Creating livelihoods – securing access to land

Project description

Title: Sector Project Land Governance
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Global
Overall term: 2018 to 2020

Landnutzungszertifikate in Uganda


Reliable access to land and its long-term use are an important basis for the livelihoods and incomes of the majority of the world’s population. Land is farmed and settled and performs important cultural and social functions for the local population. According to data from the World Bank, however, only 30 per cent of the world’s population possesses documented and legally recognised land rights, as many states do not have any functioning land administration systems. It is disadvantaged population groups in particular, such as women and indigenous peoples, who are frequently excluded from access to land. If ownership and rights of use are unclear, land conflicts often result, endangering the livelihoods of the local population. 

In recent years, an increasing number of international initiatives have emerged to tackle the issues of fair and long-term access to land. These include, for example, the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the ‘Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests’. Consequently, numerous states have now committed themselves to good land governance.

However, a lack of capacities and personnel in the partner countries and a lack of coordination within the donor community are holding back improvement in the development of land governance. There is therefore a great need for fair, poverty-oriented and sustainable approaches towards strengthening this issue in international cooperation.


Innovative, tried-and-tested strategies for strengthening governance in the area of land policy and land management are positioned in national and international policy processes and initiatives. International cooperation actors are making increasing use of them.

Aus- und Weiterbildung von Fachexpertise im Landsektor


Policy advice and positioning in national and international processes

The project provides advice to the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) on formulating policies and developing strategies in connection with land rights. To this end, the project prepares strategy and discussion papers, statements and thematic contributions to BMZ’s political discussions. The project cooperates here with national and international partners and supports specialist international debate.

Strategy development and knowledge generation

The project prepares studies and develops manuals on issues such as land conflicts, land use planning and large-scale investments in agriculture. The strategies developed are integrated into knowledge platforms and networks, where they are made available to international cooperation actors. Connections to issues such as gender, forestry, soil conservation, human rights and urban development supplement the project’s advisory services.

Knowledge transfer, mainstreaming and networking

The project supports international cooperation actors by means of capacity development measures. These include awareness-raising, training courses and exchange formats for experts and managers in the area of land administration and land rights. Moreover, intensive knowledge management, advisory services for projects abroad and involvement in networks help to spread innovative approaches to improving governance with regard to land.

GIZ LandHub


Thanks to the project’s advisory services, BMZ has been able to successfully position land-related issues in national and international processes and initiatives. This includes anchoring social and environmental sustainability standards in large-scale land acquisitions, coordinating donor strategies and developing indicators to measure the objectives for sustainable development.

The project has successfully implemented training and further education measures for students, experts and managers in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Uganda, Ethiopia and China. Digital solutions allow experts around the world to benefit from the training courses the project offers.

The project has also succeeded in establishing the ‘GIZ LandHub’ as a German networking and knowledge event on land and other thematic areas. The LandHub takes place on an annual basis with over 100 representatives from German international cooperation, civil society, academia and the private sector.

Additional information