Securing the commons

2000 - 2005

In much of Africa, rural populations depend on access to common property resources such as rangelands and forests for their livelihoods. Securing local rights of access to and management of such resources against encroachment or alienation by national or international actors is key to protecting the livelihoods of local people.

Common land resources are important to rural communities in much of Africa (Photo: Marie Monimart)

Common land resources are important to rural communities in much of Africa (Photo: Marie Monimart)

From 2000-05, IIED worked at multiple levels to support and disseminate innovative ways of securing access to the commons.  

At local and national levels, we aimed to support the development of innovative tools to secure resource rights for vulnerable rural groups and communities and innovative methodologies to accompany the negotiation of local conventions. We also promoted experience exchanges among practitioners to encourage lesson learning and improve practice. 

At international level, we aimed to engage with policy debates through publications, international workshops and building networks and alliances. 

We also published a series of papers in English and French, called 'Securing the commons', to provide information, experience and ideas on land and common property resource management issues across Europe and Africa.


Pastoral dilemmas in a European context: the case of reindeer rangelands in sub-arctic Norway, Andrei Martin (2005), IIED Report

Securing the commons in an era of privatisation: policy and legislative challenges. Summary conclusions of the second international workshop of the Co-Govern network, Nakuru, Kenya, 25-28 October 2004, Lorenzo Cotula, Nickson Orwa, Alexandriah Muhanji (2005), IIED Event Report

Winners and losers: privatising the commons in Botswana, Adrian Cullis and Cathy Watson (2005) IIED Report

Common land in Scotland. A brief overview, Andy Wightman, Robin Callander, Graham Boyd (2004), IIED Report

Traditional institutions, multiple stakeholders and modern perspectives in common property: accompanying change within Borana pastoral systems, Boku Tache, Ben Irwin (2003), IIED Report | en français

Local networks as a tool for influencing policy: experiences of the GDRN5 network in Mali, Aly Bacha Konaté (2003), IIED Report | en français

Social inclusion: a pre-requisite for equitable and sustainable natural resource management: Two experiences in Mali, Aly Bocoum, Katherine Cochrane, Mamadou Diakite, Oumar Kane (2003), IIED Report | en français

Towards a local peace: SOS Sahel’s experience of conflict transformation between pastoralists and farmers at El Ain, North Kordofan State, Sudan, Omer Egeimi, Mohammed Abdel Mahmood, Abdeen Mohammed Abdella (2003), IIED and SOS Sahel Report | en français

From conflict to consensus: towards joint management of natural resources by pastoralists and agro-pastoralists in the zone of Kishi Beiga, Burkina Faso, M Banzhaf, B Drabo, H Grell (2000), IIED and SOS Sahel Report | en français

Hannu Biyu Ke Tchudu Juna – strength in unity: a case study from Takiéta, Niger, G Vogt, K Vogt (2000), IIED and SOS Sahel Case Study | en français

Who's managing the commons? Inclusive management for a sustainable future, Ced Hesse and Pippa Trench (2000), IIED Report | en français


European Commission


RECONCILE – Resource Conflict Institute


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