Land tenure 

Climate change mitigation policies that concern the forestry and agriculture sectors will have to address land tenure issues in order to foresee, plan and distribute risks and benefits of their incentive schemes. Unclear and often complex tenure arrangements are still prevailing in large areas of many developing countries, and addressing them is a major challenge. MICCA is working with partners to understand identify, review and raise awareness of key land and resource tenure issues and requirements to be addressed for implementing climate change mitigation policies (including REDD+) in the forestry and agriculture sectors.

Expert meeting

In 2010 MICCA co-organized with the UN-REDD Programme and the Land Tenure team developing the Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land and other Natural Resources an expert meeting on on key land and resource tenure issues and requirements for implementing climate change mitigation policies in the forestry and agriculture sectors. Information on the meeting including a summary and related documents can be accessed here.

Land tenure security is essential for climate change mitigation in agriculture

  • Land rights are fi­rst and foremost for livelihoods and resource distribution issue. If inappropriately designed mitigation programmes are implemented where tenure insecurity still prevails, local farmers may ­find their use rights destabilized as the value of the land increases. This may lead to displacement of resource dependent users, conflict and increased food insecurity.
  • Long-term soil and biomass carbon accumulation and conservation require foresight. Without tenure security, it may not make ­financial sense for farmers to adopt and invest into land management practices, such as the cultivation of perennial crops and tree planting, the construction of water harvesting facilities, and the regeneration of degraded lands that will yield returns only in the long-term.
  • Benefi­t distribution mechanisms attached to investments for increased productivity and other possible incentive measures for climate-smart agricultural practices must ide­ntify who the benefi­ciaries are. In situations with unclear tenure, this becomes unfeasible.
  • The risks of conflict and lack of accountability that can be a consequence of unclear tenure arrangements may deter those who want to invest in sustainable, climate-smart agriculture.

For more information, consult MICCA's Information brief on tenure and climate change.

last updated:  Thursday, August 7, 2014