Open access copy available

Resistance, acquiescence or incorporation? An introduction to land grabbing and political reactions ‘from below'

Background

While several research studies have examined the processes surrounding rural land transformation(s), and, in particular, the accumulation of public land by private entities, there are few studies that examine the responses of locally impacted people to these processes. This paper introduces a set of articles which discuss the varied reactions that local people have to the acquisition of public land and the ways in which they are formed and expressed.

Open access copy available

Green Grabbing: a new appropriation of nature?

Background

The authors introduce a set of papers which collectively discuss discourses and processes surrounding the transfer of ownership, user rights, or control over land and resources to meet environmental goals such as the production of biofuels or carbon sequestration, dispossessing some of their land while contributing to increasing the accumulation of property for others. The papers were originally presented at the International Conference on Global Land Grabbing and contribute to existing debates around land grabbing by building on the concept of ‘green grabbing’, wherein the appropriation of land is justified on environmental grounds.

Open access copy available

Forty years of community-based forestry: A review of its extent and effectiveness

Background

This report assesses the effectiveness of community-based forestry (CBF) over the past 40 years. Governments have been implementing programs such as participatory conservation, joint forest management, community forestry with partial or full devolution, and private ownership over several decades, and the authors assess the biophysical and social impacts of these programs, and outline the key lessons learnt during this time. 

Open access copy available

The tragedy of the commons

Background

Written in the late 1960s, this paper suggests that over population is a major challenge for continued human well-being, and especially for the management of commons. It uses examples of over-grazing in common lands and pollution management to argue that individuals are likely to look out for their own interest and continue to use common resources or pollute them acting as though they were available infinitely. While this tendency does not have negative consequences when the population is low, it can make resource management more challenging as the population increases.

Open access copy available

Devolution of forest rights and sustainable forest management (Volume 1): A review of policies and programs in 16 developing countries

Background

A significant amount of global forest area is publicly owned and managed, but in recent years several governments have implemented or proposed policies to devolve rights to forest-based communities. This paper examines the policies and practices that are related to the devolution of forest management in 16 countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Open access copy available

Tenure rights and access to forests: A training manual for research, Part I. A guide to key issues

Background

This training manual outlines major contemporary issues surrounding forest tenure rights, and provides guidance on how to incorporate information about tenure into research. While there is a significant amount of research on tenure rights, the author assets that, it is important to revisit this work since tenure rights to forests are changing. There are mutliple processes underway, leading to seemingly more rights for people who live in forests as well as a greater privatization of forests. Understanding tenure rights is also critical given increased land-grabbing for purposes ranging from climate change mitigation to conservation.

Open access copy available

Green economy, oil palm development, and the exclusion of Indigenous swidden cultivators in the Philippines

Background

Green economy programs involve agro-industrial development in land frontiers for activities that are considered low-carbon or as seen as supporting greenhouse gas reduction. In the Philippines, as in many parts of South-East Asia, oil palm plantations are promoted as a form of green growth, contributing to food security and biofuels while meeting reforestation goals on lands that are often classified as idle, or waste, but may not be in practice. The paper explores the implications of oil palm development on land tenure security of smallholder swidden cultivators from indigenous communities.

Open access copy available

Beyond tenure: Rights-based approaches to peoples and forests, some lessons from the Forest Peoples Programme

Background

Land tenure reforms have been implemented in several forested landscapes to support livelihood security among forest-depended communities. However, while these reforms have led to some improvements in tenure and livelihood security, they have also increased social exclusion and marginalization in some contexts. This paper argues that tenure reforms should be implemented within a rights-based framework, but one that integrates a range of human rights and is not solely focused on property rights.  

Open access copy available

Our land, our life: A participatory assessment of the land tenure situation of the Indigenous peoples in Guyana. Report for Region 8

Background

From 1995 onwards, the government of Guyana began to address undecided Amerindian claims by demarcating land in villages where titles had already been granted, granting title extensions, and grant new titles. This report outlines the findings and recommendations of a participatory assessment of land tenure security among indigenous people in present-day northwestern Guyana.

Open access copy available

Context in land matters: The effects of history on land formalizations

Background

Land formalization is the process by which governments grant legal rights to land, along with responsibilities and conditions of access through land titles and other official documents. This process typically establishes or re-establishes the authority of the state over the governance of land. This paper draws on examples from Africa and Asia to illustrate how land formalization has differing impacts on a diverse set of claimants, and largely increases inequity.

Open access copy available
Subscribe to Open access copy available