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Promoting Inclusive Local Land Tenure Governance in Mauritania and Sierra Leone - GCP/GLO/1028/GER








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    Book (series)
    Negotiated territorial development in a multi-stakeholders participatory Resource Planning approach: an initial sustainable framework for the Near east Region 2016
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    Throughout the Near East, land and water shortages, land degradation, out of date land tenure systems and food insecurity are compounded by asymmetries in gender roles and power, by severe imbalances in the political-military structures within and between countries, by flagrant deficiencies in land and water management and control systems, and by the incessant increases in demand driven by high rates of population growth and urbanization. This interplay of forces and dynamics form a complex hydr o socio-political web that governs the allocation land and water and who benefits from their availability and their ultimate sustainability. The current allocation arrangements of the region's three major river basins - the Nile, the Euphrates-Tigris and the Jordan - are nascent sources of tension, and potential sources of conflict and violence. Political instability that characterizes the Near East continues to intensify scarcity, suppresses growth and engenders poverty and is being increasingl y exacerbated by the impending consequences of climate change. The Middle East is one of the most water poor and water stressed regions of the globe. While the region is home to 5.1% of the people of the world, it has about only 1% of the world renewable fresh water. Today's annual per capita availability of fresh water in the region is only one seventh of its 1960 level, falling from 3,300 cubic metres per person in 1960 to less than 500 cubic metres in 2015. This is the lowest per capita wat er availability in the world. The current land tenure systems are failing to address long-standing problems that include smallholder farmers, landless households and most marginalized groups such as women continue to compete for shrinking natural recourses, while pastoralists are losing control of their traditional grazing areas. Use, management and access to land and water are becoming extremely sensitive matters as the number of users grows. Governments and local actors have often perceived these major issues differently. This requires effort to be made to ensure a participatory approach to decision-making that effectively involves all the local actors concerned in an equitable and balanced manner. About 90% of the land area in this Region is subject to land degradation in different forms and over 45% of land suitable to farming is exposed to various types of land degradation which include soil nutrient depletion, salinity and wind and water erosion. Per capita arable land availa bility in the region is among the lowest in the world where many countries in the region show levels that are exceptionally low (on average less than 0.123 hectares per person) and the range varies between 0.01 hectares per person (Oman, Qatar, Palestine, Kuwait and Bahrain) to 0.34 hectares in the Sudan in 2015. Arable land as a percentage of land area in the region is very low ranging between 0.1% in Oman to 18.4% in Tunisia in 2013. Most of the countries in the region show shares below 10%. O nly Morocco, Tunisia, and Iraq sow percentages above 10%. Irrigated land areas in the region also represent a small share of total arable land areas. In many of the countries in the region these shares are way below the world average. Only Iran (17.4%) and the UAE (12.5%) show high relative shares in the period 2011-2015. The Region’s critical shortage of water and cultivable land, including the increasing pressure on these resources and their degradation makes their efficient management a pa ramount task. It will be necessary in this regard to promote the engagement of all concerned stakeholders in planning and managing land, water and agrobiodiversity. Actual physical scarcity of land and water, even in the Middle East region, is not the only key issue. Conditions of economic scarcity seem to be equally pressing; there is perhaps enough land and water to meet society's need, but there are few incentives for wise, efficient and egalitarian use of these critical resources. Climate change will impinge on this region’s fragile water balances, suitable land for cultivation, grazing land and food production capacities and will exacerbate the problems and issues of food security. Measures, policies, strategies and institutional capacities to mitigate the impending catastrophic consequences of climate change and to improve the societies’ resilience and adaptation to its consequences are needed now. The sooner the regulatory and institutional setups are put in place the easier the task to deal with climate and other risks. It is necessary and vital to rise up to this challenge by enlisting the stakeholders in the initiatives to promote sustainability and efficiency of land and water use and the management of food security issues. An active engagement of concerned stakeholders in planning and managing water, land and agrobiodiversity necessitates first and foremost the engagement of and participation of particularly women and girls and marginalized groups in all wate r and food aspects as they constitute the main agricultural labour force and the most deprived segments of society. Gender and the water and land nexus in the Arab region is an area where there is still relative little information. There is little systematic knowledge about the many means by which women and men manage water and land in the region. Evidence shows that while women in Egypt have a significant role to play in water use in the process of food production by controlling and managi ng water flows in the fields and supervising workers during irrigation, they rarely own the land they cultivate. Rural women in Yemen spend huge amounts of time collecting and transporting water, often up and down steep slopes and coordinate water allocation and distribution for the various needs of the family and the household but they are rarely involved in decision making and management councils that govern land and water uses. Women everywhere in the Middle East evaluate water quantity and q uality and prioritize water for drinking and health and sanitation purposes but they rarely share equally in the benefits of their labor or in the ownership of the land and water resources. This is why an integrated water and land management system anchored on a genuine participation of stakeholders will be crucial in determining whether the Arab world achieves the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and aspirations for reducing poverty and enhancing shared prosperity. Water and land are the c ommon currency which links nearly every SDG, and it will be a critical determinant of success. Abundant water supplies and cultivable land are vital for the production of food and will be essential to attaining SDG 2 on food security; clean and safe drinking water and sanitation systems are necessary for health as called for in SDGs 3 and 6; and water is needed for powering industries and creating the new jobs identified in SDGs 7 and 8. None of this is achievable without adequate and safe water and sufficient suitable land to nourish the planet’s life-sustaining ecosystem services identified in SDGs 13, 14 and 15.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Women’s land rights and agrarian change: Evidence from indigenous communities in Cambodia 2019
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    Current changes in land tenure in Cambodia are reshaping indigenous communities agrarian and socio-economic systems. Customary laws that have determined land usage and rights, are now undergoing profound transformations. The commodification of land, influenced by processes of dispossession and alienation, is reshaping communities’ norms and customs. Land, before freely available to users, is now substantially a private asset and as such transferred from one generation to the next one like other assets. Customary laws derive their legitimacy from social systems that are context specific and change with time. This determines their ambiguous character as instruments for resistance and self-determination as well as generators of unequal social relations in rural communities. The experiences from other continents and countries have shown the contradictory and often conflicting linkage between customary land rights and women’s rights to own land. This study analysis the customary inheritance system of indigenous groups in Northern Cambodia, prevalently centred around matrilineal or bilateral kinship, where women used to inherit and own the principal family assets. The research questions focus on indigenous women’s inheritance and property rights as they apply to land, in the context of increasing land commoditization and scarcity. The aim of the enquiry is to contribute to the understanding of the gender implications of these changes, by gaining insight about women’s position vis-à-vis land property, inheritance and transfer to new generations. The changes in land tenure that have occurred in Ratanakiri province during the last decades have resulted in a substantial alienation of land and resources formerly available to indigenous people. Consequently, the area farmed under shifting cultivation has significantly decreased and been replaced by permanent commercial crops, while the increasing monetization of communities’ economy has triggered new processes of social differentiation. Little support has been given to indigenous farmers in order to manage this transition and adapt their farming system while maintaining its sustainability. The legal instruments deriving from the Land Law, which in theory should have contributed to provide formal legal protecting to indigenous land and allow communities to continue using land according to their traditional tenure system were impaired by delays and the obstacles in the practical implementation of the law. External actors, institutional as well as non-governmental, have been actively promoting agricultural practices centred on rapid gains, unsustainable exploitation of land and forest, carpet introduction of monocultures without creating the conditions for the establishment of favourable value chains and market conditions. The changes that have taken place have important implications in terms of women’s role and status within communities: not only because of the farming system transition, but also as a consequence of the increasing influence of the mainstream culture, in which gender norms are more hierarchical and constrictive then the ones in use among the indigenous peoples targeted by this study. Following the evidence presented here, strengthening indigenous women land rights may result from a multipurpose approach that embraces different areas of interventions and actors, detailed in the recommendations provided.
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    Book (series)
    Evaluation of the project “Creating peaceful societies through women’s improved access to management of natural resources, land tenure rights and economic empowerment in Sierra Leone”
    Project code: UNJP/SIL/050/PBF
    2021
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    This report presents the results of the evaluation of the project “Creating peaceful societies through women’s improved access to management of natural resources, land tenure rights and economic empowerment in Sierra Leone” (UNJP/SIL/050/PBF), jointly implemented by FAO and ILO between 2019 and 2020. The project aimed at addressing the two underlying causes of conflicts in Sierra Leone - gender discrimination and fragmented land governance - by focusing on: i) more effective and gender-inclusive land tenure governance; and ii) women’s economic empowerment through skills, knowledge, gender-sensitive financial services and organizational capacity. The project was clearly appropriate and strategic to the main peacebuilding goals and challenges in Sierra Leone. It was also clear that the project has successfully created a momentum for women and their communities at large to more confidently address conflict issues in the future. Women’s participation in design and management of income-generating economic activities was particularly successful. The evaluation makes a number of recommendations, including a follow-up of the livelihood component. Scale-up and sustainability should be the next steps for widespread mapping of family-owned lands. Providing a lighter version of the mapping software (SOLA) would help in this regard, and it could also sustain mapping at the community level after project closure.

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