Flagship 5: Governance of Natural Resources



Equitable and secure tenure arrangements and well-performing rural institutions can contribute to well-distributed incomes and foster investment and technological innovation in agriculture. On the other hand, tenurial regimes, if controlled by elites or implemented to reinforce traditional hierarchies of power, can be powerful instruments of exclusion. Lack of attention to resource governance carries high risk for development programs, particularly with regard to equality, social inclusion, and long-term sustainability of natural resources. PIM’s Flagship 5 seeks to identify actions to 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.

More specifically, PIM’s research aims to document the sources of tenure insecurity for men, women, and communities with regards to their resources (land, forest, water, fish stocks), as well as the negative consequences of tenure insecurity. Researchers also investigate mechanisms (e.g. policy or institutional reforms) to strengthen tenure and institutions.

The team analyzes 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) receive particular attention. Researchers examine approaches to strengthen collective action and improve governance of shared resources, including through multi-stakeholder platforms.

Flagship 5 research spans a large number of countries in Africa (Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia), Asia (Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Vietnam), and Latin America (Guatemala).

Research questions

  • What are the drivers and consequences of tenure insecurity?
  • Which mechanisms and institutional arrangements can address threats to tenure security and strengthen tenure over land, water, and other natural resources?
  • Which 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?

Flagship 5 Impact Pathways>>

Flagship 5 News and Updates>>

Research Clusters

Cluster 5.1: Enhancing Tenure Security
Cluster 5.2: Governing Shared Landscapes

Leadership Team

Anne Larson (CIFOR)
Co-leader of Flagship 5 and of Clusters 5.1 and 5.2
Ruth Meinzen-Dick (IFPRI)
Co-leader of Flagship 5 and of Clusters 5.1 and 5.2

Flagship Insights

Ruth Meinzen-Dick about Flagship 5 work

PIM Webinar

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Banner photo: Georgina Smith / CIAT


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