Introduction to Land Tenure Property Rights
Land is one of the most important assests for people throughout the world. This is particularly true for the rural and urban poor, where land may form the most significant part of their asset base. It is also the foundation for a wide range of cultural and social identities. It is a cornerstone of economic activity and regularly serves as the basis for institutional development. It is the underpinning for markets (credit, real estate, labor, rental contracts, and agriculture production). And, land and land-based natural resources are the focus of continuous planning and management for sustainable development. Rights to land and property are fundamental to virtually every society. Secure land tenure and property rights (LTPR) are as essential to peace and stability as are rule of law, good governance, and sustainable, economic development. Because land tenure and property rights are so closely linked to development agendas across the globe, it is important to understand how these rights shift as economies move through the stages of economic growth and democratization (and, in some cases, from war to peace) and how these shifts require different property rights interventions.