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04-13: Land Dispute Resolution Mechanisms
Analyzing the enabling environment for transforming forest landscape conflicts: the example of Lao PDR
1RECOFTC, Thailand; 2Independent Consultant
Forest landscape conflicts can be devastating on many levels – economic, environmental and social, from individual, to subnational, national and global levels. They are symptomatic of many issues revolving around weak governance. The problem is that seldom are they effectively addressed.
The aim of the paper is to better understand how and why forest landscape conflicts are happening, who is addressing them, and what can be done to prevent conflict or improve conflict outcomes. Using Lao PDR as a country case study the work also aims to develop an analytical framework for understanding conflict dynamics and capacity gaps that can be applied in similar countries around the world. Lao PDR was chosen due to the high prevalence of forest landscape conflicts, the multiplicity of causes and types of conflicts, and the relative paucity of relevant research and data.
Using literature reviews as well as interviews and focus group discussions, the research found that there is no effective system in the country for transforming conflicts. This is reflected in the low capacity of government staff to address conflicts effectively. To address these challenges, the work puts forward an integrated policy and capacity development program to systematize conflict transformation.
ADR as a viable tool in land conflicts: a Kenyan Perspective
National Land Commission, Kenya
Land is a popular asset among a diverse array of citizens and organizations in Kenya. It is a key driver of socio-economic development in the society and the country at large. This is in view of the fact that land has a great potential for economic growth of a country. Individuals, communities and organizations have over the years embarked on investing in land. Currently there are increased trends on the levels of investments and or grabbing of lands for the same purposes. In Kenya, the land sector has been a key driver of the social economic development and as such heavily invested in. This practice on one hand, has allowed genuine investment. On the other hand, this practice has witnessed a high rate of land grabbing by individuals and even organizations. As a result, conflicts have been increasingly acknowledged, a critical factor to the attainment of secure land tenure rights, development, peace-keeping and peace building. In addition, cases resulting from these conflicts have been dragging in courts for years. People are now tired of going to courts to seek redress and justice. The study would highlight group ranches, resources available, ADR applications and challenges encountered while trying to seek justice.
Managing Challenges And Security Threats From Conflicting Judgements On Land In Ghana
Ministry of Lands & Natural Resources, Ghana
Land ownership in Ghana has multiple hierarchies of interests and rights.Customary land boundaries remain indeterminate and quantum of rights and interests unclear. With rapid urbanisation and growth of cities especially the capital, Accra, contestation over land ownership among reputed land owners has been on the increase. High demand has raised land values and the propensity to appropriate lands in this hazy environment engenders several disputes which which end up in the courts for adjudication.
Unfortunately, many cases that are adjudged by the courts tend to conflict with or overlap each other thereby creating further uncertainty as to the ownership of the lands. This study examined some key judgements in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area with the view to ascertaining the incidence and extent of such judicial conflicts over land and explore measures to ameliorate the trend.
The findings reveal many conflicts and overlaps in court judgements which accentuate the confusion over land rights, freeze land for development, lead to frustration and use of self-help to protect lands among other ills. To achieve Ghana's development agenda and ensure peace, vigorous interventions have led to improving court processes, infrastructure and enhanced capacity of court actors. It is good beginning for the nation.