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Land tenure

Adequate institutional arrangements are required to determine rights and access to rural resources, such as land, water, trees, and wildlife, as a prerequisite to agricultural development and food security. Many countries specifically require advice on such institutional arrangements for property rights, on how to ensure more equitable access by women and men to natural resources, on functioning land markets and land administration to take account of mortgage-secured credit for investment and good governance of land and natural resources.

The Sustainable Development Department assists Member Nations in restructuring their rural institutions and in the identification and preparation of projects on land tenure institution building for food security and sustainable rural development. Support has been provided in developing and adopting policies, programmes, best practices and tools for land tenure to facilitate access to land, ensure user rights and improve land markets.

Assistance is provided in four major areas:

  • formulation of methodologies for government-assisted land tenure policies to improve access to land by disadvantaged groups, especially women;
  • formulation of market and private land transaction policies and institutional support to improve access by the poor for sustainable use of natural resources;
  • modifications of land tenure systems to promote rural development under indigenous and common property resource management;
  • land tenure regularization and land administration services.

Assistance is provided to establish policy guidelines and legislative mechanisms for conflict resolution so as to improve access of the landless to land, using various land reform approaches in a manner that is gender-responsive and environmentally sustainable. The development of women is supported through research and analysis and by identifying constrainsts faced by rural women under customary land tenure, especially in relation to land rights, accumulation and control of land-based productive resources.

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Land tenure

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Agrarian reform
Agrarian structure
Cadastres
Common property
Indigenous tenure systems
Individual land property
Land access
Land administration
Land information systems
Land leasing
Land management
Land markets
Land policies
Land reform
Land registration
Land rights
Peri-urban agriculture



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