Working with customary legal systems to improve or ensure land tenure security or protecting property rights for people living under those systems is a substantial challenge. Much, though by no means all, development work focuses on improving the formal land administration systems – mapping, building cadastres, changing de jure laws, etc. But here is an example from Ghana of how to work with and within customary systems to create a more stable institutional environment – one that promotes investment and reduces conflict. The “Innovative Tools to Secure Land Rights in West Africa” project was developed by the Land Resources Management Centre with financial support from London-based IIED, this project helps to a) make customary land use agreements legally binding, b) support community-based land administration, including mapping and surveying using para-surveyors, and c) builds capacity for alternative dispute resolution related to land. Lots of experimentation is needed in this area so it’s good see what’s happening in Ghana!
July 23, 2012