Land Matters was a month-long global conversation on Devex during September 2013. While this particular campaign to raise awareness about land rights for global development has since come to a conclusion, the importance of land remains a key issue for all development practitioners working toward a more sustainable future.

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for economic development

The value of land is increasing, and investors around the world are taking notice. So have smallholder farmers in the developing world. When people feel secure in their ownership of the land and resources they cultivate and depend on, they are more likely to invest in their long-term success. That’s why land rights and registration can help to spur broad-based economic growth.

Why land matters for economic development

Why land matters for economic development

There are many things the international community can do to encourage economic growth through the increased recognition of land rights. Here are some.

Why land should be part of the post-2015 agenda

Why land should be part of the post-2015 agenda

Let's make sure that land matters will be incorporated in the upcoming global blueprint for post-2015 development, write Landesa's Tim Hanstad and D. Hien Tran and Omidyar Network's Matt Bannick in this guest commentary.

Building a sustainable foundation for land rights

Building a sustainable foundation for land rights

Strong land rights and ownership tend to promote economic stability. Here's how modern technology can help to accelerate land registration and governance. A guest opinion by Matt Delano, business area director at Trimble Land Administration Solutions.

Economic development and rural land rights

Economic development and rural land rights

Countries where most of the rural population lack land rights are doomed in their long-term economic development. They can learn from the experience of Vietnam, Landesa Founder and Chairman Emeritus Roy Prosterman writes in this guest opinion.

Matt Delano: Quick lessons from Trimble's work on land matters

Matt Delano: Quick lessons from Trimble's work on land matters

Trimble helps developing countries map land to boost tenure. How does it work? We asked Matt Delano, the group's business area director.

What are the economic benefits of sustainable land management?

What are the economic benefits of sustainable land management?

It is estimated that up to 40 percent of fertile land around the globe is seriously degraded. We spoke with Mark Schauer, coordinator of the Economics of Land Degradation, about the global study being undertaken to determine the economic impact of land degradation.

In Morocco, a million-dollar deal founded on land rights and market opportunity

In Morocco, a million-dollar deal founded on land rights and market opportunity

Small cooperatives in the barren steppes of eastern Morocco are now generating $1 million a year... producing rosemary. This is how a joint DAI-USAID project based on smart land use achieved such success.

Mapping the Future of Land Rights for Global Development

Mapping the Future of Land Rights for Global Development

Land matters for sustainable economies, livelihoods, human rights, and the environment- the development community cannot afford for land to be a trend. Expert panelists from DAI, Chemonics International, USAID, and Omidyar Network sat down with Devex to discuss what land rights mean for the future of global development.


Must reads

Big step for a small country: Trimble technology helps a developing country move forward

A look at efforts to secure land rights for people in urban areas and rural villages of Benin. With support by the Millennium Challenge Corporation, land is geomapped, titles are given out and financing is found for people to improve and cultivate their land.

USAID land tenure and property rights portal

The U.S. Agency for International Development's land tenure and property rights portal, with a blog that features guest commentary from leading experts in the area of land and economic growth.

Why South Africa's land reform agenda is stuck

This year marks the 100th anniversary of South Africa's land laws barring blacks from owning land. A look at the enduring legacy of that law nearly 20 years after land reforms were enacted.

Fighting poverty with land

This report from the Council on Foreign Relations’ “Development Channel” documents efforts by the NGO “Landesa,” to provide Indian families with “micro-plots” of land, as a means to combat rural poverty. The report explains how Landesa worked with the government of West Bengal to ensure better coordination with state run pro-poor programs, and to use land-ownership as a bridge to poverty reduction.

Trimble GNSS technology supports Ecuador's National GIS Initiative

In 2009, Ecuador's Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture and Fisheries began a land management initiative to map land parcels and collect property ownership information for the entire nation. The goal is to provide an integrated and transparent national GIS-based information system that supports business and economic growth.

African land deals: Is a policy shift underway?

What are African governments doing to avoid unfair land grabs? An op-ed published by the International Institute for Environment and Development.

A right to land

USAID chaired negotiations over the development of new guidelines that protect the rights of local communities when they are faced with large-scale land investments. Large-scale sales and leases of land have not always been equitable, but the guidelines are expected to create the conditions for smart, sustainable investments that profit everyone with a stake in the deal: individuals, communities, corporations and nations.

Myanmar farmers lose their grip on land

This article tells of the struggles of rice farmers who have been forced to sell some of their land to richer neighbors or to consider planting only in the rainy season. They complain of a lack of access to credit, poor infrastructure, and pricey inputs, such as fertilizers and blame two new land laws that they say provide little protection to small farmers.

Is it time to enshrine land rights in sub-Saharan Africa into law?

Customary tenure rights must be recognized as economic, social, and cultural rights, this op-ed argues. It is up to sub-Saharan countries themselves to do this progressively.

As global agri-investment increases, policies must put local people centre stage

Corporate interest in agricultural investment is up, but policies are skewed against inclusive investments, a researcher with the International Institute for Environment and Development argues. Let's reshape agricultural investments so that they meet local people's needs and aspirations.

From blood diamonds to fishponds: Land-rights project for Central African Republic miners has ripple effect

A USAID project aimed at increasing legal diamond production and strengthening property rights has ripple effects such as reducing conflict and promoting economic growth, advancement for women, education, and good governance.

Microplots: A foundation for development

In India, about 200,000 families have received microfarms - plots of land about the size of a tennis court - to till and feed their families. A short video overview of the program that is part of a commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative.

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Cover photo by: ©Oxfam America/Holly Pickett