Giving people the legal right to own, use and sell land, water and other goods can actually lead to more sustainable resource use.
Blog Posts: property
In much of Africa, rural farmers and communities are losing their land to government, investors and others. It's creating profound impacts on local livelihoods and the environment.
In much of Africa, the bundle of land rights that most rural people legally hold is relatively small—usually limited to surface rights and certain rights to some natural resources on and below the surface, such as rights to water for domestic use. Many high-value natural resources—such as oil, natural gas, minerals, and wildlife—are governed by separate legal regimes and administered by different public institutions. Africa’s governments often allocate these rights to outside, commonly foreign companies for large-scale operations. In other words, while many communities hold rights to the land, foreign companies hold the rights to the natural resources on or under the same plot. These overlapping rights oftentimes lead to conflict, unsustainable use of resources, and injustices.