Land conflicts often have extensive negative effects on economic,
social, spatial and ecological development. This is especially true in
developing countries and countries in transition, where land market
institutions are weak, opportunities for economic gain by illegal action
are widespread and many poor people lack access to land. Land conflicts can have disastrous effects on individuals as well as on groups and even entire nations. Many conflicts that are perceived to be clashes between different cultures are actually conflicts over land and related natural resources. In the past, Germany has actively supported international declarations and action plans which explicitly demand secured access to land – especially for disadvantaged groups – such as the Habitat II Conference in Istanbul 1996, World Bank Land Research Conferences from 2001 to 2007, EU Second Forum on Sustainable Rural Development in Africa 2007 etc. This guide has been written for all those working in the land sector, in natural resource management and in urban and rural development. It aims to broaden the understanding of the complexity of causes that lead to land conflicts in order to provide for better-targeted ways of addressing such conflicts. It also provides a number of tools with which to analyse land conflicts. Successful analysis of land conflicts is seen as a vital step towards their eventual settlement. Finally, this guidebook discusses a wide variety of options for settling ongoing land conflicts and for preventing new ones. In addition, the guide provides useful training material for educators and lecturers in courses in land administration and land management.