Land Rights in the Balance: Navigating the Intersection of Data, Development, and Sustainability | Land Portal

In a world grappling with climate change and sustainable development, the issue of land rights takes on a pivotal role. Secure land tenure is not just a matter of social justice; it's crucial for achieving several Sustainable Development Goals. Data from the EC Land Data Partnership, formed by the International Land Coalition, Land Portal Foundation, Land Matrix Initiative, and Prindex, sheds light on the complexities and challenges of land rights globally.

Prindex's global data reveals an alarming fact: nearly one billion people face the risk of eviction from their homes or land. This insecurity is not evenly distributed; it's more acute in regions like the Middle East, North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa. The disparities in land rights are stark, particularly when it comes to community and indigenous peoples' rights, as well as women's rights.

The Land Matrix Initiative brings another perspective, focusing on large-scale land acquisitions, often for renewable energy projects and nature offsets. This trend raises questions about the balance between environmental initiatives and the rights of local communities and indigenous peoples.

The Land Portal's State of Land Information program offers a lens into the public sector land information's completeness and openness. It's a stark reminder of the need for accessible, transparent data to inform policies and practices that respect land rights while addressing broader environmental challenges.

The International Land Coalition's Global Land Governance Index (LANDex) aims to democratize land monitoring and build a data ecosystem that better captures the complex experience of land governance from diverse perspectives. Sources for LANDex data include indicators from six global partners, including Prindex, the Land Matrix, and the Land Portal. 

Balancing land rights with sustainable development and climate action requires a nuanced understanding of these diverse data sources. Open access to land-related information is essential for guiding evidence-based responses to environmental challenges and ensuring that land governance is transparent and accountable. As we move forward, the integration of this data into policy and practice will be key to securing land rights for all, pivotal for a sustainable future.


About the EC Land Data Partnership

The EC Land Data Partnership, formed by the International Land Coalition, Land Portal Foundation, Land Matrix Initiative, Prindex, and supported by the Global Land Alliance and Overseas Development Institute, reinforces the significance of data in land governance. This partnership, backed by the European Union, aims to reduce duplication and increase the impact of land governance initiatives. It focuses on collaborative and transparent coordination, aligning with major global development frameworks like the SDGs, VGGTs, and FELA. The partnership emphasizes the FAIR and CARE use of data, incorporating public sector, citizen-generated, and third-party data for better policy and decision-making. This initiative presents land data in high-impact spaces to inform policies, programs, and practices, ultimately improving the tenure security of land users and local communities.

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