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Managing Territories, Cities, and the Rural World

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Managing Territories, Cities, and the Rural World



Securing Common Property in a Globalizing World

Andrew Fuys, Esther Mwangi, Stephan Dohrn ¤ March 2008
Related themes: Agriculture ¤ Food security ¤ Territorial scales
Translations: English (original) . français . Español .

This publication shares lessons from case studies on common property regimes from organizations and researchers in the International Land Coalition (ILC) and CGIAR Systemwide Program on Collective Action and Property Rights (CAPRi) networks. While the publication expresses the lessons learned by the ILC and CAPRi, the views expressed in the case studies are those of the case study authors. The case studies come from Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America

Securing the access rights of the many millions of households who rely on common property for their livelihoods is one of today’s biggest challenges facing poverty reduction efforts in rural areas. The commons fulfill religious, cultural and environmental functions, and are of particular importance for securing the livelihoods of poorer members of society, including women and the landless. Recent studies have also demonstrated that although significant levels of national income are derived from the commons, they are rarely recognized in national accounting.

The drive towards individual ownership of land, occurring in all regions of the globe, means that large tracts of historically commonly-held land are becoming privatized. This benefits the tenure security of a privileged few who are able to privatize land in their name, but it generally results in the dispossession of large numbers of poorer land users who previously had access to these resources.


Sebastian Ceriani




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