Securing Land and Property Rights for All

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    The Global Land Tool Network Partners UN-Habitat, GIZ, World Bank, FAO, ILC and the Urban Training and Studies Institute will host a group of land governance experts on the 26-28 September in Amman, Jordan to develop a joint vision and key recommendations for improving land governance in the Arab region.

    The meeting gathers participants from different land governance-related disciplines and backgrounds, such as land professionals and practitioners, civil society, government representatives, development experts and the academia. Several Middle East and North African countries will be represented in the discussions on how capacity development, knowledge management, geospatial innovations and regional dialogue can contribute to improved land governance.

    Issues related to land and conflict, fit for purpose land administration, women access to land, the environment and climate change and responsible large scale land based investments will be some of the key topics steering the discussions, through which a joint vision and joint way forward will be developed, including establishing a group of champions with a common land governance agenda.

    The Concept Note (including draft programme) are available 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. 


  • A two-day Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on the Design of a Responsible Land Administration curriculum was held 2-3 November 2016 at the University of East London in the UK. The EGM organized by GLTN partners UN-Habitat, the University of East London (UEL) and RMIT University brought together a total of 18 experts from various countries and academic and professional disciplines drawn from within the land sector. The meeting discussed and agreed on next steps in the production of a structured knowledge base to support the development and delivery of the curriculum. The potential users of the curriculum would include any land-related academic program and self-study courses with potential for certification. 

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    David Mitchell from RMIT University stresses a point during the Expert Group Meeting at the University of East London (UEL). Looking on is Siraj Sait of the Centre for Islamic Finance Law and Communities at UEL. Photo: UN-Habitat/Jean du Plessis

    The EGM was part of a larger project under the GLTN International Training and Research Institutions Cluster that focuses on the development and validation of a curriculum on Responsible Land Administration. The first feasibility and framework design phase was undertaken by the University of Twente - ITC, Technical University of Munich, UN-Habitat and partners. This EGM has now established a firm foundation for the next phase of development of the structured knowledge base, which is planned for completion during 2017. Six modules are planned.

    These include an introductory, framing module on what responsible land administration entails (purpose, rationale, scope, definitions, core values, dimensions etc.), plus five substantial modules covering the key subject areas of access to land & land tenure security, land management & planning, land policy & regulatory frameworks, land based financing/ land value sharing, and implementation of responsible land management in the context of the relevant Sustainable Development Goals and Habitat III. Cross cutting issues such as the functioning and impacts of land markets, the gender dimensions of land tenure security etc. will also be incorporated.

    The EGM members also participated in an academic Symposium on Affordable Housing and Development through Innovative Finance on the evening of Monday 31 October. David Mitchell of RMIT spoke about the EGM, and Jean du Plessis of UN-Habitat delivered a lecture on “Essential Paradigm Shifts in Land and Housing”. The symposium was organised by Siraj Sait of the Centre for Islamic Finance Law and Communities at UEL and was attended by the Malaysian Chief Minister of Perak, Dato Dr. Zambry Abdul Kadir, the UEL Chancellor, Shabir Randeree, and over 200 guests and students.

    For further information on this project, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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    Participants at the Expert Group Meeting. Photo: UEL/Bob Reed 

  • Land experts from 10 Arab countries are now in agreement that increased coordinated efforts, shared knowledge and capacity are needed to tackle land governance effectively. This conclusion was arrived at when 35 experts from different land governance-related disciplines and backgrounds met at the Expert Group Meeting on Fostering Good Land Governance in the Arab States that took place on the 26-28 September 2016 in Amman, Jordan.

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    The meeting co-hosted by the Global Land Tool Network, UN-Habitat, World Bank, GIZ, FAO, ILC, the Urban Training and Studies Institute and the Swiss Development Cooperation sought to develop a joint vision and key recommendations for improving land governance in the Arab region. The expert meeting enjoyed the support of the Jordanian Ministry of Municipal Affairs and included in its itinerary a study tour to the Jordanian Department of Land and Survey.

    Participants articulated a joint vision: “All the people in the Arab countries enjoy equal and affordable access to land, peace, stability and economic growth, to be achieved with good land policies and transparent, efficient and affordable land administration systems”.A road map for the way forwardwas also developed, including some milestones to be delivered in the short term and a declared focus on important priority themes, such as land and conflict, fit-for-purpose land administration, women access to land, management of public land, land based investments, environment and climate change.

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    Participants of the Expert Group Meeting on Fostering Good Land Governance in the Arab States

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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.

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