Cairo, Egypt, 22 February 2021 –The challenges and solutions related to good land governance and land tenure security will be discussed at the second Arab Land Conference in Cairo this week.  

The Conference which runs from 22 – 24 February will include the sharing of experiences, latest research, and innovations in the land sector with a high-level opening ceremony, ministerial sessions, thematic round tables, technical sessions, and master classes.

The Conference, organized by UN-Habitat and the Global Land Tool Network with the support of the World Bank, German development agency (GIZ), Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and other partners from the Arab Land Initiative will provide a platform for around 600 participants to share ideas and discuss current challenges. These include re-establishing peace and rebuilding institutions and societies after war in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and water scarcity, underserviced and unregulated urban sprawl and inefficient administration.

The Arab region is 59 per cent urbanized with about a third of the urban population currently living in underserviced neighbourhoods. Good land management is seen as being crucial to ensure access to adequate housing and public spaces, and for enhancing urban mobility. Improving land administration and introducing land-based financing mechanisms will provide a sustainable, locally generated income for governments to invest in more inclusive cities.

Good land administration can increase the resilience of cities as communities with land tenure security are better prepared and able to invest in infrastructures to mitigate their exposure to natural hazards, and are more likely to plan for the long-term sustainability of their settlements, farms and pastoral lands.

Land tenure security encourages people to invest in their land, homes and businesses, bring long-term benefits for families and communities. It contributes to the achievement of the rights to education, health and work. Access to, and control over land increases food security, protection from physical hazards and inclusive participation in decision making processes.

Increasing women’s access to and control over land and other productive resources is beneficial for a broad range of social, economic, and peacebuilding goals and for the achievement of gender equality. Good land governance, mediating and resolving land-related disputes, and the protection of the housing, land and property rights of all are cornerstones for stabilising fragile societies. Promoting good land management will enable adequate planning, sustainable urban growth, urban regeneration and reconstruction efforts that unlock the economic potential of the cities in the Arab region.