Seventy-five percent of the world’s poor live in rural areas where land is a fundamental asset and a primary source of income, security, opportunity, and status. Yet more than half of these families lack either access to land or a secure stake in the land they till. Legal rights to land improve the resiliency of families so they can climb out of extreme poverty. Tangible land rights also lay the foundation for other development investments to take root – like education programs, financial services, and health care.
Since its founding, Landesa has partnered with governments, communities and other stakeholders in more than 50 countries to advance pro-poor, gender-sensitive land rights reforms using law and policy tools. These reforms have helped alleviate poverty, reduce hunger and ease conflict over land for more than 180 million families.
The Chandler Foundation’s investment was targeted at a window of opportunity for Landesa to help shape China’s land tenure policy. The big bet paid off – in 2019 China made two major reforms: for the first time, women’s names now appear on rural land certificates, and China repealed a law that required farmers to give up their land rights if they migrated to the city.