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05-06: Multi-Faceted Impacts of Secure Tenure Rights
Does Strengthening Local Tenure Rights Help Fulfill Conservation Goals?
1McGill University; 2Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Washington; 3The Nature Conservancy; 4University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Secure land tenure has been positively associated with human well-being as well as nature conservation. Conservation organizations have implicitly recognized this association from the beginnings of the conservation movement, (see, e.g., creation of community land conservancies in Africa and the creation of the conservation easement tool in the US). These organizations are beginning to think about whether and how to better incorporate land tenure strategies directly into their work and to more soundly ground that work based on evidence of both conservation and human benefits. By reviewing the literature on land tenure and land tenure security as it relates to conservation practice, we aim to clarify why conservation practitioners should incorporate land tenure security interventions directly into conservation strategies. We present a framework that links tenure security, land management decisions, and resulting outcomes related to human wellbeing and natural resource conservation. We identify three common pathways through which land tenure security impacts conservation interventions. We review existing practical approaches to assessing land tenure security in practice, and common methods for strengthening land tenure security as it they relate to conservation programs. We conclude with research frontiers.
Rwanda Natural Capital Accounting for Land
1Rwanda Natural Resources Authority, Rwanda; 2University of Rwanda; 3Statistics Netherlands, Department of National Accounts, Environmental Accounts team; 4Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences; 5Natural Capital Accounting, Rwanda Natural Resources Authority; 6Ministry in Charge of Natural Resources
In Rwanda, land is the basis for agriculture which accounts for 34 percent of GDP and 90 percent of jobs. The high rate of population growth and inheritance practices led to land fragmentation. The small plots reduce productivity while increased productivity is needed to achieve food security and to boost rural incomes. Beyond agriculture, Rwanda’s rapid urbanization and plans for development of secondary cities will require additional land, as well as policies to limit sprawl and promote zoning for green areas that improve quality of life.The Rwandan Government, found it necessary to develop the Land Accounts as tool to support the implementation of the national land policy on a rational use of land. We analyzed the land uses change for the period of 2014-2015 via so-called land use change matrices. The land cover and use accounting for the period of 1990-2010 was used to monitor and analyze changes in land cover and land use. Preliminary findings show that fragmentation increased slowly during 2014 and 2015 given ongoing policies aimed at combating land fragmentation. The average size of plots allocated to livestock declined by almost 10%, and residential land use is the fastest growing category, increasing by almost 14% throughout 2014.
Securing land rights for equity, sustainability and resilience for cashew growers in Khong district of Champasack province
Sustainable Natural Resource Management and Productivity Enhancement Project, Lao People's Democratic Republic
Even with the abundance of natural resources and land for agriculture, Lao PDR remains on the list of the 20 least developed countries in the world. More than 70% of the population in Laos depends on agriculture as their main source of income. Rural farmers are engaged in subsistence farming practices, but most of those farmers are lacking Land Use Certificates. The Sustainable Natural Resource Management and Productivity Enhancement (SNRMPE) Project has identified key lessons learnt for Land Use Certification, piloting certification in a cashew nut production project.
The mobilization of land authorities to issue land certificates to farmers helped cutting short the time and eliminated unnecessary steps in the process. Policy dialogue contributed to the adoption of new policies and benefitted the farmers. To address the lack of education and language barriers for women and ethnic minorities, the project targeted government staff and production groups. Key lesson learnt are that before any intervention, the trust of ethnic people needs to be earned, women need to be provided with land ownership, women farmers need to be educated on land use rights and staff of land authorities need to be trained on the issuance of Land Use Certificates.
The potential for homestead microplots to contribute to food security in rural West Bengal
Landesa, United States of America
Landesa’s partnership with the Government of West Bengal on state land allocation and titling programs provides an extraordinary learning opportunity. This paper uses survey data gathered through a recent study of households across West Bengal to explore the relationship between newly gained tenure security and the potential for improving the food security of the household. It finds no titling effect on food security, nor does it find an effect when women’s names have been included on the title. However, it does find a positive effect on food security when households engage in such livelihood activities as homestead kitchen gardening and animal husbandry. It concludes by exploring ways to improve the uptake of such activities at scale.