Securing Land and Property Rights for All

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Access to Land and Tenure Security

  • Angoc 3This issue brief highlights the challenges indigenous peoples experience in securing their customary land rights in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Philippines; hence, this publication specifies recommendations for the government and CSOs in strengthening the recognition to indigenous peoples' rights.

    Download it here.

  • Angoc 4 This publication contains the major highlights of the Land Watch Asia's "Regional Workshop on Land Monitoring Initiatives: Towards an Accountable Governance on Land" held in Manila, Philippines on 21-22 April 2015. These include the land monitoring country reports (in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, and Philippines) prepared by Land Watch Asia campaign using the Land Reform Monitoring Framework, which was its landmark contribution towards assessing land issues across the region.

    Download it here.

  • Mathare informal settlement in Nairobi Kenya  UN HABITATMathare informal settlement, Nairobi - Kenya. Photo ©UN-Habitat

    For Africa’s rapidly growing cities to be strategically guided for longer term sustainability, sound and comprehensive land policies that facilitate good land governance, enhance gender equality, promote decentralized land management and grassroots participation in addition to ensuring urban equity, efficiency and sustainability need to be put in place. It is within this context that the Land and GLTN Unit of UN-Habitat and LPI/AU will be hosting an Expert Group Meeting at the Habitat III Africa Regional Meeting in Abuja, Nigeria  on the 23rd February 2016 with the overall objective of strengthening key messaging on Africa’s land agenda within the context of sustainable urbanization. The Habitat III Africa Regional Meeting, will be an opportunity for regional stakeholders to meet, discuss, and identify priorities for sustainable urban development in the coming decades. As with all Habitat III Thematic and Regional Meetings, the declaration resulting from the meeting will be included as an official input and contribution to the Habitat III preparatory process.

    This is through joint action (Land and GLTN Unit of UN-Habitat and LPI/AU) for advocacy for a stronger position on the role of land in the process of sustainable urban development in Africa by articulating, discussing and recommending the direction of development response to sustainable urbanization through the land lens.

    The overall objective of EGM is to strengthen key messaging around Africa’s land agenda within the context of sustainable urbanization. The identification critical issues and priority action areas for advancing Africa’s land agenda within the context of sustainable urbanization; strategies and pathways for strengthening messaging and advocacy on role of land in the process of sustainable urban development in Africa; development of action oriented recommendations for strengthening the land dimension in the new urban agenda are the identified specific objectives of this EGM. 

    During the EGM, about 20 renowned thinkers and leaders in Africa’s urban land management issues will come together with other key land stakeholders representing various institutions and organizations partnering with the Land and GLTN Unit of UN-Habitat and the LPI/AU. In selecting the participants, the criteria of geographical balance will be taken into consideration including involving African Ministries of Urban Development to champion the agenda on land. 

    For more information on the EGM, you can download the Concept Note here. 


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    This Scoping Study is a collaborative effort between the Global Land Tool Network (UN-Habitat/ GLTN), the Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI), and an Advisory Committee.

    An Experts Group Meeting – EGM was organized to review and feedback the first report of the Scoping Study. More than 30 representatives from public and private sectors, CSOs, academia, international development agencies, social leaders and activists from all over the region were gathered on July14-15 2016 in San José, Costa Rica. Sessions were available via live stream and international experts, as well as, local practitioners joined.“Concepts, Contexts, and Solutions for Responsible Land Governance, and Secure Tenure in Latin America and the Caribbean” was the central theme of the EGM, having a particular relevance in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals - SDG; the formulation, and implementation of the New Urban Agenda – NUA, and the Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development - Habitat III.

    The meeting pursued to operationalize the concepts of responsible governance, secure land tenure, and sustainable land use, to identify “patterns” of urban contexts, and best and promising practices, and possible solutions and tools to ensuring fair, prosperous inclusive, resilient, and sustainable cities. A regional network of researchers in 10 countries (Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Honduras, México, Jamaica and Dominican Republic) undertakes the Scoping Study with the supportive hypothesis that tenure issues, socio-spatial segregation, or ecological stress of urban and peri-urban land systems would not exist under a redistributive, inclusive, and sustainable approach to cities governance. An extensive desktop study, semi-structured interviews with more than 50 land experts, and face-to-face dialogue with mayors and municipal officers has been undertaken so far.

    Main recommendations:  

    1. The concept of security of tenure has become more nuanced along the time; there is a tacit convention to link informal settlements with unsecure land tenure, however, examples show that this is not always the case.
    2. The social function of land as a principle that can make land markets to work for the poor, and to achieve the full realization of the right to adequate housing
    3. Strong need to raise awareness on the negative impact of having inappropriate urban land governance systems.
    4. Celebrate the regional initiatives that lead to higher levels of urban land security of tenure, like the Brazilian and Colombian initiatives, the recently approved urban land law in Ecuador and the ongoing efforts in Mexico, Argentina and Chile, but recognising the existing challenges on implementation.

    Final Agreements:

    1. Strengthening the LAC Urban Land Tools Cluster to advance the dialogue, exchanges, and technical advice on land tenure and responsible governance among stakeholders in the LAC region
    2. Use www.SueloUrbano.organ open collaborative platform for documentation and enhance replica of good and promising land tools and practices, information and knowledge sharing, awareness rising and advocacy
    3. Respond to the demand of technical advice from local governments in Bolivia, and Peru in the short term
    4. Dissemination and validation of the Scoping Study at country/sub-region levels starting by Costa Rica (for Central America), Trinidad and Tobago (The Caribbean), and Peru (South America).

    The conclusions recommendations and agreements will feed the final report of the study that will be presented at HABITAT III, Quito, 2016.

    For further information, please contact:

    • UN Habitat / GLTN:Isidora Markicevic at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Lowie Rosales at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Habitat for Humanity International, Latin America and the Caribbean region : Maria Luisa Alvarado at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Research team: Paola Siclari This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Contact Info:

Location: Gigiri, UN Complex
Office: NOF South Wing Block 3
Telephone: +254 207623858
Email: gltn[at]

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