Tenure is how people gain access to land, fisheries, forests and other natural resources. Having secure and equitable access to natural resources can allow people to produce food for their consumption and to increase income. Inadequate and insecure tenure rights to natural resources often result in extreme poverty and hunger.
The governance of tenure is a crucial element in determining if and how people, communities and others are able to acquire rights, and associated duties, to use and control land, fisheries and forests. Many tenure problems arise because of weak governance, and attempts to address tenure problems are affected by the quality of governance.
The eradication of hunger and poverty, and the sustainable use of the environment, depend in large measure on how people, communities and others gain access to land and other natural resources. The livelihoods of many, particularly the rural poor, are based on secure and equitable access to and control over these resources. They are the source of food and shelter; the basis for social, cultural and religious practices; and a central factor in economic growth.