Land, as a limited resource, and the tenure of land are of crucial importance for socio-economic transformation and sustainable development. Existing limits to individual and economic freedom with respect to land ownership are given in land policies and institutions for land management and administration. Ideally, these are based on a broad consensus on development goals and good governance principles. Conflicts related to land access and land use rights can significantly reduce the productivity of land, lead to social unrest and political instability that affect social and economic development and welfare. Therefore, responsible governance of land tenure is vital for poverty reduction, food security and economic growth. In recent decades, major efforts have been made to unleash the development potential inherent in land management and development. Land sector development is highly complex as it involves political, legal, economic and cultural aspects, often related to conflicts over land access and land use rights.
GFA intervention options
Secure land tenure and land rights transactions are key aspects of responsible land administration and transparent land markets. The latter rely on functional and efficient cadastre and register systems, are tailored to a country´s needs, and recognize individual and collective as well as formal, traditional and customary rights. Comprehensive consultation processes are necessary to obtain free, prior and informed consent before adopting administrative measures affecting indigenous people and territories. GFA assists its partners in designing and implementing specific land administration systems for responsible land governance. Given the complexity of land management, GFA teams offer multi-disciplinary consultancy services which combine developing policies and institutional arrangements with decentralization, rural economic development and environmental conservation. Since land security is considered an important pillar of poverty reduction and peace, support to reliable cadastre and register systems are high on many countries’ development agenda. Our experts focus on consulting the implementation of cadastral systems, reliable maintenance mechanisms and appropriate human resource development based on the latest technological developments, adapted to specific needs. GFA can draw on experiences from successfully implemented structural adaptation projects worldwide.
In many countries, an adequate legal framework for responsible land governance is yet to be developed, especially concerning the integration of formal and indigenous or customary land rights. Our proven expertise comprises the development of specific legal provisions for the regularization of land tenure under individual and collective as well as formal and traditional regimes. Decentralization processes and strong local government capacities in land management and land development are key conditions for creating transparent and effective land markets. Participatory and transparent development of land valuation systems will foster the acceptance of tax policies and compliance with tax liabilities and will boost local economic development.