WRI’s Land and Resource Rights project aims to ensure that rural people and the urban poor have secure rights over their land and natural resources.
Rural people in developing countries are losing their land and natural resources because of insecure property rights, with negative effects on livelihoods, well-being, local environments, and ecosystem services. Land acquisitions by governments and companies that fail to meet minimum national or international standards contribute to this insecurity. Furthermore, rural people are increasingly migrating to ever expanding cities, contributing to informal settlements vulnerable to climate change and other environmental hazards.
WRI’s Land and Resource Rights (LRR) project aims to ensure secure property rights for rural people and the urban poor. Operating across Latin America, Africa, and Asia, our work focuses on connections between land and equitable access to forests, food, and water. We work with governments, civil society organizations, development agencies, and other actors to strengthen land, resource, and property rights as a path to poverty reduction, sustainable development, and environmental management.
The Rights to Resources interactive map presents information on citizen and community rights to natural resources in sub-Saharan Africa. National framework laws for each of the 49 countries in the region were reviewed to answer eleven questions about local use rights to five natural resources: water, trees, wildlife, minerals, and petroleum.
Natural resources underpin many national economies in sub-Saharan Africa. They are also critical to the livelihoods and well-bring of rural families and local communities. In most of the region, formal rights to land do not include many rights to the natural resources that are on or below the surface of the land. High-value natural resources are often vested in the state and governed by separate statutory frameworks. With the rising global demand for Africa's natural resources, a clear understanding of the statutory rights to these resources can help a broad range of stakeholders. The information on the map can