Land Portal | Securing Land Rights Through Open Data
Leon Verstappen
1 December 2020
Authors: 
Prof. Leon Verstappen
Global

Leon Verstappen, who is a  professor of private law at the University of Groningen and deputy judge at the Court of appeals in The Hague, has stepped down as Chair of the Land Portal Board, a position he has held since the establishment of the Land Portal Foundation in 2014. Leon recounts his engagement with the Land Portal since its inception as a project over more than a decade and its evolution up to the present day.

 
Unequal Scenes
20 November 2020
Authors: 
Ms. Laura Meggiolaro
Dr. Mark Napier
South Africa

landscape-Cambodia
19 November 2020
Authors: 
Mr. Ryan Flynn
Asia

Earlier in the year Prindex – the first ever global measure of land and property rights – released its full 140-country dataset. The results are sobering. Almost 1 billion people around the world feel it is likely or very likely that they will lose their land or home within the next five years. 

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Countries

Sierre Leone agriculture photo by WorldFish

Land is an essential source of livelihood for a majority of Sierra Leoneans. Most of Sierra Leone’s population lives in rural areas and it’s GDP is largely based on agriculture. The three main livelihood activities surveyed in the 2015 population and housing census are crop farming, animal husbandry and fishery, which depend largely on access to and ownership of land. Smallholders mostly cultivate rice, cassava, cocoa, coffee, cashew, groundnut, palm oil, vegetables and other fruit trees.

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Despite the achievement of Constitutional democracy in 1994, 'the land question' is at the heart of South Africa's struggles to overcome the cumulative legacies of nearly 350 years of white minority rule. The emotive quality of land policies evokes painful legacies fuelled by disappointments with the official land reform programme ushered in by the new Constitution of 1996. There is broad agreement that land reform programmes have not fulfilled their aims to significantly redistribute land and productive agrarian capacity, strengthen land tenure for the majority, and settle the restitution claims of victims of land dispossession.

Learn more about the successes and challenges in South Africa.

Issues

indigenous peoples climate change

Climate change can destabilize existing land and resource governance institutions and associated property rights across the spectrum of landscape types. Transformed climatic conditions, manifested in either rapid-onset or slow-onset ways, can change how land and natural resources are accessed and used as geographical shifts in resource productivity, resource scarcity, and therefore land use patterns occur.

Read more about Land, Climate Change & Environment

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