Securing land rights for the world’s
Across the globe, from China’s rice paddies to Rwanda’s cassava fields, the world’s poorest people are climbing out of poverty by gaining legal control of their land.
For more than four decades, Landesa has championed the power of land ownership and secure land rights as the key to a better, safer future for the world’s poorest people.
Most of the poor share three traits: they live in rural areas, rely on agricultural labor to survive, but don’t own the land they till.
Structural problems deserve structural solutions
Landlessness is one of the best predictors of extreme poverty around the world. For more than 40 years, Landesa has partnered with governments to create laws, policies, and programs that provide secure land rights for the poorest.
We’ve learned that when a family has land of their own, they have opportunity and the means to improve nutrition, income, shelter. We’ve seen that when land rights are secure, the cycle of poverty is broken – for an individual, a family, a village, a community and entire countries.
This shift is already happening on a grand scale. With the help of Landesa’s global team of land tenure experts, and in partnership with governments around the world, more than 100 million families in 40 countries have obtained secure land rights.
Broadly distributed land rights provide structural change that is enduring and multi-generational, which leads to long-term systemic change, not short-term relief. Secure land rights foster the tangible benefits of ownership that are necessary for sustainable poverty alleviation.
Founded in 1967 by former University of Washington Law Professor Roy Prosterman, and originally named the Rural Development Institute, we continue to be guided by the radically simple notion that secure property rights bring opportunity. While we recognize that land rights are not a panacea to poverty, we believe that they provide quite possibly the best first step. They are the foundation required for other development tools – education, public health, microfinance, sanitation, nutrition, among others – to take root.
We envision a world free of extreme poverty. We see a future in which all who depend on land for their well-being have secure land rights – one of the most basic and powerful tools for lifting themselves and their families out of poverty.