Flagship 5: Governance of Natural Resources

Secure tenure and well-performing institutional arrangements matter for technical dynamism in rural areas and investment in agriculture. They contribute to growth, sustainability, and inclusion. Tenurial regimes can also be powerful instruments of exclusion if controlled by elites or implemented to reinforce traditional hierarchies of power. Changes in tenure of resources and interactions among users of shared resources take place in a context of rural change. Land and other resources are shifting from customary to statutory status; forest tenure gives way to tenurial arrangements of agrarian regimes; large private holdings increase; and governments invest in public infrastructure. Lack of attention to resource governance under these circumstances carries high risk for development programs, particularly with regard to inclusion, equality, and poverty reduction.

PIM's Flagship 5 Governance of Natural Resources seeks to identify actions that can strengthen tenure rights of poor and marginalized people, particularly women, and communities; improve governance of natural resources; and enhance constructive interaction of resource users within shared landscapes.

The flagship examines the following questions:

  • What are the drivers and consequences of tenure insecurity?
  • What mechanisms and institutional arrangements can address threats to tenure security and strengthen tenure over land, water, and other natural resources?
  • What tools and indicators can be used to assess tenure security and create accountability for implementation of reforms?
  • How can the interests and knowledge of different actors sharing a common landscape be identified and reconciled in ways that better secure the livelihoods of women, youth, and other poor and vulnerable groups?
  • How can a better understanding of political economy processes contribute to more equitable outcomes for the poorest users within shared landscapes?

Cluster 5.1 Enhancing Tenure Security aims to document the impact of secure tenure of land and non-land resources (water, fish stocks, and forests). Researchers also investigate mechanisms to strengthen insecure tenure and weak institutions that help avoid unintended consequences for people and the environment.

Cluster 5.2 Governing Shared Landscapes addresses the management of resources held in common or individually, under formal, informal, and legally pluralistic arrangements. The rights and roles of women and members of marginalized groups (for example ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples) and the contributions of natural resources to their livelihoods receive particular attention, as do intergenerational transfer of tenure rights and implications for young people.

The Collective Action and Property Rights (CAPRi) program operates under the auspices of PIM and is facilitated by the Flagship 5 team.

See PIM Proposal for Phase 2 (2017-2022) for more information.

Research clusters

Cluster 5.1: Enhancing Tenure Security

Cluster 5.2: Governing Shared Landscapes

Geographic focus

Africa (Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia), Asia (Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Vietnam), and Latin America (Guatemala).

Flagship leadership team

Steve Lawry (CIFOR)
Flagship 5 and Clusters 5.1&5.2 co-leader

Ruth Meinzen-Dick (IFPRI)
Flagship 5 and Clusters 5.1&5.2 co-leader

Flagship 5 impact pathways

Check this Outcome Note from Flagship 5 in PIM's Phase 1 (2012-2016):

Flagship 5 in the PIM Blog>>