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June 2003

Land reform, land settlement and cooperatives bulletin


Land and land reform cover a great range, both in terms of the geographical and development status of the countries considered, and of the variety of perspectives on the issues. The articles in this issue of Land Reform, Land Resettlement and Cooperatives reflect this breadth in a variety of ways.

The articles range geographically from the paper addressing land and agrarian reform in Colombia, by Professor Darío Fajardo, to a consideration of the land reforms currently under way in Scotland, by Douglas Macmillan, Ken Thomson and Bill Slee. It is interesting and important to remember that land reform is not solely confined to the developing or transitional world, and the breadth of articles in this edition reinforces that understanding.

It is important to recall that there are many different approaches to land reform, and that these are equally the subject of diverse perspectives. Saturnino Borras' article on market-led land reform concludes with the view that more objective information is needed before a rational judgement can be made about the most appropriate way forward. The legal perspective on change is examined in Bill Valletta's reflections on agricultural land share leases in the Ukraine, reflecting no less substantial areas of change in legal land relations, as does Jean-Pierre Chauveau's contextualization of the legislative framework for rural tenure in Côte d'Ivoire. Jing Li and Yang Yao explore the relationship between China's current land tenure system and its effects on labour migration.

The remaining papers in this issue dissect certain aspects of land tenure in Africa. Moustapha Diop analyses the situation in relation to individualization of tenure in the land law of Guinea and Elisabeth Dijoux addresses gender and access to land in Benin.

Paul Munro-Faure
Chief, Land Tenure Service
FAO Rural Development Division

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