Tenure & land rights

Tenure & land rights

Clarity of land and resource rights is an essential part of effective land-use planning and management, and it can help to avoid conflict between rights holders. However, in many countries the formal legal tenure system is unclear, and it often conflicts with customary systems. Conflict over land and resources is widespread, and is sometimes violent. In 2015, 185 environmental activists from around the world were murdered over land rights disputes, including 15 killings directly related to logging (Global Witness, 2016)

There has been some progress in the recognition of rights around the world. For example, the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI, 2012) has documented a significant increase in the amount of legislation recognizing or strengthening local peoples’ forest and land rights over the last decade, while the area of forest recognized as owned or controlled by indigenous peoples and forest communities has increased from 10 to 15%.