Millions displaced by land conflict annually, leading to humanitarian crises | Land Portal

Land Portal Foundation and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) launch thematic portfolio on land conflicts

Land conflicts displace millions of people each year, often forcing them to flee with nothing and rely on the communities willing to offer them shelter and aid. Demands from industries, investors, urban expansion, and climate change are likely to exacerbate and intensify land conflicts in the coming years. The root causes and pervasive impacts of land conflicts need to be carefully scrutinized and comprehensively documented. Access to reliable information on land conflicts is key.

Given the importance of this subject as a critical issue affecting land governance, the Land Portal Foundation, together with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), is publishing a Thematic Portfolio on Land Conflicts. This Portfolio brings together the key information on land conflicts, including a range of data and indicators from diverse and reliable global sources, country rankings relating to land conflicts, the latest news, blogs and events related to land conflicts, as well as profiles of organizations working to address land conflicts around the world. Additionally, the portfolio provides direct access to nearly 700 publications related to land conflicts, including the latest publications from Global Witness, Rights and Resources Initiative, FAO, the Norwegian Refugee Council, the Land Rights Now initiative, and other global and local organizations.

The data available on the Land Conflicts portfolio includes Land Conflict Watch data (highlighting the number of reported land conflicts), VGGT indicators on the legal rights of displaced populations, and also features LandMark's percentage of indigenous and community lands not formally recognized by governments as well as indicators on the number of long-standing conflicts in various countries based on World Bank’s Land Governance Assessment Framework (LGAF).

Laura Meggiolaro, Coordinator of the Land Portal Foundation, said “Land conflicts are at the crux of land governance. Forced migrations, land grabs, violence against human rights defenders and other forms of injustice are fueling land conflicts around the world. In an effort to bring transparency to these issues and facilitate greater understanding of how to deal with them, the Land Portal Foundation and the FAO joined forces to create a thematic portfolio that is a reliable up-to-date source of information on this crucial issue. We hope this will serve as a useful resource for policy makers, land governance experts, journalists, researchers and other key stakeholder groups.”

A crucial part of Thematic Portfolio on Land Conflicts is a narrative written by Paolo Groppo, Territorial Development Officer at FAO, which provides a detailed discussion on natural resource disputes, the gender dimensions of land conflict as well as displacement and other risks associated with conflict. The narrative also provides a brief discussion of land conflicts in various regions and proposes recommendations for alleviating conflict and ensuring sustainable land governance.

As stated by Paolo Groppo, “Land-related conflicts occur in an increasing number of countries as a result of many drivers, including the asymmetry of information about rights, ambiguities in the legal framework on several matters, and the inobservance of the land and land administration procedures due to a combination of corruption, dirigisme, capacity constraints and negligence.”

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