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The present volume is part of a series of Land Tenure Studies produced by FAO’s Land Tenure Service of the Rural Development Division. Land tenure plays a vital role in achieving sustainable rural development. Increasing social, economic and technological changes are requiring a re-examination of the institutional arrangements used to administer who has rights to what resources and under what conditions.

This volume is designed to support land administrators who are involved in land access and administration questions in rural development. It is frequently the case that gender issues are left out or misunderstood in such situations, with often long lasting and very negative results. This guide sets out basic principles that should underlie gender and access to land. The Land Tenure Service has been working on these issues for some time together with the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) in response to requests for guidance in this area. FIG’s involvement was led by the Federation’s Commission 7 on Cadastre and Land Management, with support from the Swedish International Development Agency and SwedeSurvey, and this assistance is greatly acknowledged.

The guide forms part of the Land Tenure Service’s programme designed in response to FAO’s overall concern for food security and poverty alleviation. Member Nations are increasingly turning to modern land tenure systems to improve access to land by the poor (especially women, minorities and other disadvantaged groups) who want to engage in agricultural pursuits and to redress cases where existing land tenure arrangements do not support sustainable land uses. This book, like others in the series, does not seek to be exhaustive but rather reflects what FAO and its many international collaborators, with special reference to FIG in this case, have discovered are “good practices” for a particular aspect of land administration. It is intended to be of use to technical officers of Member Nations, other senior authorities responsible for land policy and rural development, and FAO field officers.

Maximiliano Cox
Rural Development Division

Holger Magel
International Federation of Surveyors

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