Visit the Devex Land Matters website to learn more about the campaign.
With 75 percent of the poor in developing countries living in rural areas, land rights and secure tenure is a critical issue in promoting economic growth, food security, gender equity, stability and sustainable development. For more than 20 years, Chemonics has worked with international donors, private sector partners, and local governments to pioneer solutions that increase the security of land and property rights and local control over natural resource management.
With the highest population density in Africa, land in Rwanda is a precious commodity for communities—one that is responsible for 70-90 percent of all disputes. Chemonics is working with USAID and the local government to alleviate disputes concerning land, first by increasing the capacity of local Rwandan institutions to generate quality evidence-based research and improve overall awareness and understanding of issues, laws, policies, and news related to land. To further these goals, the initiative launched the Rwanda Land website, a comprehensive resource for land-related research, laws, news, events, land-sector stakeholders, and project information.
In Colombia, more than 4 million people have been displaced from their land due to conflict. As peace and stability are beginning to return to parts of the country people are returning to their land, but informal land ownership records and ongoing human rights violations threaten security of tenure and make restitution of land a complicated and dangerous process. Under the Colombia Human Rights Project, Chemonics and USAID are working together to promote a prevent and respond to human rights violations concerning land. Through collaboration with local NGOs the project is helping communities address past displacement by providing legal assistance to access mechanisms for investigating and brining judicial cases for land restitution. Additionally, the project recently helped launched a land restitution observatory, which will enable the Inspector General’s Office to monitor the progress of land restitution and make recommendations for improving its effectiveness and efficiency.
In Ukraine, a moratorium on agricultural land sales has stunted agricultural investment and development since 2001. Under the AgroInvest project Chemonics works with local stakeholders to reform agriculture policy to lift the moratorium and to increase agricultural productivity and investment. The project also has conducted analysis for the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food and the State Land Agency on proposed legislation related to land use planning and registration of lands, and supported creation of a Land Rights Resource Center with the Land Union of Ukraine. To support transparent and accessible information to land rights, the project has developed, and regularly updates, the “Manual on Forming Land Plots and Registering Rights to Them” for distribution among all individuals who have a stake in land registration. AgroInvest worked closely with the Ministry of Justice to train state land registrars and public notaries throughout the country pertaining to the use of the new online land cadastre system.