FAO Land Tenure Studies

FAO Land Tenure Studies are concise presentations on the often complicated and controversial subject of land tenure, especially as it relates to food security, poverty alleviation and rural development. They are aimed at supporting specialists in land tenure and land administration.


May 2009
10. Compulsory acquisition of land and compensation

Compulsory acquisition is the power of government to acquire private rights in land without the willing consent of the owner or occupant in order to benefit society and is often necessary for social and economic development and the protection of the natural environment. The exercise of these powers is frequently contentious and problematic. The guide explains what compulsory acquisition and compensation are, and what constitutes good practice in this area, examining the consequences of poor legislation, procedures and implementation. It is likely to be of most use in countries that are seeking to understand good practice in this area and to improve their own legislation, procedures and implementation in compulsory purchase and compensation in the interests of society as a whole.

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November 2007
9. Good governance in land tenure and administration

Weak governance in land tenure and administration is a common and severe problem that is increasingly recognized. It has been a significant feature in the transition economies, reflecting the challenges of moving from centrally planned economies with largely state-owned resources to market economies. It is commonly a substantial issue in developing economies, and it is not an alien matter for the developed world. International initiatives to improve the situation have been launched, mainly focusing on technical improvements of systems and procedures. This volume is intended to support land tenure and land administration professionals and their partners who are committed to improving governance in a land administration system or in an institution managing lands held under customary tenure.

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May 2006
8. Access to rural land and land administration after violent conflicts

Violent conflicts typically result in the displacement of much of the population. At the end of the conflict, people returning home may find that others occupy their property. At the same time, weak capacity in central and local levels of government may hamper the process of resolving claims to land, and especially claims of the vulnerable which almost invariably include women and children, and may also include ethnic or political minorities. The guide provides advice on specific issues that should be considered by land tenure and land administration specialists when working in post-conflict situations.


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September 2004
7. Decentralization and rural property taxation

Increasingly land tenure institutions are required to support the decentralization of services to local governments. One expectation of decentralization is improved delivery of services by the level of government that is closest to the beneficiaries of those services. While the scope of services being allocated to local governments has expanded, many rural local governments lack the revenues needed for them to fulfil their new responsibilities. This guide provides advice to countries that wish to increase revenues by introducing rural property taxes.


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January 2004
6. The design of land consolidation pilot projects in Central and Eastern Europe

In much of Central and Eastern Europe, the land tenure structure includes many small and fragmented farms. Land consolidation can be an effective instrument to make agriculture more competitive and to improve rural conditions. This guide provides advice on what countries can do to start a land consolidation pilot project. It shows why land consolidation is important; it describes briefly what land consolidation is; and it identifies key decisions that should be made and key actions that should be undertaken before a land consolidation project can begin.

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