18.04.2019

One can also observe the integration of common (communal, traditional) rights into the mapping exercises. In the long run, clear individual property rights are arguably a peace-enhancing, instrument protecting the weak which improves investment, construction, production and sustainability of land use. However, the process of individualisation bears many entry points in the short and medium term that stronger segments of society use to override the weaker ones, such as the involved uncertainty, the unequal knowledge and the costs of registration. One group at risk is women, who do not have ownership of land in many traditional societies (at the conference, cases of exclusion of men in matrilineal societies, e.g. in Malawi, also emerged), pastoralists (who often do not have the notion of and traditional need of land of their own), and local migrants. Also, within families, there are risks of systematic discrimination along local inheritance laws.

The new land governance processes need a lot of deliberate attention to these risks.