Liz Alden Wily

Liz Alden Wily
Van Vollenhoven Institute, Leiden Law School · Van Vollenhoven Institute

PhD Political Economy of Land Tenure

About

69
Publications
38,509
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
1,762
Citations
Introduction
Liz Alden Wily (PhD, Political Economy): 40 years experience in the land rights sector, working in 20+ countries as policy adviser, practitioner & researcher. Research associations (2018) include: Senior Fellow, Katiba Institute, Kenya; Research Fellow, Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law & Development, Leiden Law School; and co-convenor or LandMark at www.landmarkmap.org which researches and makes public information on community landholding. My research work is focused on national law recognition of customary/community-based land tenure as legal property. In a recent study (Land, 2018, 7(2), 68) I found this is on the rise, now provided in 73 of 100 laws reviewed. SEE LIST OF PUBLISHED & UNPUBLISHED PAPERS AVAILABLE ON REQUEST UNDER 'CONTRIBUTIONS'
Additional affiliations
January 2014 - January 2015
Independent Researcher
Independent Researcher
Position
  • Expert Associate

Publications

Publications (69)
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter reviews land tenure and governance reforms in Africa and persisting failure to embrace customary landowners in the 21st century as landowners in their own right as individuals, families and communities. Their rights to shared communal lands (forests, rangelands, swamps) are particularly affected. The State remains the major landowner t...
Preprint
To conserve nature globally, policies and practices must recognize the contribution of diverse environmental governance systems to nature stewardship.
Article
Full-text available
I address a contentious element in forest property relations to illustrate the role of ownership in protecting and expanding of forest cover by examining the extent to which rural communities may legally own forests. The premise is that whilst state-owned protected areas have contributed enormously to forest survival, this has been insufficiently s...
Chapter
Full-text available
This book delivers new conceptual and empirical studies surrounding the design and evaluation of land governance, focusing on land management approaches, land policy issues, advances in pro-poor land tenure and land-based gender concerns. It explores alternative approaches for land management and land tenure through international experiences. Theme...
Chapter
Full-text available
This essay reviews international evidence suggesting that forest peoples in Kenya could succeed as forest conservators providing ownership of the forest is legally recognized. This essay is part of series of essays prepared by international legal and forest governance specialists reviewing the case for restitution of Mau Forest Complex in Kenya to...
Chapter
Full-text available
Tenure reform is offering Africa an unexpected opportunity to move into a more inclusive and equitable era of social transformation through decolonizing property rights. There is increased recognition that customary land rights can no longer be treated as permissive rights of occupancy on unowned public or government land but as registrable ownersh...
Presentation
Full-text available
The presented paper elaborates four main points: Globalized recognition of customary rights as property is dramatically increasing the tenure security of poor rural majorities, including over traditionally attached off-farm resources lands. This provides a newly inclusive foundation for agrarian growth. • The challenge for governments is to similar...
Article
Full-text available
Statutory recognition of rural communities as collective owners of their lands is substantial, expanding, and an increasingly accepted element of property relations. The conventional meaning of property in land itself is changing, allowing for a greater diversity of attributes without impairing legal protection. General identified trends include: (...
Article
Important new legislation protects community lands in Kenya. Delivery is principally dependent upon each community securing formal collective entitlement to its land. Many factors may impede this. While some are experienced in all titling programmes, others are specific to Kenya, exacerbated by low confidence in the readiness of the state to embrac...
Article
Full-text available
Compulsory acquisition of land by the state for public purposes is an entrenched feature of national constitutions. Yet the scope of private property is rarely defined. This is problematic in agrarian economies where millions own land under non-statutory arrangements that were historically excluded from recognition as property. This study examines...
Article
Full-text available
Kenya is the most recent African state to acknowledge customary tenure as producing lawful property rights, not merely rights of occupation and use on government or public lands. This paper researches this new legal environment. This promises land security for 6 to 10 million Kenyans, most of who are members of pastoral or other poorer rural commun...
Article
Full-text available
This paper analyzes whether national laws acknowledge indigenous peoples and other rural communities in 100 countries as owners of waters that arise within their lands. Results derive from information collected by LandMark to score the legal status of community land tenure. Findings are positive; half of all countries recognize communities as lawfu...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter examines contemporary customary land tenure, probably the largest tenure regime in the world in numbers of persons dependent upon this system to secure land rights and in regard to proportion of global land area held. The chapter argues that customary rights have always had incidents of property although not precisely those which state...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Contact lizaldenwily@gmail.com if you want a copy of any of these publications prior to being uploaded to ResearchGate
Article
This paper reflects upon the role of law in the contemporary surge in global large-scale land acquisitions. Its point of reference is the land security of several billion rural poor who traditionally own and use untitled lands that are classified as state lands or unowned public lands in national laws. Most of the affected lands are off-farm areas...
Article
Rangelands (‘pastures’) constitute a large and valuable natural resource in Afghanistan. Millions of rural people shape their agro-pastoral or pastoral livelihoods around this asset. In many ways, the territorial history of Afghanistan may be written through the lens of ancient and continuing battles between ethnic groups for possession of alpine p...
Article
Full-text available
This paper aims to make a modest contribution to an overdue need to locate the current land rush in its historical context, less as a new phenomenon than as a surge in the continuing capture of ordinary people's rights and assets by capital-led and class-creating social transformation. It aims to do so by looking back to earlier land rushes, and pa...
Article
The context of this article is the surge in large-scale land acquisitions of African lands by local and foreign investors for commercial food, livestock, oil palm and carbon trading purposes. Involuntary loss of rural lands at scale is not new to Africa's majority rural poor, nor is it driven by a single factor. Historically inequitable land relati...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This concept paper was produced at the request of members of the Land Commission sitting in 2009. It lays out a practical approach to community driven land reforms.
Article
Full-text available
This paper refers traditional and contemporary handling of land rights in national constitutions. It provides numerous examples from around the world. The main part of the paper provides suggested pro-poor principles and articles for adoption into Nepal's new Constitution. The paper was produced in response to requests from civil society, donor and...
Article
Full-text available
This is a Summary of findings from the volume, Land Reform in Nepal, Where is it coming from and where is it going?
Technical Report
Full-text available
The document collates six briefs designed for distribution to rural communities in Nepal to better inform them on land reform issues and options.The briefs are written in simple language and were translated into Nepali at the same time as this English version.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Presentation of ten key issues confronting land rights in post-conflict Nepal
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Book
Full-text available
This volume provides a critical analysis of national land policy, legislation and implementation in Nepal since the 1950s, with special reference to farmland redistribution and tenure reforms. The study adopts a comparative framework with other contemporary land reforms in agrarian states. It is concluded that land reform of any kind in Nepal has b...
Article
Full-text available
The founding argument of this paper is that the commons have been dangerously neglected in agrarian reform and with greatest ill-effect upon the poor. Neglect stems from analytical failures as to the ownership of commons, exacerbated by the dominance of collateralization as the rationale for rights registration and built around individually owned p...
Article
This paper looks at how rural land rights are being formalized in Africa. It argues that highly significant improvements are emerging under the current wave of land reform. In a rising number of states, customary land holders can now register their ownership directly without having their rights converted into European-derived forms like freehold or...
Article
Full-text available
"The answer lies, I believe, in reordering our priorities, in first defining customary domains if this has not already been done, and wherein customary law thereafter definitively and legally applies, thus providing better but not foolproof blanket protection to the diverse range of individual and shared rights that exist within that domain. Integr...
Article
Community based forest management is an emerging popular strategy towards forest conservation in Africa and is being widely incorporated in new forestry legislation. As implementation gets under way communities and governments increasingly debate the incentives needed to support community roles in management. One of the more fundamental of these is...
Article
Full-text available
This paper seeks to do two things. Firstly, we describe the evolution and recent experience with community-based forest and woodland management in Tanzania and the policy, legal, and institutional framework which underlies this evolution. Secondly, we attempt to draw together some of the lessons from these experiences, and to focus on some of the e...
Article
Full-text available
Central control of forests takes management responsibility away from the communities most dependent on them, inevitably resulting in tensions. Like many African countries, Tanzania--which has forest or woodland cover over 30-40 percent of its land--established central forestry institutions at a time when there was little need for active management...
Article
Full-text available
Eastern and Southern Africa is seeing a wave of land law reform. While the motives may be more political than developmental, the extent of real change ultimately possibly limited, and realization of new law in practice another prospect altogether, certain striking positive changes are appearing. This paper focuses upon one of the more important to...
Article
Full-text available
As the twentieth century drew to a close, many States in eastern and southern Africa had acknowledged shortcomings in their policies for forest management and had begun to implement new national forest policies and to enact new forest laws. The changes amount to a significant wave of reform. South Africa, Lesotho, Mozambique, Zanzibar (United Repub...
Article
Strategies to secure and sustain the once-abundant forest resources of Eastern and Southern Africa are under change at the turn of the century. This is reflected in a wave of new forestry policy being rendered more exact and binding in new forestry law. Commonality within the region is striking, broadly towards greater devolution of rights and resp...
Article
Full-text available
"This paper examines the current wave of land tenure reform in eastern and southern Africa. It discusses how far tenure reform reflects a shift in powers over property from centre to periphery. A central question is whether tenure reform is designed to deliver to rural smallholders greater security of tenure and greater control over the regulation...
Article
Devolution of authority over natural resource management is now well advanced for the mega-fauna in Zimbabwe, through the CAMPFIRE program. We ask whether models like CAMPFIRE can be applied to a broader spectrum of woodland resources. Problems in applying CAMPFIRE to woodland resources relate to a legal and policy framework that is not enabling to...
Article
This article provides new insights on community involvement in natural forest management. The examples used are two woodlands reserves in Tanzania, both of which were visibly not being conserved under government management. In 1994/1995 communities living on the edge of these forests secured the ''return'' of these woodlands to their own control. T...
Article
Full-text available
"A variety of institutional and legal frameworks exist in the modern developing world through which the involvement of local communities in forest management is expressed, prescribed and proscribed. Joint Management Agreements (JMA) are most common. Some countries, most notably India and Nepal, have gone so far as to promulgate supporting legislati...
Article
Full-text available
The thrust of land planning by the post-Taliban Administration in Afghanistan is towards the establishment of nationwide registration of property rights. This objective typifies post-conflict strategising, reflecting the combined concerns to bring order to disorderly conditions and to establish the authority of the new administration. This paper ar...
Article
Full-text available
Forests represent a substantial natural resource in Eastern and Southern Africa and one which supports other important resources including water and wildlife. Whilst originally largely the property of local communities, forests are increasingly owned by the state or subject to individualisation. Those that remain in community hands are held in ways...
Article
"Afghanistan began its history as a modern state around 1880, bringing a complex of ethnic entities and territories under one umbrella, and, as it was to prove, mainly under the domination of one group. Social and territorial colonization ensued, aided and abetted by the great powers, and of which the war of the last quarter century has been but a...
Article
Full-text available
"As in most parts of the world, community based forest management is emerging as popular strategy towards forest conservation in Africa. This is being widely embedded in new forestry legislation. As implementation gets under way communities and governments increasingly debate the incentives needed to support community roles in management. One of th...
Article
"The argument of this paper is that the outstanding challenge facing community property management is to find institutional frameworks which both secure community tenure of those resources into the next century, and provide a workable, and forward-looking operational basis for their management. Without this success, individualising and centralising...
Article
Full-text available
"The main concern of forestry administrations must be to find ways of transferring enough power and security to local communities to make it worth their while to devise and sustain effective management and in ways which make them fully accountable to those objectives themselves. Recognition of this is emerging in the region, evident in the greater...

Network

Cited By