Whose Land is it? Commons and Conflict States. Why the Ownership of the Commons Matters in Making and Keeping Peace

July 2008
Liz Alden Wily (Rights and Resources Initiative)

Addresses the tenure fate of three commons: the 30 million hectares of pasture lands of Afghanistan which represent 45 percent of the total land area and are key to livelihood and water catchment in that exceedingly dry country; the 5.7 million hectares of timber-rich tropical forests in Liberia, 59 percent of the total land area; and the 125 million hectares of savannah in Sudan, half the area of that largest state of Africa. All three resources have a long history as customary properties of local communities and also share a 20th century history as the property of the state.