Land Portal | Securing Land Rights Through Open Data
24 May 2024
Stacey Zammit

Celebrating Fifteen Years of Open: The Land Portal’s Journey to Creating Communities of Practice

Since its beginnings, the Land Portal has been founded in a spirit of openness and, with one of its primary goals being providing wide access to land governance information.  The Land Portal, however, was created at a time where the opportunities to inform and open up the debate on land issues and thinking around the importance of open land data were much more limited.  When I first came to know of the Land Portal’s work, long before I joined the team,  social media was still very much in its infancy, the open data movement was just taking off and technology was only beginning to become personal and portable. These significant changes would eventually lead to a world in which technology touches nearly everything we do, considerably changing the nature of the Land Portal’s work.  

22 May 2024
Dr. Ritu Verma

Dr. Ritu Verma was a Board of Director of the Land Portal Foundation for two consecutive terms

It is with great happiness that I extend my warmest congratulations to the Land Portal on its 15th Anniversary!

As the Land Portal celebrates a decade and half of ground-breaking and impactful work in the area of knowledge-sharing on land rights and struggles across the globe, it has a lot to be proud of.

21 May 2024
Dr. Rick de Satgé
Ms. Laura Meggiolaro

Imagine a world where every community has the data, information and knowledge it needs to make informed decisions about the land they call home. A world where the power of information is harnessed to hold leaders accountable for managing essential natural resources sustainably. This is the transformative potential of open and accessible land data in the fight against climate change, which is the defining challenge of our time, threatening the lives and livelihoods of communities worldwide.


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Open Up Guide for Land Governance

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Land Governance


Agriculture Valley in Egypt Desert Oasis photo by Darla دارلا Hueske,Flickr,license CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Egypt’s total land area is 995,450 km2 while most of the population lives on less than 5% of the land. Only 3.6% of the land is arable and the remaining 96.4% is dominated by a vast desert plateau. By 2030, Egypt’s growing population will reach nearly 120 million.1. With a growing population and increasing urbanization, the management of land resources has become increasingly complex. Egypt's land governance system is governed by a combination of formal laws, customary practices, and administrative regulations. However, challenges such as informal settlements, and bureaucratic procedures pose significant obstacles to effective land governance. The cultural background related to land tenure is mostly influenced by the Islamic laws2.

With a surface area of 56,790 km², Togo is one of the smallest countries on the African continent. Although land legislation is still influenced by the colonial legacy, one of the distinctive features of the Togolese system is the recognition of customary rights. Unlike other African cities, the inhabitants of the capital Lomé gained access to property very early on. Although Togo has one of the highest rates of agricultural expansion in West Africa, large-scale land acquisitions are a marginal phenomenon and plantation farming remains dominated by smallholders.


Photo by UNICEF Ethiopia. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

One third of the world’s soils - including farmland, forests, rangelands, and urban land - are already degraded and it is estimated that this number could rise to almost 90% by 2050. Land Degradation occurs naturally, but research shows that land degradation is increasingly caused directly or indirectly by unsustainable human activities, notably deforestation, overgrazing, mining or intensive agriculture. This has driven biodiversity loss, desertification, and led to a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

Land and SDGs

The SDG Land Tracker provides easy access to official data and information on all land-specific SDG indicators. It concisely explains the indicators, why they are important, and tracks progress.

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