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Sep 29 2011

A Defining Moment for Equal Rights to Rural Land in China

SEPTEMBER 30, 2011 — As the ongoing violence in Lufeng, China makes clear, farmers’ land rights are critical to China’s continuing economic development and stability.

China’s Central Government recognizes this and is working to improve the rural land registration system across China. This year, every province is required to launch a pilot land certificate program in at least one county. Landesa is partnering with the government to ensure that these pilot programs are tailored to document the land rights of both men and women farmers across the country.

Landesa realized that this window of opportunity provides a rare chance to get involved in the land registration process at its inception and help ensure that women’s rights to land are improved and protected for the betterment of the entire nation.

It is imperative that during this pilot phase, procedures are developed which ensure that all household members’ rights are protected, because the results of these pilots will have a direct impact on how land certificate registration is carried out across the whole country.

Landesa is partnering with national and local government sectors and women’s organizations in China to influence policy and practice around land certification and registration. Feasible and ground-tested recommendations will be submitted to the related central government branches on how best to ensure women’s land rights are adequately recorded.

This is the beginning of a long and expensive process, which the government plans to implement in the near future; the Ministry of Agriculture is drafting national regulations on rural land registration, which will be adopted in the summer of 2012 as a guideline for future scaled-up projects and eventually the national registration system.

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