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Land rights at the centre of the Post-2015 development agenda

Published by Oxfam in Janauary 2015, the technical briefing Secure and equitable land rights in the Post-2015 Agenda, authored by a number of international organizations working on food security, natural resources management and poverty eradication and endorsed by many local civil society organizations around the world, strongly encourages governments to keep the profile of land and natural resources high in the document on sustainable development goals to be endorsed in September 2015.

According to the report, secure and equitable land rights, particularly for those living in poverty and using and managing ecosystems, are an essential element of a Post-2015 Agenda that has the ambition to be people-centered and planet-sensitive. To realize its transformative potential, the Post-2015 Agenda should ensure that all women, men, indigenous peoples and local communities have secure rights to land, property, and natural resources necessary for their livelihoods and well-being, and should devise a monitoring framework accordingly.

It argues that the Post-2015 Agenda must address the structural factors that undermine sustainable development. It is widely recognized that secure and equitable rights to land and natural resources are central to this effort. Land rights empower people and provide a sense of dignity. They enhance food security and are fundamental to achieve the right to food and increase the productivity of small-scale food producers. They provide an incentive for ecosystem stewardship, and they promote inclusive and equitable societies whilst underpinning cultures and value systems. In most countries of the world, land rights make the difference for girls and women that need education, income and voice.

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Sarah Cummings
30 January 2015

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