In many African countries, the majority of land is under customary tenure: the rights, rules and responsibilities to possess, occupy and use it are based on community customs. But customary-held land rarely enjoys adequate protection under national laws; any legal mechanisms to uphold land rights may be easily circumvented. With land-based investments expanding rapidly in Africa in recent years, scarce resources are coming under pressure. Conflicts erupt between competing land users. Communities find themselves dispossessed.
Strengthening the legal framework for customary land-rights holders is crucial for their legal recognition and protection. IDLO works to elevate the land rights of communities in Africa and empower customary rights holders to protect their land.
For more information, see IDLO's publication Protecting. Community Lands and Resources. Evidence from Liberia, Mozambique and Uganda.
The rolling hills of Burundi, or collines, represent the heart of its rural society. Burundi has a growing population and one of the highest population densities in Africa, yet 90% of its nine million inhabitants live in rural areas and many rely on subsistence farming for food.
We live in a world of abundance, yet ensuring food security remains challenging. Women are responsible for more than half of global food production. Yet they account for 70 per cent of the world’s hungry and are disproportionately affected by malnutrition.
‘Policies, laws and fair justice systems play a crucial role in making sure that women have equal access to land and productive resources,’ Ilaria Bottigliero, IDLO Director of Research & Learning, told participants during a panel discussion on the topic of ‘Land, gender and food securit
As the World Bank’s annual meeting on Land and Poverty got underway in Washington DC, representatives of governments, civil society, academia, the development community and private sector discussed land policy, challenges, and the latest research on land governance
In Burundi, land tenure registration is the primary way for the government to deal with the large number of land disputes across the country. A series of pilot programs aimed at resolving land rights issues have been initiated in recent years. To date, however, it is unclear whether these pilot programs have had their intended effect of reducing the number of land disputes.
In June 2015, IDLO commenced the project: Researching the Impact of Land Tenure Registration on Land Disputes and Women’s Land Rights in Burundi.
Land Tenure Registration (LTR) programs involve issuing proof of ownership to holders of land rights to increase their legal certainty. Such programs are undertaken for a variety of reasons. While much is known about the impact of LTR on factors like access to credit and agricultural output, there is a gap in knowledge of its impact on land disputes, particularly in post-conflict settings.