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Examples of the diversity of rights holders and rights to land and natural resources in West Africa by Michel Merlet and Kouadio André Yobouet

‘Modern’ legal categories rarely
take full account of the
complexities of reality on the
ground. Worse still, they
sometimes lead to profound
changes in social and economic
relations, since providing security
for one type of rights holder or
issuing a particular land title (full
or absolute) may negate the rights
of other types of rights holders.
The three examples outlined
below suggest that we should
always think of land as both
a private and communal resource,
consider the nature of the
different individual and collective
actors concerned, and see them
as possible rights holders who
may be recognised or ignored.

Crédits: AK-Project