saw the largest improvements in their scores. Twenty countries still have levels of hunger that are “extremely alarming” or “alarming.” Most of the countries with alarming GHI scores are in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia (the 2012 GHI does not, however, reflect the recent crisis in the Horn of Africa, which intensified in 2011, or the uncertain food situation in the Sahel). Two of the three countries with extremely alarming 2012 GHI scores—Burundi and Eritrea—are in Sub-Saharan Africa; the third country with an extremely alarming score is Haiti. Its GHI score fell by about one quarter from 1990 to 2001, but most of this improvement was reversed in subsequent years. The devastating January 2010 earthquake, although not yet fully captured by the 2012 GHI because of insufficient availability of recent data, pushed Haiti back into the category of “extremely alarming.” In contrast to recent years, the Democratic Republic of Congo is not listed as “extremely alarming,” because insufficient data are available to calculate the country’s GHI score. Current and reliable data are urgently needed to appraise the situation in the country. Recent developments in the land, water, and energy sectors have been wake-up calls for global food security: the stark reality is that the world needs to produce more food with fewer resources, while eliminating wasteful practices and policies. Demographic changes, income increases, climate change, and poor policies and institutions are driving natural resource scarcity in ways that threaten food production and the environment on which it depends. Food security is now inextricably linked to developments in the water, energy, and land sectors. Rising energy prices affect farmers’ costs for fuel and fertilizer, increase demand for biofuel crops relative to food crops, and raise the price of water use. Agriculture already occurs within a context of land scarcity in terms of both quantity and quality: the world’s best arable land is already under cultivation, and unsustainable agricultural practices have led to significant land degradation. The scarcity of farmland coupled with shortsighted bioenergy policies has led to major foreign summary investments in land in a number of developing countries, putting local people’s land rights at risk. In addition, water is scarce and likely to become scarcer with climate change. To halt this trend, more holistic strategies are needed for dealing with land, water, energy, and food, and they are needed soon. To manage natural resources sustainably, it is important to secure land and water rights; phase out inefficient subsidies on water, energy, and fertilizers; and create a macroeconomic environment that promotes efficient use of natural resources. It is important to scale up technical solutions, particularly those that conserve natural resources and foster more efficient and effective use of land, energy, and water along the value chain. It is also crucial to tame the drivers of natural resource scarcity by, for example, addressing demographic change, women’s access to education, and reproductive health; raising incomes and lowering inequality; and mitigating and adapting to climate change through agriculture. Food security under land, water, and energy stress poses daunting challenges. The policy steps described in this report show how we can meet these challenges in a sustainable and affordable way."
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Concern Worldwide, Welthungerhilfe and Green Scenery:
Format/size: pdf (3MB)
Date of entry/update: 02 November 2012


Title: Land and Power - The growing scandal surrounding the new wave of investments in land
Date of publication: 22 September 2011
Description/subject: "The new wave of land deals is not the new investment in agriculture that millions had been waiting for. The poorest people are being hardest hit as competition for land intensifies. Oxfam’s research has revealed that residents regularly lose out to local elites and domestic or foreign investors because they lack the power to claim their rights effectively and to defend and advance their interests. Companies and governments must take urgent steps to improve land rights outcomes for people living in poverty. Power relations between investors and local communities must also change if investment is to contribute to rather than undermine the food security and livelihoods of local communities..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: OXFAM
Format/size: pdf (509K)
Date of entry/update: 28 February 2012


Title: Engaging the ASEAN: Toward a Regional Advocacy on Land Rights
Date of publication: 29 March 2009
Description/subject: "The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok by the five original Member Countries, namely, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Brunei Darussalam joined on 8 January 1984; Vietnam, on 28 July 1995; Lao PDR and Myanmar, on 23 July 1997; and Cambodia, on 30 April 1999. In principle, ASEAN supports poverty reduction, food security, sustainable development, and greater equity in the ASEAN region. However, a closer look at the pronouncements contained in its policy documents reveals that an economically-driven framework of growth still drives the work of ASEAN, even as it strives to create “caring societies”. While the organization does have a policy of engaging NGOs, it is not clear how NGOs could participate meaningfully in providing direction for ASEAN’s work. This requires clarification on the part of ASEAN. This issue brief argues that before ASEAN could engage in meaningful dialogue with NGOs, it will first have to grapple with a number of issues, namely, (1) food security for farmers that likewise promotes poverty eradication and rural development; (2) property rights as a fundamental human right of farmers; (3) ensuring justice in poverty eradication and rural development efforts; and (4) economic growth as a precursor for social development. The key structures in the ASEAN that need to be engaged are the following: the ASEAN Summit; the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community; the ASEAN Ministers on Poverty Eradication and Rural Development; Senior Ministers on Poverty Eradication and Rural Development; Functional Cooperation Bodies (e.g. Poverty Eradication; Social Development); the ASEAN-Japan Dialogue; Issue Brief 2 Engaging the ASEAN: Toward a Regional Advocacy on Land Rights1 the ASEAN–Australia Dialogue; Advisory Groups to ASEAN; and the ASEAN Development Fund. At the end of this issue brief, practical steps and talking points for engaging the abovementioned structures in ASEAN are presented..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Land Watch Asia
Format/size: pdf (351K)
Date of entry/update: 28 February 2012


Title: Seized: The 2008 landgrab for food and financial security
Date of publication: 24 October 2008
Description/subject: "Today’s food and financial crises have, in tandem, triggered a new global land grab. On the one hand, “food insecure” governments that rely on imports to feed their people are snatching up vast areas of farmland abroad for their own offshore food production. On the other hand, food corporations and private investors, hungry for profits in the midst of the deepening financial crisis, see investment in foreign farmland as an important new source of revenue. As a result, fertile agricultural land is becoming increasingly privatised and concentrated. If left unchecked, this global land grab could spell the end of small-scale farming, and rural livelihoods, in numerous places around the world. Land grabbing has been going on for centuries. One has only to think of Columbus “discovering” America and the brutal expulsion of indigenous communities that this unleashed, or white colonialists taking over territories occupied by the Maori in New Zealand and by the Zulu in South Africa. It is a violent process very much alive today, from China to Peru. Hardly a day goes by without reports in the press about struggles over land, as mining companies such as Barrick Gold invade the highlands of South America or food corporations such as Dole or San Miguel swindle farmers out of their land entitlements in the Philippines. In many countries, private investors are buying up huge areas to be run as natural parks or conservation areas. And wherever you look, the new biofuels industry, promoted as an answer to climate change, seems to rely on throwing people off their land..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: GRAIN
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 14 October 2012


Title: Publications on "Access to land"
Description/subject: "Appetite for land" (pdf, 225 KB) Large-Scale Foreign Investment in Land Available in German (pdf, 265 KB) and French (pdf, 270 KB) Promoting the right to food. Experience gained at the interface of human rights and development work, with particular focus on Central America This publication was compiled by a work group on land rights in Central America who have been studying the issue for a number of years and have supported local initiatives engaged in activities to promote the right to food in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua. Collaborating in this work group are MISEREOR, Bread for the World, FIAN International, EED, Terre des Hommes, and Christliche Initiative Romero. The document takes stock of 10 years of experience gained in activities to advance the right to food. Available in German: "Das Recht auf Nahrung fördern" (pdf, 3,8 MB) and Spanish: "Promover el derecho a la alimentación" (pdf, 4 MB) Discussion paper "Access to land as a food security and human rights issue" (pdf, 3,7 MB) A Misereor discussion paper for dialogue with its partners The policy paper identifies several problems involved, such as the lack of access to productive resources, including land, water, forests, biological diversity etc. and the diverse problems concerning ownership which may even evolve in violent conflicts. Not only the growing concentration of land and the failure of land reform processes, but also the fragmentation of land and the overuse of existing natural resources have a tremendous impact on the scarcity of land. A dialogue with partners on "Access to land as a food security and human rights issue - a dialogue process" (pdf, 18 KB)
Language: English, German, French
Source/publisher: Misereor
Format/size: html, pdf
Date of entry/update: 25 March 2014