Sustainable development requires governments to provide public facilitiesand infrastructure that ensure safety and security, health and welfare, socialand economic enhancement, and protection and restoration of the naturalenvironment. An early step in the process of providing such facilities andinfrastructure is the acquisition of appropriate land. In some cases, severallocations could be suitable for a facility such as a new government office, andthe government may be able to purchase land at one of the locations throughthe land market. In other cases, specific land parcels are required, for example,in order to accommodate the route of a new road, the protection of certainareas from flooding, or the fulfilment of requirements of redistributive landreform legislation. That land may not be on sale at the time it is required. Inorder to obtain land when and where it is needed, governments have the powerof compulsory acquisition of land: they can compel owners to sell their landin order for it to be used for specific purposes. The power, discussed in thisguide as the compulsory acquisition of land, is also referred to as expropriation,eminent domain, compulsory purchase, land acquisition and resumption.