Long-term, sustainable and responsible ways to access and share data are fundamental to all efforts to support sustainable development and particularly salient to improving land governance and securing land rights for landless and vulnerable people. The COVID-19 pandemic has unequivocally demonstrated that the need for land rights has never been greater, as governments have shut down land administration systems and rolled back regulations protecting vulnerable communities.
In these difficult times, access to accurate and timely information became an essential service, and at the Land Portal Foundation we realized that it was our responsibility – as a leading open data organization – to ensure land information was kept out of lockdown.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Land Portal Foundation began tracking its impact on land governance and looking for solutions to protect communities from displacement and eviction, to keep women from facing intensified discrimination, to encourage continuing due diligence in land deals and to protect indigenous and local communities from regulatory rollbacks. In documenting this work, we found two common threads: communities are resilient and are coming together during this time of crisis, and access to land data and information underpins all work to protect the interests of affected communities.
This past year was difficult for everyone in so many different ways, testing the limits of our social fabric, but for those struggling for land rights it was even more difficult. At the Land Portal Foundation, we took pride in rising to the occasion to help bring unity and focus in the land sector, to provide a space for collaboration and debate to contemplate the implications of this shocking new reality and to define paths forward that lay the foundations for improved access to land information and land rights for those who need them.
We greatly appreciate your continued support and confidence in our work.
Laura Meggiolaro, Team Leader
Authors and Publishers
The vision of the Land Portal Foundation is to improve land governance to benefit those with the most insecure land rights and the greatest vulnerability to landlessness through information and knowledge sharing.