Land and Conflict: Lessons from The Field on Conflict Sensitive Land Governance and Peacebuilding

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Land is often a critical aspect of conflict: it may be a root cause or trigger conflicts or may become an issue as the conflict progresses. Conflicts lead to forced evictions; the people who are displaced by conflict need somewhere to live and some land to farm or to graze their animals, often leading to further disputes over the use of land and other resources.

This publication – which also refers to South Sudan – shows how addressing land issues can mitigate conflict, facilitate solutions to it, improve the likelihood that people can return to their homes after the violence is over, and contribute to peace overall. It draws on cases in nine countries in Arab States, Africa and Latin America with a range of conflict parties: farmers, herders, landlords, villagers, mining companies, host communities, displaced people, gangs, and various levels of government.

The cases and analysis describe how various land-related approaches have been used throughout the conflict cycle, from conflict prevention through humanitarian assistance, recovery and development. While each conflict is different, the emphasis is on practical tools and methods that can be adapted to suit the situation.

The publication is the result of the efforts of UN-Habitat, UNDP, UN-DPA, UNAMID, UNHCR, MONUSCO, UNMISS, the Norwegian Refugee Council, the HLP Area of Responsibility of the Global Protection Cluster, Habitat for Humanity, the International Institute for Rural Reconstruction and Landesa, all members of the Land and Conflict Coalition.

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UN-Habitat

UN-Habitat is the United Nations programme working towards a better urban future. Its mission is to promote socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements development and the achievement of adequate shelter for all.

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