Land tenure and socio-economic development

All of the aspects of the man - land relations discussed above show that it is not possible at the end of this century to deal with land problems on the basis of a mere land policy such as the old land reforms, but rather that they must be incorporated in a general policy for social and economic development. Today an attempt to change land tenure in order to increase production, to improve the living conditions of the population and to protect the environment has to include:

  • consideration of regional differences in development within the countries
  • consideration of the different interests and the conditions of the cultural groups within the countries;
  • anticipation of socio-economic changes that are expected in the near
    future, including technological impacts;
  • the increasing urbanization, including periurban problems;
  • the increasing occupational mobility of the population; and
  • the need to bring production, living and the ecology into harmony.

This would probably call for a transition from land tenure to a broader concept of resource tenure as a focus which would include not only land, but water, pastures and grazing land, forests, etc.

An important requirement is the greatest possible flexibility in man - land relations because there is no ideal land tenure system, but only one in line with the current economics, social, political and technological requirements, and whenever these change, the relations of man to land have to change again.

The Last 50 Years of Man-Land Relations. Changes in Issues, Priorities and Viewpoints.
in: Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture 37, 2, 1998.