During recent decades, land reform has globally become less about redistribution of land and more about securing land tenure. The main method for achieving secure land tenure has been the registration and titling of land ownership by individuals and households.
Such land titling programmes have however had limited reach and effectiveness in sub-Saharan Africa and often worked poorly in areas with predominantly communal forms of customary tenure, which is a common arrangement in most parts of rural sub-Saharan Africa. This has led to an interest in “community-based” approaches to tenure formalization, where a community or village holds the rights to own or manage land and other natural resources as a collective landholding unit. Since the turn of the century (though building on longer traditions) community-based approaches have re-emerged as either an alternative or a complement to conventional land-titling programmes.
What are the strengths and weaknesses with this approach to land titling? Who gains and who loses with the community in focus? Few studies exists on pros and cons of the implementation in practice, but this emerging research field is now gaining attention from research, policy and implementing organizations.
This seminar will discuss these questions based on findings from ongoing research in Mozambique and Tanzania by Margareta Espling, Robin Biddulph and Lasse Krantz at the Human Geography Unit, at University of Gothenburg. The seminar is a part of the Higher Seminar series at the Human Geography Unit and organized together with LARRI – the Land Rights Research Initiative.