How Do We Assess Land Tenure?

In this article, you will find a broad explanation for how our team evaluates the land tenure of a proposed project. Please read through the details and examples listed below.

All TerraFund for AFR100 projects provide the following information:

  1. REQUIRED: Define the type of land they will be operating on from the multi-select menu (defined below)
  2. REQUIRED: Explain the local ownership & management of the landscape
  3. OPTIONAL: Upload documents like Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) for past projects or your proposed project area that show how you manage land tenure. Proposed projects that are an expansion of existing work are especially encouraged to submit this documentation.


Land Tenure Typology: 

Private Public Indigenous Communal National-Protected Other
This is defined as land that is owned and/or managed by a private landowner or company.


Land Tenure Description:

We ask applicants to describe how the land tenure system operates within your project area. The best descriptions will convey who is in charge of the land locally, how you have worked in these areas in the past, and how you plan to work in this area or in a new area. It is additionally recommended that you detail how you will ensure that the project will not exacerbate any existing inequalities related to land tenure, and what measures will be put in place to mitigate any potential negative impact.

A critical element to consider when discussing land tenure is to mention the local history of disturbances, e.g., fires, floods. Explaining these disturbances and how your proposed project will take steps to prevent them will help your application stand out, regardless of if those expected hazards are naturally occurring or caused by human activity.

If you do not yet know where within an area you will be working, you should describe your approach to selecting project areas, establishing land tenure agreements, and limiting project risks.


Land Tenure Documentation (Optional):

While this information is optional, we recommend that you submit the following types of documents available for your past or proposed work. If your organization does not have this available for past or proposed work than you may proceed. However, it is an important attribute of your application if available, and it is a great way to verify the land tenure status described. Note that this list does not cover all the forms of documentation that are relevant to land tenure. Please use your best judgement when deciding which documents to include:

  • Memorandum of Understanding (MOU): A document, signed between your organization and the local community, outlining an agreement to allocate land towards a project. This document does not have to pertain to this project. Historic documentation would be equally valuable to see.
  • Government Easement: A document or documents, signed by a local government official, granting the right to work on public or protected lands. This document does not have to pertain to this project. Historic documentation would be equally valuable to see.
  • Deed/Land Title: A document that lists your organization as the owners or managers of this land. If provided, this document should have to pertain to this project.
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