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Climate change and land tenure: The implications of climate change for land tenure and land policy (Land Tenure Working Paper 2)

Climate change and land tenure: The implications of climate change for land tenure and land policy (Land Tenure Working Paper 2)

Quan, Julian ORCID: 0000-0003-2388-5684 and Dyer, Nat (2008) Climate change and land tenure: The implications of climate change for land tenure and land policy (Land Tenure Working Paper 2). Working Paper. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy.

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This document analyzes the implications for land tenure and land policy of climate change. It assesses the implications of ongoing anthropogenic climate change resulting from greenhouse gas emissions for land tenure and the role that land policy can play in climate change adaptation planning in the developing world; it also sets out a simple framework for tracing the linkages between climate change, impacts on land use systems, and the land tenure implications, including those which result from adaptation and mitigation responses to global warming.
Although the linkages between climate change and land tenure are complex and indirect, the effects of climate change and variability are felt through changes in natural ecosystems, land capability and land use systems. Increasingly, these changes will place diminishing supplies of land under greater pressure, for both productive use and human settlement. As a result land issues and policies should be key considerations for adaptation planning, so as to strengthen land tenure and management arrangements in at risk environments, and secure supplies and access arrangements for land for resettlement and changing livelihood demands.
The central chapter of this paper explores the implications of climate change scenarios in more depth to identify the requirements and practical scope for land policy related interventions in developing appropriate adaptive responses. The cases examined include low lying coastal areas and river deltas affected by sea level rise and increasingly frequent and severe storm events, especially in South Asia, major coastal cities (again in South Asia), semi arid areas of sub-Saharan Africa facing increased aridity and climate variability threatening the sustainability of agriculture (specifically, exploring adaptations to existing climate variability in the Sahel), and irrigation systems supplied by glacial melt-waters.
Moreover it explores the land tenure implications of carbon emissions reduction through avoided deforestation and reforestation schemes, together with the implications of climate change for indigenous people's and women's land rights. The paper finds that climate change reinforces the urgency of scaling up the delivery of secure land tenure over land and natural resources, using low cost, decentralised systems of documentation and building where possible on functional informal systems. Adaptation also requires increasing emphasis on land use regulation, the governance of land resources, and the delivery of land in safe and secure sites for informal urban settlements, and both temporary and in some cases permanent resettlement for populations that have to move.
There are three critical problems which cross cut the range of at risk areas in developing countries, and which land policies need to address:
i) Land use and settlement in areas facing significant direct risks from climate change - notably low lying coastal areas, including cities and river deltas, and particularly in those areas at serious risk in South Asia.
ii) Accelerated provision of secure land tenure arrangements to enhance households and communities capacities to adapt to climate change impacts on livelihoods and food security.
iii) Measures to protect the poor and vulnerable from loss of livelihood resources and develop the opportunities available for them to gain direct benefits as a result of climate change mitigation measures
In conclusion, the paper makes recommendations on integrating land policy measures with wider adaptive planning, also identifying gaps in understanding of region and country specific climate change impacts and the scope for land tenure and land use adaptations.
In relation to land policy, the paper recommends strengthening existing efforts to:
• Provide tenure security for all through a diversity of forms of tenure, to improve land access for the poor, and to strengthen their negotiating position
• Improved land and natural resource information: including improved inventories of land occupation in urban and rural areas including the informal sector; improved analysis and mapping of natural hazard risks for informal settlements; better inventories of land available for resettlement or temporary relocation
• Strengthen land administration: including increasing capacity for low cost land survey and registration and for comprehensive, socially inclusive land information systems; devolving land administration responsibilities to more local levels; safeguarding against corruption in land administration
In addition, national and regional climate adaptation initiatives should incorporate important land and resource tenure dimensions including:
• Resettlement planning for populations at risk of displacement and loss of livelihoods
• Integrated land and water resource management
• Special programmes for land and natural resource tenure in semi arid areas subject to climate change: pastoralist custodianship of rangeland areas, territorial plans for water resource management are high priorities
• Effective regulatory frameworks, standards and monitoring arrangements for carbon mitigation schemes which threaten to undermine land access and use rights of poor and vulnerable groups, such as market based avoided deforestation / reforestation programmes and biofuels development
Practically oriented research can make potentially important contributions in strengthening adaptive planning. Research should combine case-by-case regional climate modelling with assessment of the quality of available information about land occupation, use and tenure conditions, and the capacity of land institutions on the ground. Research priorities identified include:
• Regional impact modeling: to understand the likely land use impacts at regional and sub-regional scales in the developing world

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Additional Information: [1] First published in 2008. [2] Published as: Quan, Julian and Dyer, Nat (2008) Climate change and land tenure: the implications of climate change for land tenure and land policy. Working Paper. Food and Agriculture Organization of The United Nations, Rome, Italy. [3] This document is based on a study carried out for the Land and Water Division of FAO, in view of the High Level Conference on World Food Security: the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy (3-5 June 2008), by the Natural Resources Institute (University of Greenwich) in collaboration with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED, London). [4] This document is Land Tenure Working Paper No.2.
Uncontrolled Keywords: agriculture, Africa, Asia, Bangladesh, carbon offset, climate change, climate impacts, deforestation, developing countries, irrigation, land tenure, land use, marine ecosystems, sea level rise, India
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Livelihoods & Institutions Department
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Last Modified: 21 Oct 2020 10:13

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