Countries and regions devastated by war and civil strife remain fragile and vulnerable for decades after the fighting has ceased. In this post-conflict period, as social, political, and economic institutions are rebuilt, reconfigured or established anew, land is increasingly acknowledged as not only a key driver or root cause for conflicts, but as a critical factor for relapse and a bottleneck to recovery.
In the aftermath of war, access to and control of land and natural resources often remains a sensitive issue for years, leading to tensions and challenging emergent stability. Nonetheless, prioritizing the resolution of land-related concerns can bring about sustainable and durable peace.
Post-war societies must deal with a wide range of land-related conflict legacies, from the degradation of and heavily exploited natural resources, to landmine contamination and a destroyed infrastructure, among other serious issues. Rural and urban areas alike may face population and resource pressures triggered by internal displacement or refugee flows. These tensions can facilitate new or rekindle land-related conflicts between host and displaced communities, especially in semi-arid or arid regions where pastures and access to water are naturally limited.
Acknowledging the importance of making data and information on these issues available to wider audiences, the Land Portal Foundation is launching a new Thematic Portfolio on Land in Post-Conflict Settings. This portfolio represents another crucial step toward a better informed and inclusive decision making process over land governance related issues.
“According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), at least 68.5 million people are forcibly displaced worldwide, with 85% of these people remaining in the Global South. By providing greater access to information on land issues in post-conflict settings, we hope to contribute to a better understanding of the underlying causes of this enormous issue the world is faced with today,” said Laura Meggiolaro, Land Portal Team Leader.
This portfolio features a detailed narrative written by Anne Hennings, who is a postdoc research fellow at the University of Muenster in Germany. “Land governance in post-conflict environments is often weak and legal systems can be highly dysfunctional, lack administrative capacities, face significant corruption and many other serious and enduring complications.”, said Anne Hennings. “In the narrative, we have tried to capture key issues at play in post-conflict settings, including land governance, returning refugees, internally displaced peoples and ex-combatants, restitution challenges, gender dimensions, reconstruction efforts and commodification of land, as well as risks of politics of exclusion and land-related grievances,” emphasized Hennings.
The picture emerging from this narrative can be further investigated looking at dozens of publications, as well as the latest news, blogs, events and debates from around the world on land in post-conflict settings on the Land Portal.
Accompanied by the narrative, bibliographic and other resources, the portfolio includes several indicators that can be visualized in a customizable table, over a world map or comparing the ranking of different countries. The data offers insights not only on the scale and nature of land in post-conflict environments, but also on the political stability and absence of violence and terrorism, among other indicators.
This week, together with GIZ and McGill University, the Land Portal Foundation also held a webinar on Land in Post-Conflict settings. Watch the recording of the webinar on YouTube.
This work is funded by the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and also the UK Department of International Development (DFID) as part of the Land: Enhancing Governance for Economic Development (LEGEND) program.
Laura Meggiolaro, Team Leader, Land Portal Foundation
Marcello De Maria, Research Analyst, Land Portal Foundation
Anne Hennings, Research Fellow at the University of Muenster in Germany
FOR MORE INFORMATION, OR TO ARRANGE INTERVIEWS, CONTACT:
Neil Sorensen, Land Portal Foundation, firstname.lastname@example.org, +33.641668648
ABOUT THE LAND PORTAL FOUNDATION:
The Land Portal aims to help data and information providers to create, curate and disseminate land governance data and information to become part of a more inclusive, friendly and accessible information landscape. Our mission is to build an information ecosystem for land governance that enables and supports better informed decision and policy making at national and international levels.