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This guide on Land tenure and rural development has been prepared to familiarize readers with key issues in land tenure, especially as they relate to food insecurity and rural development situations. Land tenure issues are frequently ignored in rural development interventions, with often long-lasting, negative results. Analysis of how land tenure works in practice - as evidenced by who has what type of access to land and under what conditions - is essential. This guide is designed to assist technical officers in governments and civil society in understanding why and how land tenure issues should be considered in rural development projects. It analyses important contexts such as environmental degradation, gender discrimination and conflicts, where land tenure is currently of critical concern.

While the guide cannot provide jurisdiction-specific advice, it is intended to be relevant to those working in rural development projects throughout the world. Because tenure issues vary considerably from one country to another, and even within a country, the guide does not attempt to provide readers with a detailed knowledge of land tenure. Instead, it provides guidance on how to identify whether or not land tenure issues are likely to occur in a rural development project, and gives recommendations as to how appropriate land tenure expertise can be built into project design and implementation.

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