With a rural population of nearly 500 million, Southeast Asia is a critical focus for poverty alleviation efforts that can benefit many millions of women and men. Agriculture is the foundation for rural livelihoods in the region, and stronger land rights are an essential component in efforts to promote broad-based economic growth, enhance food security, and improve lives.

The region is also home to more than one-third of the world’s mangrove forests, which store vast amounts of carbon and are a critical bulwark against climate change. These forests are also a source of food and income for coastal communities, who for generations have relied on mangrove fisheries for their abundance of fish, crab, and shrimp. Stronger forest rights for local communities help to both preserve their culture and way of life and empower forest users to serve as environmental stewards of these vital ecosystems.

Landesa works with governments and multilateral institutions to support land reform efforts and elevate land rights in regional development agendas. Since 2015, when Landesa began work in the region, these efforts have helped nearly 300,000 previously landless households obtain rights to land of their own, and have helped strengthen land rights for hundreds of thousands more.

Explore our Work


Strengthening land rights across the Association of Southeast Asian Nations


Improving lives and livelihoods for millions


Historic land reforms protect farms and forest