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Land and Rural Development Policy Reforms in Colombia: The Path to Peace

Published 04/19/2016 by Global Communities

Land and Rural Development Policy Reforms in Colombia: The Path to Peace

Land tenure insecurity inhibits the development of Colombia’s rural areas and agricultural sector, prevents the government from addressing the country’s development challenges, and is responsible for an armed conflict that devastated the country for over 50 years. The magnitude of the impact of the armed conflict on rural land has been substantial. The Government of Colombia estimates that more than 350,00 families abandoned their land during the years of conflict. Three years after the Government implemented the Victims Law—which seeks to protect the rights of the victims of armed conflict and recognize the injustices they have suffered—the government of Colombia received almost 90,000 restitution claims.

Although the figures on tenure informality, land abandonment, and dispossession are not exact, it is clear that land informality in rural Colombia is a significant constraint to rural development. This challenge can only be effectively addressed by developing a well-coordinated institutional framework that is backed by strong public policies which facilitate land access for the poorest of the poor: farmers and land-dependent communities that have been most effected by the armed conflict.  The government has demonstrated political will to transform the countryside through a new comprehensive land policy.

In an effort to support implementation of these proposed public policy reforms, this paper takes an in-depth look at the following proposed policy instruments: (i) the policy frameworks that support rural transformation, including Mission for Transformation of the Countryside, Comprehensive Rural Reform, and the National Development Plan (ii) the identification, clarification, and recovery of illegally awarded or obtained lands; and (iii) the design and implementation of the Land Node.

Read the full report here.