Land and Customary Tenure in Nepal

Technical Assistance

FAO, Nepal

Mokoro conducted this assessment of land and customary tenure issues in Nepal, to support FAO’s work engaging with the government on land governance issues, particularly around alignment with the Committee on World Food Security Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of Food Security (VGGT).

The team, led by Mokoro Principal Consultant Chris Tanner, produced a series of documents to assist planning and advocacy work:

  • A Review of Land Tenure Issues and Options for the Future, looking at land issues and related policy, and the legislative and institutional framework for addressing them.
  • A short Policy Brief with a specific focus on customary and indigenous land tenure
  • A Concept Note and Road Map collating the main points and recommendations, with ideas and proposals for future cooperation between the Government of Nepal and FAO.

All three documents included an integrated focus on: gender and the land rights of women and other vulnerable groups; the rights of indigenous communities and how customary tenure systems are accommodated and addressed; and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The assignment methodology was adapted for the pandemic context.

The assessment found that many of the VGGT principles were already at least partially covered by national policies and legislation, but that implementation lagged behind policy and there was still serious land inequality and poor land governance. Key areas like gender and women’s rights, and indigenous tenure and territorial rights required a thorough re-assessment, with related policy and programme development. Other key areas for attention included climate change and threats to biodiversity; participation in land-related decision making; inclusive governance; and civil society engagement.



The photograph illustrating this project was taken by PACAF, and is published under a creative commons license.  The original photograph is available on FlickR.

The people behind the project

Project leader: Christopher Tanner

Principal Consultant

Principal Consultant

Suresh Dhakal, Stephen Turner (Quality Support)