In 2004 the EU Commission published EU Land Policy Guide-lines: Guidelines for Support to Land Policy Design and Land Policy Reform Process in Developing Countries. It proposes that steps be taken to allow the legal recognition of customary rights and to strengthen the institutional capacities of customary structures that enforce them.
Although support from urban-based students and activists was important, the rural protest in Indonesia during President Suharto's regime was built on continued protest and organisation around land issues.
"The banks are ours!" Public money was used to bail out the banks, and now they are lending back to the public at interest, while governments ignore the social and environmental crises that confront society. It is time to demand real solutions that will work not only for the sake of the economy but for the lives and conditions of people on whom it depends.
Harold Liversage, the Land Tenure Adviser for the International Fund for Agricultural Development argues that responsible investment in agriculture is possible if voluntary guidelines are backed up by an empowered civil society.
Since Mugabe initiated a more aggressive land reform programme in Zimbabwe in 2000, the accepted wisdom was that it had been an unmitigated disaster. A new ten-year detailed study of one province in Zimbabwe challenges this view.