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Supplementary Brief – Ukraine: Role of Land Tenure in Building Back Better (April 2022) – Ukraine

The ongoing war in Ukraine has resulted in the destruction of life and property, food insecurity and human rights violations. It also has immediate dimensions of land access and land tenure, including key aspects of land and geospatial information.

A. Land tenure and armed conflict

Armed conflict can lead to the disintegration of property rights, and the importance of property, land, homeland and territory in causing and driving conflict presents particular dilemmas for a peace process. The end of an armed conflict, especially a protracted civil conflict, creates a situation in which a significant proportion of the affected population will begin to claim, reclaim or access property, land and land resources. The result is that land and property rights issues can be brought to the fore over large geographical areas in a short time for a huge number of people. And like the complex histories involving ownership, land, and territory that lead to conflict scenarios, post-war recovery of ownership, use, and access rights will also be complicated and problematic. Left unchecked, land and building issues can offer significant potential for a new confrontation. In order to address land tenure adequately, it is important to consider relevant issues at the emergency, infrastructure, and policy development and implementation phases (see annex).

FAO has provided technical assistance to improve access to land in a number of countries emerging from violent conflict in the context of food security, poverty reduction and rural development. While each conflict situation is likely to be different, they nevertheless share a number of common characteristics. Attempting to address only pre-conflict territory, land and property issues in a peace process (particularly in a peace agreement) can miss the highly volatile land issues on the ground that develop over a period of time. conflict and who are more active at the end of a conflict. conflict. While these issues may build on pre-conflict land issues, they nonetheless act to steer the post-conflict land situation in new directions. This is primarily because the social and spatial impacts of violence, displacement, destruction of property, victory and loss on the battlefield and food insecurity, as well as breakdown of administrative, enforcement, and other property-related institutions and norms dramatically alter ongoing relationships among people, land uses, production systems, and population patterns. Armed conflicts and their aftermath reconfigure the web of social relations on which all tenure systems depend.

FAO’s experience with land tenure has shown that ensuring secure access to land is often not easy, and particularly challenging in post-violent conflict situations: finding the right answer can go directly to the question of achieving lasting peace. The effects of violent conflict are generally widespread in a country, but they can be particularly severe in rural areas. Violent conflicts in rural areas can result in the displacement of large numbers of people. Rural areas often lack access roads and other infrastructure and services, and their absence hampers the establishment of good governance during the transition to peace. As a result of the conflicts, access to land in rural areas is required for displaced people. In such an environment, it is particularly important to recognize the vulnerable, which invariably includes women and children, and may also include ethnic or political minorities and small farmers/family farmers.

Although involvement in land issues is a lower priority in the emergency phase, land and tenure information has an essential role and should be at the center of recovery, reconstruction and the prevention of these root risks. human in Ukraine.