The Land Portal, Global Data Barometer, and Open Data Charter are working together at the nexus of open data and land governance. This blog shares how we are bringing our complementary expertise and passions for more open and transparent land data systems.
Burundi is a small landlocked country in East Africa, neighbouring Rwanda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Burundi has a total surface area of 27,840 km² of which 25,680 km² are land and 2160 km² are water. Burundi’s colonial and post-colonial history has been closely intertwined with neighbouring Rwanda and has been deeply scarred by periods of social conflict and civil war, contributing to the outflow and influx of large numbers of refugees.
In 2019 South Africa had a population of 58.5 million people. The country has a land surface area of 1,220,000 km². Of this, around 11% of the land is arable. There are significant ecological variations ranging from dry conditions (desert and semi desert) in the west to two bands of higher rainfall in the east. South Africa is considered to be a water scarce country, with this scarcity exacerbated by extreme social and economic inequality. Just 28% of the land surface receives 600 mm or more of rain per annum. This means that most of the land is suitable only for livestock or wildlife production.
Conflict is a major cause and, in some cases, result of humanitarian crises. Conflict frequently overlaps with underlying social inequalities, poverty and high levels of vulnerability. Conflicts are direct threats to food security as they cause massive loss of life and therefore loss of workforce (which is particularly important, as agriculture tends to rely heavily on human labour), loss of vital livestock, and loss of land. Conflicts displace millions of people each year, often forcing them to flee with nothing and making them extremely reliant on the communities that offer them shelter and humanitarian aid. This can place unsustainable pressure on hosting communities that often face high levels of food insecurity and struggle to make ends meet.
Producing food for the world’s growing rural and urban populations starts with agricultural land. Reducing current high levels of hunger and malnutrition, as called for by the Sustainable Development Goals, will depend on land use decisions and governance from the global to the local level. Although about 40 percent of the world’s land is used for crop production and pasture, today some 800 million people remain food insecure and as many as 2 billion are malnourished. Achieving food security requires physical, social, and economic access to safe and nutritious food.