Discover the 7 reasons why land and property rights are at the top of the global agenda

Only 30% of the world's population have registered legal rights to their land and homes.

Guaranteeing property rights and efficient land registration institutions are indispensable for any modern economy. Without functioning tenure systems, countries risk losing the basis for sustainable growth, which threatens the livelihoods of the poorest and most vulnerable. It is not possible to end poverty and boost shared prosperity without serious and consistent progress on land and property rights.

The international community has recognized the fundamental role that land and property rights play in sustainable growth by including it in 8 targets and 12 indicators of the SDGs. In order to achieve these goals, policymakers and governments will need to move land and property rights to the top of the global agenda. Check out the seven reasons.


  1. Securing land rights is an important pillar for agriculture.

As population and consumption grow, global demand for food will also increase. A global strategy is needed to ensure sustainable and equitable food security. Interventions will be needed to increase agricultural production through improving security of land rights, research and extension, and more agricultural inputs.


  1. Securing land rights is essential for urban development.

By 2050, approximately 6 billion people will live in urban areas, with most of this increase occurring in Africa and Asia. Failure to clarify land rights and correct distorted land policies contributes to rising property values, making them potentially unaffordable for the urban poor.


  1.  Protecting property rights helps protect the environment.

One of the environmental practices that most destroys the environment in the last 50 years has been forest degradation. To reverse this situation, governments will need to develop policies that improve security of tenure in forest areas – where environmentally sensitive land remains forest – and allow for the transfer of land use in non-environmentally sensitive areas to agriculture or other production.


  1. Securing property rights and access to land are crucial for private sector development and job creation.

The private sector needs land to build factories, commercial buildings and residential properties. According to a report that assesses the performance of the private sector in the Middle East and North Africa, the main restrictions on the private sector in the region include the lack of access to land, land titling and registration.


  1. Securing property rights are important to empower women.

The World Bank Group's gender strategy highlights access to assets as one of the three main pillars for women's empowerment. Around the world, women are denied the right to land for a variety of reasons, which has led to the global advocacy campaign called “Stand for Her Land”, launched by the World Bank, Landesa, Partners in the Global Land Tools Network ( GLTN), UN-Habitat, Habitat for Humanity, Huairou Commission and women and local communities around the world.


  1.  Securing property rights helps guarantee the rights of indigenous peoples.

Several countries do not legally recognize the land rights of indigenous peoples, even though they have lived on their ancestral lands for many generations. Recognizing the land rights of indigenous peoples is not only a human rights issue, but is also related to the economy and sustainability. When indigenous people's rights are recognized, they will be able to use the resources on their lands more sustainably.


  1. Securing property rights is vital to maintaining peace.

Conflicts and wars around the world force millions of people to flee and leave their properties behind. Without their legally protected property rights at home, displaced people will not be able to return to their homes and livelihoods. Peace cannot be fully achieved if land and property rights are not well addressed, potentially triggering a second round of conflict.


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