Indigenous and community lands, crucial for rural livelihoods, are typically held under informal customary tenure arrangements. This can leave the land vulnerable to outside commercial interests, so communities may seek to formalize their land rights in a government registry and obtain an official land document. But this process can be time-consuming and complex, and in contrast, companies can acquire land relatively quickly and find shortcuts around regulatory burdens. This article reviews and maps 19 community land formalization and 14 company land acquisition procedures is 15 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Comparing community and company procedures identifies multiple sources of inequity.
Land Use Policy, Volume 110, November 2021,