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The Land Rights and Sustainable Development Project (funded by INREF)

Background of the project

The economic reforms (you can read about this reform at there are many available interview format writing that will help you understand both the socio-cultural and geopolitical situation of China) in China have sparked an unprecedented commercialization of rural society and, thus also, a call for clearer and more privatized land property rights. Land problems are one of the most fundamental issues in China. Most problems encountered in rural China today ¨C unsustainable land use, environmental pollution and forced eviction of farmers from their land ¨C actually relate to land property rights. The unclear nature of land ownership to natural resources has often caused unsustainable land use practices. This is particularly the case in frontier zones with large grassland and forest reserves, where historical reclamation has created ¡°islands¡± of unrecognized collective land in otherwise state-owned natural resources. In addition, rapid urbanization has led to a ¡°mad scramble for land resources¡± for real estate development. The lure of big money has given way to ¡°territorial theft¡± by using the inconsistencies in the law on land ownership. Cities buy and expropriate entire villages, while the farmers are forcefully migrated. In the developed coastal zones and peri-urban areas there is a significant danger for the victimization of rural collectives in the shifts of ownership rights. Against this background the LARISDE project has been established with the following aims:

  1. Research into problems of land administration and registration in three locations in China, representing different ecological and socio-economic conditions;
  2. The training and education of staff members within the Ministry of Land Resources and Ministry of Agriculture and selected provincial/county institutions;
  3. Policy recommendations on land administration to relevant government institutions;
  4. Legal support and information for rural collectives and legal persons during land registration;
  5. Stimulating societal and political debate regarding the recognition of customary and historical land rights of the rural collectives.


The project will develop the following activities:

  1. Research into land administration and policy in China;
  2. The organization of a 2 days'seminar on land registration in states-in-transition (see "events" on this website);
  3. International exchange through the visits of Chinese experts to The Netherlands;
  4. The formulation of a wider cooperative project on land administration issues;
  5. the dissemination of the project and research results in the form of policy recommendations to relevant state organs.

Information about the project organization

The project will be coordinated by the Environmental Policy Group (EP Group), Wageningen University. More information from Dr. Peter Ho (Senior Project Officer) and Dr. Lei Zhang (Project Officer), [email protected]

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