Technical Papers

FAO Land Tenure Technical Papers

Working papers produced as part of normative projects include the following:

FAO Land Tenure Working Papers

These papers present an analysis of various aspects of tenure.

Livelihood Support Programme Working Papers

The Livelihood Support Programme (LSP) is a project (GCP/INT/803/UK), funded by DfID, to improve the impact of interventions at country level through the application of sustainable livelihood approaches. One sub-programme (Access to Natural Resources) addressed the use of sustainable livelihood approaches to improve access to natural assets by the poor.

Legal Empowerment of the Poor Working Papers

Within FAO’s corporate strategy on Sustainable rural livelihoods and more equitable access to resources and with donor funding from Norway (FNOP/INT/108/NOR), activities were undertaken on improving tenure security of the rural poor in order to meet the needs of FAO member countries and to support the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor (LEP). The work focused on sub-Saharan Africa.

FAO Land Tenure Working Papers

Lessons learned from selected experiences

Land Tenure Working Paper 14. Growing land scarcity and concern about land-related conflicts and rising levels of rural impoverishment have brought land to the fore once more. The main difference with the recent past is the wide spectrum of actors who want to take part in the elaboration of the land policies, as well as the more and more recognized need to root the proposals in the particular context of each specific country. The paper, focused on African experiences, starts by discussing the importance of Land Policy Issues at Regional Level. It reviews the evolution in thinking regarding land policy ending up with the identification of the critical issues being faced by Africa today whilst remembering the role that FAO can play in promoting a sound partnership between governments and their citizens in the twenty-first century. The core of the document is represented by three different case studies (Sudan, Burkina-Faso and Mozambique) which serve to draw some lessons which can be applied for future interventions in similar contexts. In particular the diversity of policy objectives and the need to embed policy development in other processes are analyzed. The land question in post-conflict situations is also treated in detail as well as how to secure land rights in both customary and statutory regimes. Specific attention is given to the rights of women, which is becoming anincreasingly important issue in Africa and not only there, and specific lessons in land conflict management.

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Land Tenure Working Paper 13. Secure land rights are crucial if local populations are to engage actively as stakeholders in rural development. The task of identifying and protecting local rights in most African countries faces several major challenges like incorporating many different local land management systems within a single land management framework; devising a system that can adequately record dynamic and shifting patterns of land use that incorporate a range of de facto private, individualised customary rights and areas of common use and, finally, coming up with a technical approach that is cost effective yet still accurate enough to establish borders and other features on official maps. In this context conventional western concepts of discrete, fixed land holding units – ‘the farm’ - are entirely inappropriate. They work for the relatively small number of private investor land holdings, but are of little use for registering customary rights rooted in shifting agriculture systems and the use of a wide range of resources through the year. The community delimitation model which is the subject of this volume has grown out of the experience of Mozambique and its widely acclaimed 1997 Land Law. The policy and legal development process has been supported by FAO from its inception in the pre-policy research stage, through to policy and legal development, and now implementation. It offers an excellent example of how to create the policy and legal environment within which effective rights delimitation can take place.

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12. Dialogue, Consensus and Vision

Land Tenure Working Paper 12. The Participatory and Negotiated Territorial Development (PNTD) methodology is a facilitative process developed by FAO that strives for rural development through negotiation, participation and dialogue. In view of the growing competition over limited resources among actors and territories and the decreasing credibility of public administrations, this approach focuses on establishing and maintaining social dialogue within the territory and restructuring and/or strengthening territorial institutions. Intermediary level institutions have an important role in integrating the territory and its actors in the existing governance framework. The ultimate goal, and thus the emphasis of the approach, is not the preparation of a development plan or a territorial pact in itself, but, rather, facilitating the process and dynamics that lead to such agreements. In this respect, consultation and openness towards a social dialogue between different stakeholders who have differing interests represent a fundamental step in the process. The proposed approach assumes an inherent learning process with the objective of increasing social cohesion, strengthening the bargaining power of the marginalized, increasing people’s and institutions’ organizational capacities and improving their access to information and channels of communication, and their abilities to use these for their own development.

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11. Towards improved land governance

Land Tenure Working Paper 11. This co-publication of FAO and UN-HABITAT seeks to better understand and define the processes, mechanisms and institutions of governance of tenure in rural and urban areas. The paper recognises that excellent land policies, laws and technical reforms have been developed. However, in many cases their implementation has slipped, stalled or even been reversed. By adopting a governance and political economy perspective, the paper offers insights for the design of reforms and for the development of land governance tools.

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Discussion paper

Land Tenure Working Paper 10. FAO’s Land Tenure and Management Unit is working with partners to develop Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land and other Natural Resources that can be adopted at the international level and implemented by countries. This discussion paper has been prepared to seek views and comments on the contents and the scope of the Voluntary Guidelines. It is intended to stimulate discussion at workshops and consultation meetings that involve international organizations, governments and civil society.

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Livelihood Support Programme Working Papers

Baumann, P. (2002) Improving access to natural resources for the rural poor: A critical analysis of central concepts and emerging trends from a sustainable livelihoods perspective. FAO, LSP WP 1.

Cotula, L. (2002) Improving access to natural resources for the rural poor: The experience of FAO and of other key organizations from a sustainable livelihoods perspective. FAO, LSP WP 2.

Seshia, S., and Scoones, I. (2003) Understanding access to seeds and plant genetic resources: What can a livelihoods perspective offer? FAO, LSP WP 6.

Biggs, S. D. and Messerschmidt D. (2003) The culture of access to mountain natural resources: Policy, processes and practices. FAO, LSP WP 7.

Evrard, O. (2004) La mise en oeuvre de la réforme foncière au Laos, Impacts sociaux et effets sur les conditions de vie en milieu rural (with summary in English). FAO, LSP WP 8.

Ellis, F., and Allison, E. (2004) Livelihood diversification and natural resource access. FAO, LSP WP 9.

Hodgson, S. (2004) Land and Water – the rights interface. FAO, LSP WP 10.

Mitchell, R. and Hanstad, T. Rural Development Institute (RDI). (2004) Small homegarden plots and sustainable livelihoods for the poor. FAO, LSP WP 11.

Hanstad, T., Nielsen, R., Brown, J. Rural Development Institute (RDI). (2004) Land and Livelihoods: Making land rights real for India’s rural poor. FAO, LSP WP 12.

Fisher, R.J., Schmidt, K., Steenhof, B. and Akenshaev, N. (2004) Poverty and forestry: A case study of Kyrgyzstan with reference to other countries in West and Central Asia. FAO, LSP WP 13.

Cotula, L., and Toulmin, C., with van Vlaenderen, H., Mansour Tall, S., Gaye, G., Saunders, J., Ahiadeke, C. and Anarfi, J. (2004) Till to tiller: Linkages between international remittances and access to land in West Africa. FAO, LSP WP 14.

Norfolk, S. (2004) Examining access to natural resources and linkages to sustainable livelihoods. FAO, LSP WP 17.

Unruh J. (2004) Post-conflict land tenure: using a sustainable livelihoods approach. FAO, LSP WP 18.

Unruh, J. D., Turray, H (2006) Land tenure, food security and investment in postwar Sierra Leone. FAO, LSP WP 22.

Nielsen, P., Hanstad, T., and Rolfes, L. (2006) Implementing homestead plot programmes. Experience from India. Livelihood Support Programme Working Paper Number 23. FAO LSP WP 23.

Quan, J. (2006) Land access in the 21st century. Issues, trends, linkages and policy options. FAO, LSP WP 24.

Cotula, L., Hed, C., Sylla, O., Thébaud, B., Vogt, G., and Vogt, K. (2006) Land and water rights in the Sahel. Tenure challenges of improving access to water for agriculture. FAO, LSP WP 25.

Gomes N. (2006) Access to water, pastoral resource management and pastoralists’ livelihoods: Lessons learned from water development in selected areas of Eastern Africa (Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia). FAO, LSP WP 26.

Tanner, C., Baleira, S., Norfolk, S., Cau, B., and Assulai, J. (2006) Making rights a reality. Participation in practice and lessons learned in Mozambique. FAO, LSP WP 27.

Tanner C. and Baleira S.with Afonso Â, Azevedo J. P., Bila J., Chichava C., Moisés A., Pedro C. and Santos J. (2006) Mozambique’s legal framework for access to natural resources: The impact of new legal rights and community consultations on local livelihoods. FAO, LSP WP 28.

Romano F. and Reeb D. (2006) Understanding forest tenure: What rights and for whom? Secure forest tenure for sustainable forest management and poverty alleviation: the case of South and Southeast Asia, with case studies of Orissa and Meghalaya, India and Nepal. FAO, LSP WP 29.

Lindsay J., Wingard J. and Manaljav Z. (2006) Improving the legal framework for participatory forestry: Issues and options for Mongolia. FAO, LSP WP 30.

Schmidt S. with Altanchimeg C., Tungalagtuya K., Narangerel Y., Ganchimeg D., Erdenechimeg B., Dambayuren S. and Battogoo D. New Zealand Nature Institute - Initiative for People Centered Conservation. (2006) Depleting natural wealth – perpetuating poverty: Rural livelihoods and access to forest resources in Mongolia. FAO, LSP WP 31.

Schmidt S. with Altanchimeg C., Tungalagtuya K., Narangerel Y., Ganchimeg D., Erdenechimeg B., Dambayuren S. and Battogoo D. New Zealand Nature Institute - Initiative for People Centered Conservation. (2006) Rural livelihoods and access to forest resources in Mongolia: Methodology and case studies of Tsenkher Soum, Ulaan Uul Soum, Binder Soum, Teshig Soum and Baynlig Soum. FAO, LSP WP 32.

Shimizu T. (2006) Assessing the access to forest resources for improving livelihoods in West and Central Asia countries. FAO, LSP WP 33.

Baumann P. (2006) Forest - poverty linkages in West and Central Asia: The outlook from a sustainable livelihoods perspective. FAO LSP WP 34.

Shimizu T., and Trudel M., with case studies by Asanbaeva A., Kananian M., Naseri Gh. and Sülüsoglu M. (2006) Methodology and case studies on linkages between poverty and forestry: Afghanistan, Iran, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey. FAO, LSP WP 35.

Åkerlund U., in collaboration with Knuth L., Randrup T. and Schipperijn J. (2006) Urban and peri-urban forestry and greening in west and Central Asia: Experiences, constraints and prospects. FAO, LSP WP 36.

Knuth L. (2006) Greening cities for improving urban livelihoods: Legal, policy and institutional aspects of urban and peri-urban forestry in West and Central Asia (with a case study of Armenia). FAO, LSP WP 37.

Cotula L. with contributing authors Chauveau J-P., Cissé S., Colin J-P., Lavigne P., Neves N., Quan J., and Toulmin C. International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). (2006) Changes in “customary” land tenure systems in Africa. FAO, LSP WP 38.

Rose L. (2006) Children’s property and inheritance rights and their livelihoods: The context of HIV and AIDS in Southern and East Africa. FAO, LSP WP 39.

Howard P, and Smith E. (2006) Wageningen University and Research Center. Leaving two thirds out of development: Female headed households and common property resources in the highlands of Tigray, Ethiopia. FAO, LSP WP 40.

Okali C. (2006) Linking livelihoods and gender analysis for achieving gender transformative change. FAO, LSP WP 41.

Nicoletta A. et Alhassane Y. avec la collaboration de Sitou L. (2007). L’accès à l’information foncière et aux institutions décentralisées pour sécuriser les droits fanciers des ruraux pauvres: L’expérience des Commissions Foncières au Niger (with summary in English). FAO, LSP WP 43.

Goislard C. avec la collaboration de Djiré M. (2007). Accès à l’information juridique, aux institutions et procédures légales: Quelle sécurisation foncière pour les ruraux pauvres au Mali ? Etude de cas dans le sud malien (with summary in English). FAO, LSP WP 44.

Sescon J. and Salazar R. Access to Seeds and Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture: Their Role in Improving Rural Livelihoods in Lao PDR. FAO, LSP WP 45.

Briefing Notes

Baumann, P. (2002) Poverty and access to natural resources: insights from a sustainable livelihood perspective. LSP Briefing Notes, Access to natural resources, number 1.

Baumann, P. (2002) Can the sustainable livelihoods approach improve the design and implementation of projects to enhance access to natural resources for the poor? LSP Briefing Notes, Access to natural resources, number 2.

Seshia, S. (2003) Seed trails and sustainable livelihoods: understanding access to seeds and plant genetic resources. LSP Briefing Notes, Access to natural resources, number 3.

Ellis, F. and Allison, E. Linking livelihood diversification to natural resources in a poverty reduction context. LSP Briefing Notes, Access to natural resources, number 4.

Mitchell, R. and Hanstad, T. Small homegarden plots and sustainable livelihoods for the poor. LSP Briefing Notes, Access to natural resources, number 5.


Legal Empowerment of the Poor Working Papers:

McAuslan, P. (2006) Improving tenure security for the poor in Africa: framework paper for the legal empowerment workshop in sub-Saharan Africa. FAO, LEP WP 1.

Sarpong, G. (2006) Improving tenure security for the poor: Ghana country case study. FAO, LEP WP 2.

Odhiambo, M. (2006) Improving tenure security for the poor: Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda country case studies. FAO, LEP WP 3.

Djire, M. (2006) Improving tenure security for the poor: Mali country case study. FAO, LEP WP 4.

Norfolk, S. and Tanner, C. (2006) Improving tenure security for the poor: Mozambique country case study. FAO, LEP WP 5.

Fuller, B. (2006) Improving tenure security for the poor: Namibia country case study. FAO, LEP WP 6.

Musahara, H. (2006) Improving tenure security for the poor: Rwanda country case study. FAO, LEP WP 7.

McAuslan, P. (2007) Synthesis paper: deliberations of the legal empowerment workshop in sub-Saharan Africa. FAO, LEP WP 8.