Difficult decisions and trade-offs have to be made. A multi-stage process with gradually increasing strength of private rights and reserving sufficient public and common land to compensate latecomers ought to be the way forward. Also, it is to be hoped that government taxation interests do not override the need for better land governance of rural populations, although (moderate) taxation of larger (agricultural) land holdings could possibly be the best measure against land grabbing for speculative purposes.

Michael Brüntrup works as a senior researcher at the German Development Institute in Bonn, Germany.
Contact: Michael.Bruentrup(at)die-gdi.de

More information:

Download UN Report 2012 Toolkit and guidance for preventing and managing land and natural resources conflict