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Natural Resource Governance around the World

Land Governance and Security of Tenure in Developing Countries

White Paper of the French Development Cooperation

Written by: Philippe Lavigne Delville, Alain Durand-Lasserve

Writing date: 2009

Organizations: Comité technique «â€¯Foncier et développement » (CTFD)

Type of document: Research Paper

Summary

Bringing together experts, researchers and French Cooperation agents, the Technical Committee on “Land Tenure and Development” is an informal think tank. Since 1996, it has provided French International Cooperation support on strategies and activity supervision in the fi eld of land tenure in conjunction with numerous French and international actors. The Technical Committee on “Land Tenure and Development” initiated the website “[www.foncier-developpement.org->www.foncier-developpement.org/welcome-to-the-portal-on-land-tenure-issues-in-developing-countries/view?set_language=en]”. The White Paper was drafted under the guidance of the Technical Committee and in dialogue with numerous actors in developing and developed countries. aGter is member of the Committee and participated to the conception of the White Paper.

Land tenure is a social relationship. It refers to the relationships that are established between people regarding access to land and the natural resources it bears. It is therefore a major economic, social and political stake. Because land policies defi ne land rights, how to manage these rights, and the rules on distribution of land among actors, they play a central role in development strategies. Land policy decisions are the focus of numerous debates:

  • Should one favour the land market?

  • How should local rights be addressed?

  • How can one combine economic growth, equity and environmental protection?

To meet the unprecedented challenges that they are presently facing, developing countries need to set up land governance. This governance must take into account the diversity of social, political and institutional situations unique to each country. The goal is to promote systems that improve the security of land tenure, based on recognition of the diversity of rights and sources of legitimacy, and that serve fair and sustainable economic development. Such an objective implies a redefi nition of the role of government authorities in order to regulate competition between the various stakeholders in access to land.

In compliance with the Paris Declaration and respecting the history of each country, international development cooperation has a duty to support land policies that are — or were — the subject of debate and to support a negotiation process at the national level that includes the various public, private, or associated stakeholders. This support must help promote a democratic and equitable governance of land. These are the messages that French international cooperation actors, brought together in the Technical Committee on “Land Tenure and Development“, propose in the White Paper of which this document is a summary.

See the full report and its summary below.

You can also find these documents on the Foncier-developpement website: [www.foncier-developpement.org/vie-des-reseaux/le-projet-appui-a-lelaboration-des-politiques-foncieres/le-livre-blanc-sur-les-politiques-foncieres-des-acteurs-francais-de-la-cooperation].

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