Recognition and respect for tenure rights has long been recognized as an important concern for development, conservation, and natural resource governance. This paper discusses why secure tenure rights for local communities, indigenous peoples and women are central to good natural resource governance and important for livelihoods and human rights, as recognized in multiple international conventions. The paper reviews both challenges and opportunities for securing rights in practice and highlights successful cases of tenure reform. Communities are likely to continue to face resistance and opposition to recognition, and competition for land and natural resources, from more powerful actors, even after rights have been granted. Successfully recognizing and securing tenure requires a strong, evidence-based understanding of these challenges in order to design effective strategies to overcome them. This includes building coalitions and supporting grassroots organizations and social movements; designing a clear roadmap, with communities, for implementation; supporting the enabling conditions for improvements in livelihoods and effective and sustainable resource management; and monitoring progress to adapt to and confront new challenges
Authors and Publishers
The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) is a non-profit, scientific facility that conducts research on the most pressing challenges of forest and landscapes management around the world. With our global, multidisciplinary approach, we aim to improve human well-being, protect the environment, and increase equity. To do so, we help policymakers, practitioners and communities make decisions based on solid science about how they use and manage their forests and landscapes.
The South African Land Observatory is an initiative whose overall objective is to promote evidence-based and inclusive decision-making over land resources in South Africa. As its name ‘Observatory’ suggests, it collects data and information on land. The initiative is a repository of what is published on land in South Africa and on the events that take place around land in South Africa.