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This has a still clearer impact in the challenge that rural customary tenure presents to the definition of property. These are also the regions where 2.5 to 3 billion rural dwellers hold lands through customary (ie community-based) property regimes, and whose lands constitute at least 50 per cent of the planet's land area, more than six billion hectares.
The case in Africa is particularly interesting, where customary landholders are likely to number more than one billion by 2050.
Assisted relocation, payment for productive trees and the right to harvest standing crops may be the only compensation that customary occupants receive when their lands are taken for greater public purposes than peaceable occupancy.
Recompense for loss of lands that families own in common beyond homesteads has historically been rare.
The result would be greater tenure security, good governance and more peaceful relations between the state and people regarding land. Independent land tenure specialist; fellow of The Van Vollenhoven Institute (VVI) at the School of Law, University of Leiden; fellow of Katiba Institute, Nairobi.This is to be expected, given the massive social and political transformation in this domain over the last century, a crude indicator of which is proliferation of new constitutions in these states as compared with advanced economies.Specifically, the extent to which customary occupancy and use is rated a protected property interest has come to the fore in many of today's 150 or so agrarian economies.From Rome's Tables circa 450 BC to the watershed American Constitution and onwards, the nature of property has been presumed to be a natural right needing no explanation.Such constitutional alteration as has accrued has mainly been to widen the justification, procedures and scope of remedy resulting from the state's sacred right to interfere, while the composition of private property itself has remained static, and as sacred.