Land issues are often an underlying cause of conflict, especially in protracted crises, and are therefore central to planning a response. Equally, land and property disputes tend to increase in the post-conflict period, with a large proportion of the population frequently claiming or reclaiming access to land and land-based resources. Access to land affects people's choice to return and their prospects of recovery. Yet humanitarian agencies largely neglect these wider issues on the basis that they are too complex and politically sensitive. Where humanitarian decision-makers have sought to engage, their efforts have tended to focus on returning land and property to displaced people, with little consideration of the wider implications of their activities and their effects on vulnerable populations.

This book seeks to understand how Housing, Land and Property (HLP) issues can and should be incorporated into humanitarian responses in conflict and post-conflict situations. It explores the link between land, conflict and humanitarianism, discusses the challenges for a more integrated response and presents the findings from selected case studies, including ones from Angola, the Great Lakes Region, Rwanda and Sudan.

Uncharted Territory: Land, Conflict and Humanitarian Action
Edited by S Pantuliano
Practical Action, 2009. 256 pp.
ISBN 978 185339687 8
Practical Action Publishing
Bourton Hall
Warwickshire CV23 9QZ
Fax: +44 1926 634502

Top of page