The aim of this research project was to analyse the dynamics of the rules and negotiations relating to land and renewable resources in the rapidly changing social, economic, political and institutional context of four countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Mali), through a comparative approach involving an in-depth empirical analysis and an economic and socio-anthropological orientation. The objective was to improve our understanding of how actors try to secure their access to land in an unstable institutional environment, and to identify if and how new regulations are put in place that help clarify land issues and secure access to land and resources. It is hoped that this will contribute to and revive the debate on land policy and new modes of regulating land by communities, the market and the State.
A small number of diverse field sites were selected for the research: an area of central Benin currently being settled for agriculture; an area in south western Burkina Faso experiencing high levels of migration and one in central- western Burkina Faso still relatively unaffected by migration (Gwendégué); an archetypal old frontier plantation economy in central western Ivory Coast; and a very specific site where a ‘no man’s land’ has been colonised in south eastern Ivory Coast. Complementary work was undertaken in a series of secondary sites.
The chapters are as follows:
-Land transactions and land markets
-Customary transfer of rights between autochthons and 'strangers'
-Intra-family and inter-generational dimensions of land tenure
-Land governance: actors, arenas, governmentability
-Policies and interventions on land and natural resource management
Chauveau, J.P.; Colin, J.P.; Jacob, J.P.; Delville, P.L.; le Meur, P.Y. Changes in land access and governance in West Africa: markets, social mediations and public policies. Results of the CLAIMS research project. (2006) 85 pp. ISBN 978-1-84369-613-1