Making a difference in Asia and the Pacific

 

IFAD


Issue 9 - March/April 2006

Access to land

In this issue


Message from the Director of Asia and the Pacific Division

Eight hundred million of the world's poorest people live in rural areas, where they depend directly and indirectly on agriculture for their livelihoods. This means that land, and legally-enforceable rights to its long-term use, must be central to poverty reduction strategies.

Developing countries derive a high percentage and growing real levels of their gross national income from agriculture and earn significant levels of foreign exchange from agricultural and related industry exports. Their agricultural sectors employ the largest segment of the voting labour force. Their rural, land-based economies constitute a social safety-net when modern sectors of the economy experience a crisis. Depriving people of access to land can cause civil strife.

For all of these reasons, developing countries cannot ignore the political challenge and economics of land, and access to land. Because land management affects world food supply and prices, global climate change and global poverty, the international community must contribute to addressing the challenge of access to and sustainable use of land as a global good. It is an issue of ethics and economic rationality.

A number of specific challenges also need to be mainstreamed into this agenda. Women are particularly disadvantaged. Inheritance systems often exclude women from continuous access to family farm land. When women do gain access to land, it is often marginal. Indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities, extremely poor and landless people have been driven into less favoured areas. Lack of title and the risk of expulsion are disincentives for these poor people to invest in the lands they use.

The openness and restructuring of developing economies increase the demand for land from the modern sectors, especially on the peripheries of urban areas, where land is often of better quality. This increases land prices, sales of agricultural land and the pressure on land tenure systems.

In response to this compelling case for action, IFAD's work is guided by a strategic framework that focuses on enabling rural poor people to overcome poverty themselves, by securing access to land and other productive assets. Through its loans and grants, IFAD works with governments and other partners to design, finance and support the implementation of programmes that improve land management and use, facilitate secure access to land by poor farmers, and seek to document and formalize this access for the longer term. This Newsletter provides examples of such initiatives.

Read full message

Thomas Elhaut
Director, Asia and the Pacific Division

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IFAD policy supports access to land in Asia and the Pacific

IFAD policy supports access to land in Asia and the PacificIFAD's Rural Poverty Report 2001 clearly stated that the key to sustainable rural development is legally-secure entitlements to assets such as land, water, credit, information and technology by poor people. Without secure property rights, farmers lack the incentive to invest in land management. Regional poverty assessments confirm that in most of the developing world, lack of access to land is associated with low incomes and rural poverty. For example, the Assessment of Rural Poverty for Asia and the Pacific Region argues that land reform, both tenancy reform and redistribution of ceiling surplus land to landless people, is important to poverty reduction. It recommends that redistributive land reform, whether through market-assisted land reform programmes or otherwise, should remain a substantive issue for poverty reduction.

The Strategic Framework 2002-2006, IFAD's latest policy document, has recognized "improving access of the poor to natural resources such as land, water and forests" as one of organization's three strategic thrusts. It further notes that rural poor people lack decision-making powers over the use of natural resources. Increasingly, land reform and tenure systems, water rights and access by rural communities to forest and other common property resources are sources of social conflict. Reducing such tensions and improving planning for sustainable and equitable resource use are key challenges throughout the developing world.

In the past, IFAD has not done much in the area of redistributive land reform. However, it has undertaken many project-level interventions in other forms of land reform such as securing tenure, land titling, land improvement, and enhancing the access of poor people to common property resources.

Ganesh Thapa, Regional Economist, Asia and the Pacific Division

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Access to land and water in Bangladesh

Access to land and water in BangladeshRural poor people in Bangladesh face serious livelihood constraints. These constraints include poorly defined property rights and lack of access to common property resources. Without clear rules of access to inland open water fisheries, these resources are usually over-exploited and/or controlled by powerful interest groups who are not direct users. Consequently, the actual fishers often earn little more than a daily wage for their efforts. Ongoing IFAD projects in Bangladesh, such as the Aquaculture Development Project and the Sunamganj Community-Based Resource Management Project, have had some success in getting leases for water bodies transferred to groups of poor fishers.

The Aquaculture Development Project has succeeded in transferring 20 baors (oxbow lakes) with a water-spread area of 602 hectares to groups of poor fishers on long-term leasing arrangements, while the Sunamganj Community-Based Resource Management Project has been successful in securing long-term leases for 93 beels (small lakes). Project impact reports have confirmed that not only does this approach increase fishers' profits from the fish catch, but total catches can rise dramatically due to improved management of the water bodies. Initiatives under these projects and similar initiatives under other projects (such as the ongoing DFID/IFAD-financed Community Based Fisheries Management Project, and the USAID-funded Management of Aquatic Ecosystems through Community Husbandry Project) have had a positive influence on the draft National Fisheries Policy (Department of Fisheries, April 2005) and on proposals in the October 2005 poverty reduction strategy papers (PRSPs).

"The leasing policy of jalmahals (local terminology for in-land water-body) will seek to optimize equity and productivity concerns. Three points merit priority consideration: firstly, the importance of appropriate long-term leases, secondly, the importance of viable production plans against which jalmahal lease rights are to be granted, and thirdly, ensuring adequate opportunities for poor fishermen and community groups to be participant in the process."(Bangladesh PRSP, October 2005)

There are now major opportunities to get more control of water bodies transferred to genuine, poor fishing groups. However, at the same time there is a need to address key issues such as:

  • the length of the lease period (to give adequate security of tenure)
  • the lease cost (as many leases are dramatically over valued)
  • enforcement of fishing rights (especially on the more open boars)
  • IFAD has given priority to these issues in its new Country Strategy for Bangladesh, which will be presented to the IFAD Executive Board in April 2006.

Read more about Bangladesh
Nigel Brett, Country Programme Manager

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Central Asian Countries Initiative on Land Management

Central Asian Countries Initiative on Land ManagementThe Central Asian Countries Initiative on Land Management (CACILM) is a country-owned, multidonor regional partnership to combat land degradation in five Central Asian countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. This 10-year initiative (2006-2016) supports the development and implementation of national programming frameworks for sustainable land management, with the overarching goal of combating land degradation and improving rural livelihoods. 

CACILM is being led by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) under the direction of a CACILM Task Force, of which IFAD is a member. The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has committed to financially supporting the implementation of CACILM.  In April 2005, the GEF PDF-B design phase (referring to "programme development facility grant proposal") was launched, focusing on the following areas:

  • maintaining the integrity of CACILM by strengthening country ownership
  • deepening stakeholder participation 
  • promoting an in-depth and transparent dialogue process with the concerned external development agencies 

The PDF-B phase is expected to conclude soon, and will have four outputs:

  • a national programming framework for each country
  • a multi-country partnership framework
  • mechanisms for consultation and coordination within and among countries
  • increased awareness and commitments by national stakeholders and external agencies

It is anticipated that the total financing for CACILM will be approximately US$700 million for the 10-year period. In addition to GEF's contribution of US$100 million, ADB will fund US$450 million, Central Asian countries US$100 million and other bilateral and multilateral development partners will contribute US$50 million.

IFAD has been closely engaged in CACILM and will continue to work together with all the partners concerned in its support. Under the framework of IFAD's subregional strategy, the country programmes in Central Asia will strive to mainstream environmental concerns as part of the central focus.  CACILM-related activities will be funded through both the lending and grant programmes of IFAD.

Read more about CACILM
Making a difference in Asia and the Pacific no. 1

Tian Ya, Country Programme Manager

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Transferring productive land to the poorest people in Nepal 

Transferring productive land to the poorest people in NepalLand, livestock and labour constitute productive assets of poor people living in the rural areas of Nepal. Since launching the Hills Leasehold Forestry and Forage Development Programme in 1989, IFAD has worked with the Government of Nepal to improve access to land for the poorest rural communities through long-term leasing of small blocks of degraded, public forest land. IFAD's interim evaluation of the programme in 2003 found that "the transfer of productive land with degraded forests to the very poor on renewable 40-year leases can both reduce poverty and reforest the hills of Nepal".

In September 2005, the Government of Nepal launched the Leasehold Forestry and Livestock Project, which is a second phase of the Hills Leasehold Forestry and Forage Development Programme. It is designed to address rural poverty in 22 districts of Nepal through the allocation of leasehold forest land and increased production of forest products and livestock. The project is expected to target some 44,300 poor and food insecure households in the hill areas adjacent to degraded forest land. In addition, the employment of women group promoters, to mobilize, support and train leasehold groups, is expected to ensure that women participate in and benefit from the programme.

The objectives of the project are to:

  • improve household forage and tree crop production from secure and sustainable management of leasehold plots
  • improve households production of small livestock (goats)
  • develop and strengthen microfinance institutions to provide savings and credit services to leaseholders
  • develop the government's capacity to implement leasehold forestry as a national poverty reduction programme in a gender-sensitive way

Leasehold forestry is an agent of change in local power structures as it challenges the status quo and favours direct transfer of productive resources to the poorest people. The inter-groups and cooperatives of leasehold members have become important as these "coalitions of the poor" have more power to counter potential expropriation of resources by local elites.  The experience shows that land-resource poor households are both prepared and able to be the managers and caretakers of degraded forest sites provided that they have security of tenure for sufficiently long periods.

The leasehold projects have piloted and established a new pro-poor approach for forestry in Nepal. Leasehold forestry was identified by the Government of Nepal as a priority programme in the PRSP/10th Plan 2002-2007.

Read more about Nepal
Making a difference in Asia and the Pacific no. 1

From community to leasehold forestry

Kati Manner, Associate Country Programme Manager

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Enabling access to estate lands for workers and poor villagers in Sri Lanka

Enabling access to estate lands for workers and poor villagers in Sri LankaA fundamental cause of poverty for Sri Lanka's poorest people is their lack of access to productive resources, in particular land. IFAD is currently assisting the Government of Sri Lanka to address land issues and help the poorest people to gain access to land through the innovative Smallholder Out-Grower Estate Development Programme. The programme aims at piloting, among other things, new land tenure arrangements that will open up government-owned estate lands to former workers and marginalized smallholder producers living in surrounding villages. By the end of the eighth year of this ten-year programme, it is expected that some 20,000 hectares of good estate lands will have been distributed to some 20,000 families, representing around 100,000 people. Communities that will benefit from the programme include

  • Landless estate workers living on mid-country tea estates in the Kandy and Matale districts, some of which are managed by loss-making state plantation companies, and others by private regional plantation corporations. These workers have currently no land rights and are completely dependent on their wages and handouts.
  • Smallholder plantation out-growers who live in villages near these estates and own only very small plots of land under uncertain tenure arrangements.
  • Poor marginalized families that were resettled on neglected tea estates in the mid-country region between 1985 and 1992. Since the resettlement, these families have been relying on their own endowments, without any assistance to grow suitable crops on their allocated estate lands, and are facing many problems with their land titles.
  • Rainfed farmers in the Moneragala district living in areas suited for rubber cultivation and where productive state lands exist in sufficiently large quantities. There are currently various tenure arrangements that need to be strengthened to allow the land users to invest in perennial crops such as rubber.

At the moment, IFAD is negotiating the new lease arrangement to protect the poor wage labourers and landless, who will become landowners, with the Government of Sri Lanka. With IFAD's assistance, the government is considering provision of leases of around 90 years. Furthermore, such leases will include clauses allowing the new landowners to diversify production systems away from tea if they choose to do so. A major component of the programme will be land use planning and land regularization. Other supported activities will include agricultural development and diversification, social mobilization, local institutional development, processing and marketing, rural financing and policy support.

Read more about Sri Lanka

Sana Jatta, Country Programme Manager

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Research partnership in support of women’s access to land in Pakistan

Research partnership in support of women’s access to land in PakistanLand is arguably the single most important source of security against poverty in rural Pakistan. It defines social status and political power in the village, and it structures relationships both within and outside the household. Land is a productive, wealth-creating and a livelihood-sustaining asset. Despite overwhelming evidence of the power of land in agrarian countries like Pakistan, to date the right to and control of land by women has not merited sufficient attention. Strengthening women's access to and control of land:

  • provides women security and allows independence
  • empowers women by increasing bargaining and market power and enhancing status
  • challenges political expediency that allows women's marginalization
  • increases child and family welfare

Above all, it is a fundamental human right - the right to liberty, independence and property. Indeed, Bina Agarwal, in her influential work on land rights for women in South Asia, posits that supporting women's legitimate share in landed property can prove to be the single most crucial entry point for women's empowerment in South Asia.

To date, there has been negligible research on women's right and access to land in Pakistan. In order to address this knowledge gap, in October 2005, IFAD embarked on a two-year research partnership with the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and ActionAid Pakistan. The research will:

  • seek to draw inferences and examine causality behind women's landlessness, poverty and status
  • provide a strong case for policymakers, state institutions, development organizations and practitioners to redress the historic and contemporary marginalization of women
  • include a policy/legal review and an examination of the current position regarding women's ownership of and control over land
  • examine the land administration structures and judicial precedents
  • assess the role of the state in according women land rights through land reform

It is intended that the analysis and conclusions of this research programme will be communicated to a wide audience by publishing advocacy booklets in local languages.

Nigel Brett, Country Programme Manager

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Protecting ancestral domains of indigenous peoples in southern Philippines

Photo by: Dario Novellino IFAD's partnership with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research IFAD has been supporting the efforts of indigenous peoples on Mindanao Island in the southern Philippines to have their rights over their ancestral domains recognized and protected. A pilot activity funded with grant resources is paving the way for the Northern Mindanao Community Initiatives and Resource Management Project to support communities of indigenous peoples in the area by:

  • enabling them to identify, delineate and map their ancestral domains, following the principle of self-delineation as mandated by the Indigenous People's Rights Act of the Philippines
  • providing the necessary technical inputs and methodology to develop their Ancestral Domain Sustainable Protection Plans
  • assisting in the preparation of legal claims for Certificates of Ancestral Domain Titles filed by the concerned communities of indigenous peoples with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples
  • preparing the ground for further replication and scaling up of the techniques under future IFAD and other donor-supported projects in the country

By the end of 2005, the project had achieved the following outputs:

  • Perimeter maps of nine communities of indigenous peoples have been developed in five municipalities. These include a technical description of all boundary corners of the extents of the ancestral domains of each partner community.
  • 3-Dimensional Relief Models of the nine communities have been constructed at appropriate scales to allow partner communities to plan the management of natural resources on their respective ancestral domains. The models also help to prevent conflicts arising between different communities over natural resources.
  • Thematic maps for the nine communities have been developed representing various land uses, including pertinent technical information such as hydrology, slope incidence, tenure patterns and road networks, as defined by the communities in the relief models and through the community resource management planning process.
  • Provision of all requirements for filing of Certificates of Ancestral Domain Titles of one community and formal submission to the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples, while similar data is being gathered for the other eight communities.
  • At least fifteen members from each community have been trained in participatory community mapping, basic Global Positioning System (GPS) instrumentation training, participatory 3D-modelling, and introductory course on Indigenous Peoples Rights Act and its salient features.

These mapping exercises have empowered the communities of indigenous peoples. With some concrete documentation in their hands, the communities have now started demanding their rights over their ancestral domains and protection against encroachment by migrant communities and mining/logging companies.

For example the Mamanwa community of indigenous peoples claims that out of their total ancestral domain of about 40,000 hectares, which straddles five municipalities, about 15,000 hectares falling in Alegria Municipality have been encroached by others. The community complains that its land was occupied first by a logging company and later by migrants who obtained permits to settle on land that the Mamanwa community considers its own. Without any written titles over those areas, the community could not prove the extents of their ancestral domain. The IFAD-supported mapping exercise now allows them to obtain legal documentation that proves these extents and thereby to avoid disputes that often result in loss of life.

Given these encouraging results, the Northern Mindanao Community Initiatives and Resource Management Project is preparing to scale up the outputs of the pilot mapping activities. It is expected that all communities of indigenous peoples in the areas covered by the project will benefit from such mapping exercises during the next five years or so.

Read more about the Philippines

Sana Jatta, Country Programme Manager

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Providing security of land tenure to Asia's upland poor

Providing security of land tenure to Asia’s upland poorAn IFAD grant to the World Agroforestry Centre, to finance a programme for Rewarding the Upland Poor in Asia for the Environmental Services They Provide (RUPES), is helping to build working models of best practices for successful environmental transfer agreements adapted to the Asian context. The RUPES project has demonstrated some new ideas to improve the livelihoods of the upland poor. At Sumberjaya site, Lampung Province in Indonesia, where land tenure rights have been a longstanding issue, the project helped to resolve long-standing conflicts over land and to provide tenure security in return for a commitment from the upland poor to maintain or restore environmental services. In particular, land tenure has been the main reward mechanism for watershed protection and carbon sequestration projects. With IFAD's financial support, the World Agroforestry Centre and local NGOs have helped farmers develop community forestry schemes that envision land tenure for 25 years, after a five-year trial period.
 
The Director General of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), David Kaimowitz, presented the results from the RUPES programme at the roundtable discussion on "Adaptive research in support of pro-poor innovations in rural development: Successes from IFAD's grant programme" at the 2006 session of IFAD's Governing Council. On behalf of the consortium that constitutes RUPES, he:

  • explained how environmental service payments have great potential to provide a new source of income for the rural poor
  • highlighted the testing of innovative environmental service quantification tools such as a Rapid Hydrological Assessment and a Rapid Agro-biodiversity Assessment
  • explained how RUPES has assisted in the social mobilization and awareness raising of groups of environmental service providers, and assisted them in negotiations with potential buyers of such services
  • explained that RUPES has also proved to have great impact on national-level institutions and policies

In Indonesia, what initially started out as a small RUPES national technical advisory committee has now evolved into an independent, self-supporting, national institution focused on lobbying the government on revising forest regulations to include rewards for environmental services. In closing his presentation, Dr Kaimowitz stressed that while there is great potential for the approach, there are also risks that need to be managed and, in particular, efforts need to be made to ensure that rewards are directed to poor people.

Read more about RUPES

Carla De Gregorio, Grant Coordinator

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Asian NGO perspectives on land reform and access to land

Asian NGO perspectives on land reform and access to landExperience has shown that while redistribution of land and more secure tenure are important, they are not sufficient when addressed on their own. The Asian NGO Coalition for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ANGOC) believes that agrarian reforms should be linked to many complex social, economic, cultural and political relations. In their recent publication, Asian NGO Perspectives on Agrarian Reform and Access to Land, ANGOC examines different agrarian policies and practices and their new role in land struggles. It recognizes that agrarian reform is a necessary first step. However, at the same time there is also a need to ensure that small producers are able to access timely and adequate support services that would enable them to make their lands productive, improve their farming systems and secure their linkages with markets. Gradually, small producers may need to diversify - first, their farming systems, and next, their livelihood systems - in order to reduce their risks and vulnerability. Small producers must form strong organizations in order to improve their bargaining power vis-à-vis more powerful groups such as traders. In the absence of such organizations, small producers would risk shifting from being "tenants of the land" to becoming "tenants of the market". In cases where land conflicts exist, a different approach is needed, as more time and effort are initially required to undertake conflict resolution and rehabilitation.

IFAD has provided a grant to ANGOC and the Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) to increase the capacity of IFAD and its partner organizations in the design and implementation of sustainable community-based organizations (CBOs) and development activities. This grant programme also promotes scaling up of CBOs and policy linkages through their clusters and federations. The goal is to enable the rural poor to form strong coalitions and federations.

Read more about ANGOC

Martina Spisiakova, Newsletter Coordinator

     
 

Did you know that new Indian legislation now gives women equal rights over agricultural land?

In August 2005, the Hindu Succession (Amendments) Bill 2004 was passed giving women equal rights to all property, including agricultural land and joint family property. This new legislation overrides any gender discrimination in state-level laws on land tenure currently in place in India. "This has been a major step in making women equal in the eyes of law in every way, '' said Bina Agarwal, Professor of Economics, Institute of Economic Growth, who lobbied for changes in the Bill.
 
Source: The Indian Express, 30 August 2005

 
     

 

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Message from the Director of the Asia and the Pacific Division

Eight hundred million of the world's poorest people live in rural areas, where they depend directly and indirectly on agriculture for their livelihoods. This means that land, and legally-enforceable rights to its long-term use, must be central to poverty reduction strategies. The effect-to-cause chain of poverty becomes imposing, with inadequate income linked to limited production, low productivity, poor technology adoption and insecure access to land.

Developing countries derive a high percentage and still growing real levels of their gross national income from agriculture, and its backward and forward linkages. They earn significant levels of foreign exchange from agricultural and related industry exports. Their agricultural sectors employ the largest segment of the voting labour force. Their rural, land-based economies constitute a social safety-net when modern sectors of the economy experience a crisis. Depriving people of access to land can cause civil strife.

For all of these reasons, developing countries cannot ignore the political challenge and economics of land, and access to land. Because land management affects world food supply and prices, global climate change and global poverty, the international community must contribute to addressing the challenge of access to and sustainable use of land as a global good. It is an issue of ethics and economic rationality.

A number of specific challenges also need to be mainstreamed into this agenda. Women are particularly disadvantaged. Inheritance systems often exclude women from continuous access to family farm land. When women do gain access to land, it is often marginal. The finding that microfinance schemes have assisted women in accumulating savings is promising. The schemes have enabled them to purchase homesteads and even agricultural plots.

Indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities have over time been driven into less favoured areas, and their demography has meant that traditional risk reduction practices, such as shifting cultivation, have become unsustainable, further compromising productive use of that land. With fast development and the disintegration of traditional social capital, customary forms of land tenure and access are also compromised.

Extremely poor and landless people have also been driven to "squat" on marginal and risk-prone lands, such as flood-prone lands along overflowing rivers, earthquake-prone areas, tsunami-exposed coastal areas or disease-infested areas. Lack of title and the risk of expulsion are disincentives for extremely poor and landless people to invest in the lands they use. The openness and restructuring of developing economies increase the demand for land from the modern sectors, especially on the peripheries of urban areas, where land is often of better quality. This increases land prices, sales of agricultural land and the pressure on land tenure systems.

In response to this compelling case for action, IFAD's work is guided by a strategic framework that focuses on enabling rural poor people to overcome poverty themselves, by securing access to land and other productive assets including water, technology, financial services and markets. Strengthening the capacity and voice of the poor and their organizations is also a strategic priority for IFAD.

Through its loans and grants, IFAD works with governments and other partners to design, finance and support the implementation of programmes that develop, facilitate secure access to land by poor farmers, and seek to document and formalize this access for the longer term. IFAD simultaneously seeks to improve land management and use to ensure that poor farmers can maintain the productivity of their land, which is crucial if they are to keep possession of the land, especially in post-settlement contexts, and get out of poverty. This Newsletter provides examples of such initiatives.

Analytical work, grant-funded action research and grant-funded initiatives of community-based organizations to secure access to land help to identify upstream, successful innovations on which to build larger investment projects. IFAD's efforts to establish a knowledge base related to land and access issues, through the Rural Poverty Portal, are key prerequisites to replication.

However, projects have their limits. The country-wide scaling up of successful innovations exceeds the scope of IFAD-funded projects, and depends on the pro-poor quality of countries' institutional and policy framework for access to land.

A recent review of poverty reduction strategy papers in the Asia region has shown that most poverty reduction strategies do not address access to land, and those that have references to land have either no resource allocations, or no specific expected outcome statements and indicators.

IFAD pursues its country dialogue for pro-poor policy and institutional development through its performance based allocation system, which also encompasses access to land. The principal policy performance indicator assesses the existence of an institutional, legal and market framework for secure land tenure. The secondary indicator assesses the procedure for land acquisition and accessibility to all, for both individually held and common property resources, and assesses whether the rural poor are able to benefit from these to have secure access to land. This indicator also assesses the existence of a legal/institutional framework or practical instruments to promote equal access by men and women to natural resources. The 2005 review of the Asia region's policies and institutions for access to land shows, within significant country and subregional differences, that a majority of rural poor households have access to some land, though this access is often insecure. Frequently, vulnerable groups such as women and indigenous populations do not enjoy the same access to land as other poor groups. Where applicable, owned land is sometimes registered; leased and rented land is mainly unregistered and/or leases are out-of-date. Government policy on common property resources is vague, unclear and largely unimplemented. Clearly, there is still some way to go.

Democratization and popular expectation to share the benefits of growth are starting to change the power relations in policy debates, also in relation to equitable access to land. Farmer organizations have stronger negotiation capacities. Land-based elites are confronted with the necessity for change. The land-grabbing modern sectors of the economy are also stakeholders in the process of policy change for access to land, and they constitute new power sources. This tension is creating a new political economy for land policy change, and an action arena for policy dialogue on access to land is emerging in many countries. The forthcoming International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development in Brazil demonstrates this development in opportunities for change. 

In such a complex context for policy and policy change, it is crucial for IFAD to maintain strong partnerships with other stakeholders. The Central Asian Countries Initiative on Land Management is one such specific partnership, led by the Asian Development Bank. The International Land Coalition, housed in IFAD, is another example of a broader based institutional partnership. The recent development of the Farmers' Forum process is one final example of IFAD's partnership with farmer organizations on a broad range of issues, including access to land. In its February 2006 synthesis of deliberations, the Farmers' Forum recommended a follow-up process to "strengthen the capacity of people organisations in order for them to participate in land policy formulation, implementation, enforcement and evaluation". It also recommended that support services be provided to "beneficiaries of agrarian reform for them to make productive use of their lands; and in certain countries, to help regularise use and/or ownership rights".

Thomas Elhaut
Director, Asia and the Pacific Division

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Contact

ifad@ifad.org
www.ifad.org

Martina Spisiakova
Tel: 3906-54592295

Making a Difference in Asia and the Pacific

Issue 8: January/February 2006 - Agricultural Technology Management

Issue 7: November/December 2005 - Pro-poor policies

Issue 6: September/October 2005 - Gender & MDGs

Issue 5: July/August 2005 - Partnership

Issue 4: May/June 2005 - Rural Finance

Issue 3: March/ April 2005 - Donor Harmonization

Issue 2: January/ February 2005

Issue 1: November/ December 2004

Upcoming events:

International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development, Porto Alegre, Brazil, 7 - 10 March 2006

Bangladesh:
Wrap-up meeting
- Country Strategy Opportunities Paper (COSOP), Bangladesh, 16 March 2006

Bhutan:
Start-up workshop
- Agriculture, Marketing and Enterprise Promotion Programme, Thimphu, March 2006

China:
Project Management Office annual workshop, Hubei province, March 2006

India:
Start-up workshop
- Livelihoods Improvement Project in the Himalayas, early March 2006

Pakistan:
Loan negotiations
- Project for the Restoration of Earthquake-affected Communities and Households, Islamabad, 10-12 April 2006

Philippines:
Start-up seminar
- Rural Micro-enterprise Finance Project, the Philippines, end of March

Upcoming missions:

Bhutan
Project completion mission - Second Eastern Zone Agricultural Programme, February - March 2006

China
Formulation mission
- Modular Rural Development Programme, March 2006

DPR Korea
Formulation mission - Coastal Community Livelihoods Support Project, March 2006

India
Pre-mid-term review mission
- Orissa Tribal Empowerment and Livelihoods Programme, March 2006

Indonesia
Country programme review mission, 17 February - 9 March 2006

Maldives
Formulation mission
- Fisheries and Agricultural Diversification Project, March 2006

Pre-implementation mission
- Post-Tsunami Agricultural and Fisheries Rehabilitation Programme, March 2006

Mongolia
Follow-up mission - Rural Poverty Reduction Programme, March 2006
Pacific Islands

Start-up mission - Mainstreaming of Rural Development Innovations Programme in the Pacific, 19 January - 28 March 2006

Sri Lanka
Pre-implementation support mission - Post-Tsunami Coastal Rehabilitation and Resource Management Programme and Post-Tsunami Livelihood Support and Partnership Programme, April - May 2006

Appraisal mission - Small Smallholder Out-Growers Estate Development Programme, 1 May - 12 June 2006

Viet Nam
Formulation Mission - Linking Markets to the Poor, February - March 2006

About IFAD

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is a specialized agency of the United Nations, dedicated to eradicating poverty and hunger in developing countries. Its work in remote rural areas of the world helps countries achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Through low-interest loans and grants, IFAD develops and finances projects that enable rural poor people to overcome poverty themselves.

IFAD tackles poverty not just as a lender, but as an advocate for the small farmers, herders, fisherfolk, landless workers, artisans and indigenous peoples who live in rural areas and represent 75 per cent of the world's 1.2 billion extremely poor people. IFAD works with governments, donors, non-governmental organizations, local communities and many other partners to fight the underlying causes of rural poverty. It acts as a catalyst, bringing together partners, resources, knowledge and policies that create the conditions in which rural poor people can increase agricultural productivity, as well as seek out other options for earning income.

IFAD-supported rural development programmes and projects increase rural poor people's access to financial services, markets, technology, land and other natural resources.

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