Securing Land and Property Rights for All

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Over the past decade, development agencies and stakeholders concerned with land and property rights globally (referred to henceforth as the “global land community”) have seen shifts in knowledge and understanding and a growth in consensus that land tenure security for all and equitable land governance are foundations for sustainable economic development and the elimination of poverty (UN Habitat / GLTN, 2014). This consensus is reflected in the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure, Forests and Fisheries (FAO, 2012) and other related regional and global instruments.

The international donor community has also paid renewed attention to land governance in responding to the new wave of private land acquisition and land-based investment in the global South, seeking to improve their potential to drive agricultural growth and economic development. Effective monitoring is central to ensuring that changes in land governance result in improved conditions and sustainable development opportunities for all, especially for the poor. In particular, better knowledge and understanding are needed of a) the extent to which people benefit from secure land and property rights; and b) the effectiveness of land-related policies and land administration systems in helping to deliver tenure security for all and achieve sustainable use of land resources.

In 2013, the G8 group of countries committed to supporting greater transparency in land transactions, including the responsible governance of tenure of land, increased capacity in developing countries, and the release of data for improved land governance. The United Nations High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda report has proposed a target on “secure rights to land, property, and other assets” as a building block for people to lift themselves out of poverty. Discussions on the integration of land into the framework for measuring progress towards a set of post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are now actively underway. These developments have created the need for a core set of land indicators that have national application and are globally relevant and comparable.

GLII LogoThis led to collaboration between UN-Habitat, the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the World Bank in 2012, facilitated by the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN was initiated and hosted by UN-Habitat), to establish a Global Land Indicators Initiative (GLII) to develop a set of core land indicators to measure tenure security globally and at country level (UN-Habitat / GLTN 2014). This initiative has now grown to 45 partners, including non-government organizations, multi-lateral agencies, academics, research institutions and training institutions actively working to reach consensus on a set of core indicators.

Download the GLII brief for more information.


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